Sexual Activity in Late Adulthood
Bridgewater State University
This paper was prepared for SCWK 321, Section 01, taught by Professor Jonghyun Lee Late adulthood is considered to start at the age of 65 and continue through 85 until death. According to Erik Erikson’s 8 stage of psychosocial development, this is the final stage of an individual, the integrity vs. despair stage. During this stage of maturity in late adulthood, they begin to reflect on their life lived; if they feel that they made a contribution to life and feel fulfilled, they accept themselves and accept death as a reality. Erik Erikson “believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our pasts, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness” (McLeod 2008). On the other hand if for some reason they are unable to become satisfy with their life, this will result in a feeling of a complete loss of hope thus they are unable to come to term with death. If the elderly successful complete this stage, they attain wisdom. There is a misconception that older people should not or is not sexual, that as they grow older, they grow less interested in any sexual relation but sexual desire varied from one person to another. It is viewed as a taboo among families and media, inappropriate to be spoken about. According to a study of 2,622 adults over 60 by Elias (1992) found that “81% of women were sexually active in their 60’s and 65% at the age of 70 and older; among man, 91% were still having sex in their 60’s and 79% after age 69”. Some factors that can contribute to the increase in the interest of sexual relation among older people can be that his/her partner has more time with each other than before, no preoccupation with birth control and/or no chances of bearing children or children interrupting their special moments. Although...
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