Sex and Aging
“…there is ample evidence to suggest that loving, kind and supportive relationships are very important for both a satisfying sex life and for mental well-being throughout the life course…Whatever patients and societies can do to promote kindness and love is likely to benefit mental wellness as we age.”
Sex and Aging
Our research on gerosexuality focuses on addressing basic knowledge gaps and confronting endemic stigma in medical care of aging adults in the domain of sexuality. Our earlier work in this area, largely conducted in collaboration with sociologists with expertise in population-based study of sexuality and marriage, established an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for the study of gerosexuality (the Interactive Biopsychosocial Model) and population-based norms of sexuality across age and disease subgroups (Lindau et al., NEJM, 2007). These studies used population-based data from Wave I of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project and the MIDUS Study. Findings from these population-based studies counter widely-held physician and public stereotypes about sexuality and aging that impede medical care of older adults and have been used to improve medical and nursing education and raise public awareness. This work has also demonstrated very basic gaps in communication about sexuality in public education and physician practice, including, especially, in cancer care.