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Patient Educ Couns. 1994 Jul;23(3):227-33.

Sexuality in the later years--the impact of health and body-image in a sample of older women.


Research on sexuality in the elderly is still rather scarce. Quite often, there is an underlying assumption that health problems function as main constraints against sexuality in the later years. This article tries to challenge this view and proposes that health aspects tend to be--at least among women--quite overestimated. The data presented here are from a study on sexuality and ageing. Sixty West German women, born between 1907 and 1936 had been interviewed on their psychosexual development in the context of their life-histories. The results show that health variables are of rather little significance in explaining the development and/or maintenance of sexual interest and activity in old age. More general aspects of the so-called body-image seem to be more valid in shedding some more light on the determinants of psychological well-being and of keeping sexuality alive in old age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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