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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Older people and sexual wellbeing

Research, practice and educational issues.

From MICRA, Manchester Metropolitan University, the Association for Education and Ageing (AEA) and Age UK

Friday 6 February 2015


Human sexuality is a universal part of living but stereotypes of older adults continue to ignore sexuality, and the question of how important sexual health and fulfilment is to overall health and wellbeing has been largely neglected. Questioning whether sexual decline is an unavoidable consequence of growing older reflects changes in the ways in which we view ageing. There is a view that the sexual health of older people, particularly in terms of defining ‘normal’ versus ‘abnormal’, has become overly medicalised, focussing on the physiological mechanisms of 'dysfunction' and neglecting the potential importance of social and behavioural factors. This seminar explored some of the current issues around sexual lifestyles and ageing, examining how sexual health issues contribute to wellbeing in later life, what factors older men and women specifically identify as impacting on their sexual activities and relationships, and future directions for research and practice.