Advertisement

Psychological Aspects of Sexual Dysfunction in the Elderly

  • Mark L. Elliott

Abstract

The aging male and female are confronted with a vast array of psychological, physiological, social, and environmental changes. This period of life rivals adolescence for the number and intensity of transformations. Longer life-spans and improved medical technology create a whole host of new situations and problems for today’s elderly to navigate. A paramount concern for aging men and women is sexual functioning. “Next to the fear of death, the fear of losing sexual pleasure and intimacy... ranks highest in the hierarchy of pressures that we encounter as we enter middle age and advance in years.”1 Nevertheless, the study of sex and aging has been mostly neglected until recent time. Landmark sexuality studies2–5 briefly addressed this topic and found that the elderly were neither asexual nor disinterested, which was inconsistent with contemporary opinion. The sexuality of aging persons has continued to gain considerable clinical interest. However, sexual problems during the climacteric years are still not fully understood.6,7

Keywords

Sexual Dysfunction Sexual Desire Sexual Functioning Sexual Interaction Sexual Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Labby DH. Aging’s effects on sexual function. Expected changes and treatable dysfunction. Postgrad Med 1985 78:32–34,39–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kinsey AC, Pomeroy WB, Martin CE. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1948.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kinsey AC, Pomeroy WB, Martin CE, et al. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1953.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Masters WH, Johnson VE. Human Sexual Response. Boston: Little, Brown, 1966.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Masters WH, Johnson VE. Human Sexual Inadequacy. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Iddenden DA. Sexuality during the menopause. Med Clin North Am 1987;71:87–94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Weitzman R, Hart J. Sexual behavior in healthy married elderly men. Arch Sex Behav 1987;16:39–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Adams CG, Turner BF. Reported change in sexuality from young adulthood to old age. J Sex Res 1985;21:126–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Channon LD, Ballinger SE. Some aspects of sexuality and vaginal symptoms during menopause and their relations to anxiety and depression. Br J Med Psychol 1986;59:173–180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sarrel PM. Sexuality in the middle years. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 1987; 14:49–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Steege JF. Sexual function in the aging woman. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1986;29:462–469.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wise TN, Rabins PV, Gahnsley J. The older patient with a sexual dysfunction. J Sex Marital Ther 1984;10:117–121.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Starr BD, Weiner MB. The Starr-Weiner Report on Sex and Sexuality in the Mature Years. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Masters WH. Sex and aging—expectations and reality. Hosp Pract 1986; 21:175–177, 182–192, 197–198.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rousseau PC. Sexual changes and impotence in elderly men. Am Family Phys 1986; 34:131–136.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Walbroehl GS. Sexuality: Advising the older patient. Comprehens Ther 1986; 12: 35–38.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Solnick RC, Birren JE. Age and male erectile responsiveness. Arch Sex Behav 1977; 6:1–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Myers LS, Morokoff PJ. Physiological and subjective sexual arousal in pre and post menopausal women taking replacement therapy. Psychophysiology 1986;23:283–292.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cutler WB, Garcia CR, McCoy N. Perimenopausal sexuality. Arch Sex Behav 1987;16:225–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Crenshaw TL. Dyspareunia due to senile vaginitis and vaginal atrophy. Med Aspects Hum Sex 1986 20:22–28.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kaplan HS. The New Sex Therapy. New York: Brunner Mazel, 1974.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kaplan HS. Disorders of Sexual Desire. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Liptzin B. Clinical perspectives on sexuality in older patients. J Geriatr Psychiatry 1984;17:167–181.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gurian BS. The myth of the aged as asexual: Countertransference issues in therapy. Hosp Community Psychiatry 1986;37:345–346.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hays AM. Intimacy and sexuality in the elderly. J Geriatr Psychiatry 1984;17:161–165.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Traupmann J. Does sexuality fade over time? A look at the question and the answer. J Geriatr Psychiatry 1984;17:149–159.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Travis SS. Older adult’s sexuality and remarriage. J Gerontol Nurs 1987;13:8–14.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Renshaw DC. Geriatric sex problems. J Geriatr Psychiatry 1984;17:123–138.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Leviton D. The significance of sexual activity as a deterrent to suicide among the aged. Omega 1973;4:163–174.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hammond DB, Bonney WC. Results of sex education for support persons working with the elderly. J Sex Educ Ther 1985;11:42–45.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    McCortney JB, Izeman H, Rogers D, Cohen N. Sexuality and the institutionalized elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 1987;35:331–333.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Glass JC, Mustian RD. Knowledge and attitudes of health care providers toward sexuality in the institutionalized elderly. Educ Gerontol 1986;12:465–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Pietropinto A. Sex and the elderly: Survey analysis. Med Aspects Hum Sex 1987; 21:110–170.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Archambault RL. Sex education for older learners. J Sex Educ Ther 1985;11:53–55.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York  1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark L. Elliott

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations