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Predictors and correlates of sexual avoidance among partnered older adults among Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal

Predictors and correlates of sexual avoidance among partnered older adults among Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal
Predictors and correlates of sexual avoidance among partnered older adults among Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal
Research on sex in later life has been concerned with documenting that older people continue to have sex and establishing the links between good health and sexual activity. Although sexual avoidance is common in clinical and nonclinical populations of older adults, little attention has been given to the motives for sexual avoidance. To address gaps in the literature on sexual avoidance, the present study explored the self-reported reasons for, and correlates of, sexual avoidance in older partnered individuals with probability samples of 60–75-year-olds in four European countries (Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal). Results revealed significant differences between men and women in sexual avoidance, with women reporting more avoidance than men. The main reasons reported for avoiding sex were sexual difficulties, health problems, partner’s sexual difficulties, and lack of sexual interest. Among men, significant predictors of sexual avoidance were age, relationship intimacy (the only relational predictor), physical health, and own and partner’s sexual problems. In women, significant predictors of sexual avoidance were age, relationship duration, relationship satisfaction, relationship intimacy, physical and mental health, and own and partner’s sexual problems. Thus, in men, health-related factors were more important predictors of sexual avoidance than relationship factors. In women, relationship factors were as important as health-related factors. These findings provide insight into an under-researched area. They also have important implications for healthcare and could inform the development of tailored sexual health interventions in older adults.


Keywords: Older adults; sexual avoidance; relationship intimacy; relationship satisfaction; sexual problems;
Older adults; sexual avoidance; relationship intimacy; relationship satisfaction; sexual problems
1-10
Carvalheira, Ana Alexandra
cb56f24f-d2ce-446c-95e8-775256730330
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Štulhofer, Aleksandar
69dcfe7d-0ad9-407c-a971-802d8d08503e
Træen, Bente
b1e0cf58-f435-4c39-8c5d-6a9e7a40a89c
Carvalheira, Ana Alexandra
cb56f24f-d2ce-446c-95e8-775256730330
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Štulhofer, Aleksandar
69dcfe7d-0ad9-407c-a971-802d8d08503e
Træen, Bente
b1e0cf58-f435-4c39-8c5d-6a9e7a40a89c

Carvalheira, Ana Alexandra, Graham, Cynthia, Štulhofer, Aleksandar and Træen, Bente (2019) Predictors and correlates of sexual avoidance among partnered older adults among Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal. European Journal of Ageing, 1-10. (doi:10.1007/s10433-019-00540-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Research on sex in later life has been concerned with documenting that older people continue to have sex and establishing the links between good health and sexual activity. Although sexual avoidance is common in clinical and nonclinical populations of older adults, little attention has been given to the motives for sexual avoidance. To address gaps in the literature on sexual avoidance, the present study explored the self-reported reasons for, and correlates of, sexual avoidance in older partnered individuals with probability samples of 60–75-year-olds in four European countries (Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal). Results revealed significant differences between men and women in sexual avoidance, with women reporting more avoidance than men. The main reasons reported for avoiding sex were sexual difficulties, health problems, partner’s sexual difficulties, and lack of sexual interest. Among men, significant predictors of sexual avoidance were age, relationship intimacy (the only relational predictor), physical health, and own and partner’s sexual problems. In women, significant predictors of sexual avoidance were age, relationship duration, relationship satisfaction, relationship intimacy, physical and mental health, and own and partner’s sexual problems. Thus, in men, health-related factors were more important predictors of sexual avoidance than relationship factors. In women, relationship factors were as important as health-related factors. These findings provide insight into an under-researched area. They also have important implications for healthcare and could inform the development of tailored sexual health interventions in older adults.


Keywords: Older adults; sexual avoidance; relationship intimacy; relationship satisfaction; sexual problems;

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Predictors of Sexual Avoidance 19 Oct 2019 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 October 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 November 2019
Keywords: Older adults; sexual avoidance; relationship intimacy; relationship satisfaction; sexual problems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435428
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435428
PURE UUID: 81301533-eb5b-4ff1-9479-5cbc123cc940
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: 05 Nov 2020 05:01

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