An Investigation of sexuality and life satisfaction of institutionalized aged
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- Older people -- Sexual behavior; Older people -- Institutional care; Gender and Sexuality; Social Work
One concern of this study is sexuality among the aged, since every person, regardless of age, is a sexual being. Society, however, has been slow to recognize this fact and has not accepted sexual activity among the aged. Along with the lack of social sanctioning, elderly persons are very susceptible to the myriad of myths, half-truths, misinformation, and incomplete data which affect their attitudes toward sexuality. Furthermore, older persons are susceptible to negative stereotypes of themselves as sexual beings. However, the effect of actual sexual activity upon overall life satisfaction among the aged has yet to be determined. Because there has been no empirical evidence concerning this, the degree of relationship between sexual activity and life satisfaction remains unknown. Since human beings remain sexual throughout life, and a large proportion of the elderly are institutionalized, this study will focus attention on the relationship between life satisfaction and sexuality among the institutionalized aged. It is important for social workers to explore these concepts, as empirically validated knowledge can be used as guidelines for professional values and practice.