Sexual health at older ages in Spain at the XXI century

Aina Faus Bertomeu, Universidad Nacional de EducaciĆ³n a Distancia (UNED)
Rosa Gomez-Redondo, Universidad Nacional de EducaciĆ³n a Distancia (UNED)

The progressive increment in life expectancy during old ages, as well as the changing characteristics shown by elder people, has transformed the elder population profile along the last decades. As a consequence, this period of the life cycle cannot be considered any more as a short ending period of our vital cycle, but rather as an ever extending period with potential improvements in health and life quality levels. On the other hand, the image of old people, contaminated by ageism, still supports the image of attitudes and behaviors of older people that correspond to former generations. Within this context, we will focus our study on sexual health of old men and women. Relevant to this study will be the different concept of sexuality within this population, their practices, and their respective satisfaction, something correlated to their beliefs and behaviors. We will consider sexuality as a historic and socio-cultural construction, and it will be defined as an additional component to reach personal well-being and, consequently, as an integral health status component. We will also take as a starting point that sexual satisfaction is mediated by social and cultural factors, even more than by physiological changes. The study of sexuality at these ages has been traditionally seen from a medical perspective and, consequently, everything that does not adapt to this model is considered as a sexual disfunction. This has led to a medicalization of ageing and sexuality. This presentation will contribute to the knowledge of sexual health in older Spaniards based on the analysis of the 2009 National Health Survey on Sexual Health from CIS. We will start from an active ageing model, and men and women older than 50 years will be the population under study. Our analysis will consider different age groups to compare results by gender.

Presented in Poster Session 1