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The role of body image in sexual satisfaction among partnered older adults: a population-based study in four European countries

The role of body image in sexual satisfaction among partnered older adults: a population-based study in four European countries
The role of body image in sexual satisfaction among partnered older adults: a population-based study in four European countries
Body image issues can affect all domains of sexual functioning. The aim of this study was to examine how, in a sociocultural context where physical and sexual attractiveness is equated with young and slim body ideals, appearance dissatisfaction and importance are related to sexual satisfaction in older adults in four European countries. A cross-sectional survey with probability samples of the population aged 60-75 years was used. Only respondents with a partner were included in this paper, and the countries included Norway (n = 957), Denmark (n = 846), Belgium (n = 612), and Portugal (n = 367). Sexual satisfaction, appearance dissatisfaction and importance were assessed, and frequency of intercourse/kissing and cuddling, relationship satisfaction, age, and body mass index (BMI) were all used as control variables. Belgian men scored significantly lower on sexual satisfaction, while there was no difference in sexual satisfaction in women. Appearance dissatisfaction was lower in Scandinavian women and men, and in Belgian men, and appearance salience was lower in Norwegian men and women, and in Portuguese women. Linear regression analysis revealed that, adjusting for confounders, appearance dissatisfaction was significantly related to sexual satisfaction in Scandinavian women and men, as well as in Belgian men. Compared to research on younger adults, appearance evaluation appeared to play an equally important role in sexual satisfaction in older adults in our study. The variation in appearance dissatisfaction in older adults across European countries is a novel finding that needs to be examined further.
Body image; sexual satisfaction; older adults; Europe
1-11
Kvalem, Ingela Lundin
3d1b0d57-b7e3-433b-8c4d-64e8caf4f981
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Hald, Martin
27b26684-3e1b-4e1c-9ab1-460a26000c9d
Carvalheira, Ana
82438674-347e-4c74-8fec-c6d8307ee046
Janssen, Erick
54c7c1a5-52cf-4ce4-8ff6-31fa5b3825e4
Štulhofer, Aleksandar Štulhofer
211e2959-7999-48c9-bccf-a910410bd8b7
Kvalem, Ingela Lundin
3d1b0d57-b7e3-433b-8c4d-64e8caf4f981
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Hald, Martin
27b26684-3e1b-4e1c-9ab1-460a26000c9d
Carvalheira, Ana
82438674-347e-4c74-8fec-c6d8307ee046
Janssen, Erick
54c7c1a5-52cf-4ce4-8ff6-31fa5b3825e4
Štulhofer, Aleksandar Štulhofer
211e2959-7999-48c9-bccf-a910410bd8b7

Kvalem, Ingela Lundin, Graham, Cynthia, Hald, Martin, Carvalheira, Ana, Janssen, Erick and Štulhofer, Aleksandar Štulhofer (2019) The role of body image in sexual satisfaction among partnered older adults: a population-based study in four European countries. European Journal of Ageing, 1-11. (doi:10.1007/s10433-019-00542-w).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Body image issues can affect all domains of sexual functioning. The aim of this study was to examine how, in a sociocultural context where physical and sexual attractiveness is equated with young and slim body ideals, appearance dissatisfaction and importance are related to sexual satisfaction in older adults in four European countries. A cross-sectional survey with probability samples of the population aged 60-75 years was used. Only respondents with a partner were included in this paper, and the countries included Norway (n = 957), Denmark (n = 846), Belgium (n = 612), and Portugal (n = 367). Sexual satisfaction, appearance dissatisfaction and importance were assessed, and frequency of intercourse/kissing and cuddling, relationship satisfaction, age, and body mass index (BMI) were all used as control variables. Belgian men scored significantly lower on sexual satisfaction, while there was no difference in sexual satisfaction in women. Appearance dissatisfaction was lower in Scandinavian women and men, and in Belgian men, and appearance salience was lower in Norwegian men and women, and in Portuguese women. Linear regression analysis revealed that, adjusting for confounders, appearance dissatisfaction was significantly related to sexual satisfaction in Scandinavian women and men, as well as in Belgian men. Compared to research on younger adults, appearance evaluation appeared to play an equally important role in sexual satisfaction in older adults in our study. The variation in appearance dissatisfaction in older adults across European countries is a novel finding that needs to be examined further.

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Kvalem (2019) The role of body image in sexual satisfaction among partnered older adults - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 28 October 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 November 2019
Keywords: Body image; sexual satisfaction; older adults; Europe

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435427
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435427
PURE UUID: 599a388a-7d6e-4214-be69-6a282d56c97a
ORCID for Cynthia Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X

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Date deposited: 06 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 06 Nov 2020 05:01

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Contributors

Author: Ingela Lundin Kvalem
Author: Cynthia Graham ORCID iD
Author: Martin Hald
Author: Ana Carvalheira
Author: Erick Janssen
Author: Aleksandar Štulhofer Štulhofer

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