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Older people and sexuality: double jeopardy of ageism and sexism in youth-dominated societies

Older people and sexuality: double jeopardy of ageism and sexism in youth-dominated societies
Older people and sexuality: double jeopardy of ageism and sexism in youth-dominated societies
Sexuality is an important determinant of health and wellbeing for all ages. The capacity and desire for emotional and sexual intimacy and pleasure is important for people throughout their lives. The issue of older people and sexuality has largely been ignored with the focus being almost entirely on fertility and reproductive aspects of sexuality, thus favouring the young and reproductive individuals. Various historical and cultural contexts shape the practices and perception of older people's sexuality in Africa. What is evident is the existence of myths and prejudices that sexuality is unimportant for older people, and this concern draws our attention to the presence of ageism in this sphere of life. Further, it is crucial to underscore the double jeopardy faced by older women where they not only face prejudice due to age, but are confronted with sexism as well where sexuality of older men is more tolerated than for their female age counterparts. The ageist and sexist attitude towards older people's sexuality need to be addressed across multi-disciplinary perspectives. Negative attitudes towards older people's sexuality is not only disempowering as it is likely to inhibit open expressions of sexuality, but it can prevent healthy sexuality.
sexuality, health, hiv and aids, ageism
1013-0950
93-99
Chepngeno-Langat, Gloria
4a386fed-03ca-4791-827a-ec7a7950530c
Hosegood, Victoria
c59a89d5-5edc-42dd-b282-f44458fd2993
Chepngeno-Langat, Gloria
4a386fed-03ca-4791-827a-ec7a7950530c
Hosegood, Victoria
c59a89d5-5edc-42dd-b282-f44458fd2993

Chepngeno-Langat, Gloria and Hosegood, Victoria (2013) Older people and sexuality: double jeopardy of ageism and sexism in youth-dominated societies. Agenda, 26 (4), 93-99. (doi:10.1080/10130950.2012.757864).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sexuality is an important determinant of health and wellbeing for all ages. The capacity and desire for emotional and sexual intimacy and pleasure is important for people throughout their lives. The issue of older people and sexuality has largely been ignored with the focus being almost entirely on fertility and reproductive aspects of sexuality, thus favouring the young and reproductive individuals. Various historical and cultural contexts shape the practices and perception of older people's sexuality in Africa. What is evident is the existence of myths and prejudices that sexuality is unimportant for older people, and this concern draws our attention to the presence of ageism in this sphere of life. Further, it is crucial to underscore the double jeopardy faced by older women where they not only face prejudice due to age, but are confronted with sexism as well where sexuality of older men is more tolerated than for their female age counterparts. The ageist and sexist attitude towards older people's sexuality need to be addressed across multi-disciplinary perspectives. Negative attitudes towards older people's sexuality is not only disempowering as it is likely to inhibit open expressions of sexuality, but it can prevent healthy sexuality.

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More information

Published date: 9 April 2013
Keywords: sexuality, health, hiv and aids, ageism
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Gerontology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 350850
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/350850
ISSN: 1013-0950
PURE UUID: 757fdd9b-a9f0-4165-9dc0-07e8113684a3
ORCID for Gloria Chepngeno-Langat: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6782-363X
ORCID for Victoria Hosegood: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2244-2518

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Apr 2013 10:46
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:41

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