chapter  18
18 Pages

Sexuality in Midlife and Later Life Couples

ByElisabeth O. Burgess

As the American population continues to age, concerns about sexuality in midlife and later life couples will become more and more important. Diverse life course experiences shape opportunities for sexual partnership, sexual attitudes, and sexual behavior in later life. Therefore, this chapter explores the ways that aging influences sexual behavior. Research suggests that the incidence and frequency of sexual activity are lower among older cohorts than younger ones. These changes are due to physiological changes with aging and changes in the opportunity to engage in sexual activities. Finally, this chapter concludes with a discussion of problems with current research on sexuality and aging.