"No Particular Place to Go": Gender, Sexuality and Sexual Health Help-Seeking in UK Older Adults

Hayley Wright, Mark Forshaw

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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    Abstract

    Research has shown that a healthy sex life is an important indicator of positive health and quality of life (Lee et al. 2016), and is also associated with cognitive function in older adults (Wright & Jenks 2016). Interestingly, Lee et al. (2015) showed that the likelihood of reporting sexual health concerns decreased with age in women, but increased with age in men. We explored gender differences in help-seeking for sexual health concerns in adults aged 50-89 years (N=6672). Sexuality was indicated by self-reports of solely heterosexual (‘straight’), or some/all homosexual (lesbian, gay, bisexual; ‘LGB’) experiences across the lifetime. Our results show that almost half (49.6%) of LGB males report some concerns about their sex lives, compared to just over a third of LGB females (36%). Of those reporting sexual concerns, only 17.4% of LGB males and 14.3% of LGB females seek help or advice. Relatively fewer straight individuals reported concerns about their sex life (males 39.5%; females 23.9%). Furthermore, help-seeking for sexual problems in straight males (13.7%) and females (8.6%) was less frequent than respective LGB groups. There is currently no government framework for sexual health advice and support for older adults in the UK. Our results have implications for the provision of sexual health screening and relationship advice for older adults in the UK and worldwide. All aspects of sexuality should be promoted in older adult groups, to potentially benefit health, general wellbeing and cognitive function, in later life.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventThe Gerontological Society of America's 69th Annual Scientific Meeting - New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
    Duration: 16 Nov 201620 Nov 2016
    https://www.geron.org/meetings-events/2016-gsa-annual-scientific-meeting (Link to conference cite)

    Conference

    ConferenceThe Gerontological Society of America's 69th Annual Scientific Meeting
    Abbreviated titleGSA 2016
    CountryUnited States
    CityNew Orleans, Louisiana
    Period16/11/1620/11/16
    Internet address

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