April 21st, 2019
So far in my research, I’ve learned that society really does put a negative impact on elders, they make it seem as if elders are really a burden to society and should only act a certain way. From media they show that elders are to only act in a monogamous way and that they are all heterosexual. Which with the newer generation of elders and some older generations we all know that not all elders are heterosexual. Which this answers a research question that I originally had “Why is everything sexualized? For example, Tv ads separating deodorant” I learned not only from my research, but analyzing life and society that, everything is sexualized because we are sexual beings. Without gender coming into play because, gender is what was formed by society and gender norms and roles. We are automatically sexual, it is in our nature, it’s a part of our biology and chemistry. Women naturally reproduce, men naturally have a penis, adolescence boys automatically go through puberty and begin to regulate hormones, so they can come in contact to eventually mate with a woman and reproduce. This is natural, these are physical/mental experiences that all humans go through and we continue to go through for the rest of our life’s until of course old age.
Another, one of my initial research questions which was “The older we get does our sex drive die down or does it slow down?” and from “How important is sex in later life?” I’ve found numerous of qualitative research study’s that was done and, one of the study’s was a sample of people aged 50-92 and it stated that some aspect of sex is important to their lives and had a sexual partner. They were ranked by “Very” or “extremely” in importance during this sample, this goes to show that sex is an important necessity to maintain elder’s everyday wellbeing. And, these statistics not only goes for elders, but of course younger adults.
Lastly, in my research, I had originally aimed to found out “why does society put so much emphasis on elders not having sex” but, this question really wasn’t a good research question. It is more so because again, society feels that elders shouldn’t behave a certain way that basically elders should just rot and die. But, majority of seniors are living their best years, elders take their later years in life as reflective, they are happy to make it thus far. And, If they still have family, family is what they cherish the most and of course if they can go out and experience the world around them.
The focus of the research is to address the general public about the stigmas surrounding ageing and sexuality. Sexuality is lifelong and it is important to understand societies views and biases concerning older adults and their expression of sexuality. In my course project which will be a traditional research paper, I will aim to analyze real life sexual experiences surrounding ageing and sexuality that goes throughout the human body as we age. I want to dig more into and explain my findings in my research on how different elders are sexually active. Why does society have these biases towards elders on their ageing, specifically sexual activities and the changes elderly men and women go through as they age? I want to aim in my research to let the audience know that elders and how they age, it is okay. Nothing is wrong with a seventy-five year old still driving a car and being healthier than someone in their 20’s. I want my audience to know that everyone ages and we are ageing currently and soon someday if we don’t act on maintaining our bodies then we could initially end up ageing in a negative way and not a positive way. Annotated Bibliography
Gatling, Margaret et al. “Sex After 60? You’ve Got To Be Joking! Senior Sexuality In Comedy Film”. Journal Of Aging Studies, vol 40, 2017, pp. 23-28. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2016.12.004. Accessed 13 Apr 2019.
The study done by Margaret et al. (2017) addresses the fact that cinema and film has not been representative of sex and sexual lives of older adults, specifically those who are 60 and older. The writers analyze four recent (from the year 1993 onwards) films where “senior sexuality” is represented. They address the media represented problematic idea that seniors are monogamous, heterosexual, and do not engage in their sexual life. They go on to discuss that sometimes films chose to break the stigma and represent senior sexuality in a more natural sense.
This connects to the course material in the sense that it analyzes representation of sexuality as part of society and sociology. It provides insight into how society views sexuality in older adults and the stigma surrounding the topic.
This source allows me to see how sexuality can be destigmatized through the use of media. Additionally, I can use this source to present the viewpoints of various ages towards senior sexuality representation in cinema and other arts.
González, César. “Age-Graded Sexualities: The Struggles Of Our Ageing Body”. Sexuality & Culture, vol 11, no. 4, 2007, pp. 31-47. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s12119-007-9011-9. Accessed 13 Apr 2019.
The article written by Gonzalez (2019) addresses the topic of the physical aspect of aging (body-wise) and sexuality and perceived by society. The symbolic aspect of the body as it ages with years is intrinsically interview with the sexuality and social concepts of what it means to be sexual and in the body which one is in. The concepts of age-grading are discussed, which is a way to categorize the state in which a body is in in regard to its age, and the boundaries and constricts it has.
Gonzalez goes on to discuss how age-grading has influenced sexuality through impacting sexual ideologies such as sex, gender and reproduction, and the life cycle which is relevant to the sociological aspect of sexuality discussed in class.
This source provides insight into the possibilities of approaching sexuality between people of an older age. It also provides information about the first-person experience when it comes to relationships and sex lives between older adults.
Gott, Merryn, and Sharron Hinchliff. “How Important Is Sex In Later Life? The Views Of Older People”. Social Science & Medicine, vol 56, no. 8, 2003, pp. 1617-1628. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00180-6.
Gott and Hinchliff (2003) provide an overview of both quantitative and qualitative data of perspectives on the role sex and sexuality plays in the lives of older people. Data such as quality of life measurement and an interview process were done to compile a sample of 69 individuals aged 50-92. They have found that individuals who stated that at least one aspect of sex was an important part of their lives also had a sexual partner. These individuals ranked importance as “very” or “extremely” representing the intensity of importance. Participants also expressed concerns towards expressing sexuality due to the social and cultural barriers.
This provides the relevant insight into the way society interacts with elder individuals and the role they play in society. Additionally, it also relates to the way’s sexuality plays in the overall wellbeing of a person.
This article is relevant to my research in that it is able to provide analytical data into respective of sexuality in the lives of elder people. Statistical analysis makes this data reliable and factual.
Potts, Annie et al. “‘Sex For Life’? Men’s Counter-Stories On ‘Erectile Dysfunction’, Male Sexuality And Ageing”. Sociology Of Health And Illness, vol 28, no. 3, 2006, pp. 306-329. Wiley, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2006.00494.x. Accessed 13 Apr 2019.
With the introduction of medications which address such conditions as erectile dysfunction, the world of sexuality in older adults (and those struggling with said issue) has been forever altered. Potts (2006) discusses the ways in which society and the community of med has changed its perspective towards ageing and sexuality. The author addresses the ways in which male sexuality in older adults has shifted perspectives.
This is relevant to the course material in the way that it presents societal views of individuals who might feel incompetent in some aspects of their lives. Incompetency can breed insecurities and a lower self-esteem which makes life less satisfactory.
This article shows the opinions of various people when it comes to using aids to sustain their sexual lives into their older adulthood. Examining the different perspectives provides insight into the research question at hand.
Ringa, Virginie et al. “Women’s Sexuality: From Aging To Social Representations”. The Journal Of Sexual Medicine, vol 10, no. 10, 2013, pp. 2399-2408. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1111/jsm.12267. Accessed 13 Apr 2019.
Research done by Ringa et al. (2013) examined the sexuality of women aged 45-55 years old as they go through the process of reaching menopause. Considering that previous studies show that many women continue to be sexually active after menopause, Ringa et al. wanted to see what other factors besides hormones play a role in this demographic’s sexuality. They examined three groups of women: postmenopausal women who are using hormones and those who are not, and a group of premenopausal women. The researchers have found that all groups of women expressed importance of sexuality in their lives. Additionally, all groups of women did not differ in sexual practice, satisfaction, and dysfunction when it came to their sexuality.
Sexuality plays an important role in a person’s life regardless of their age. This article represents that even after biological changes, a woman still perceives sexuality as an important part of a healthy and satisfying life, much like discussed in the course material regarding sexuality in society.
This article provides insights into the significance of sexuality as it relates to menopause. Although many perceive that menopause can reduce sexual drive, this article shows otherwise.
Thompson, Ashley E. et al. “Young Adults’ Implicit And Explicit Attitudes Towards The Sexuality Of Older Adults”. Canadian Journal On Aging / La Revue Canadienne Du Vieillissement, vol 33, no. 03, 2014, pp. 259-270. Cambridge University Press (CUP), doi:10.1017/s0714980814000208. Accessed 13 Apr 2019.
When addressing the stigma and societal notions surrounding sexuality in old age, it is important and beneficial to address the ways of how the youth sees it. Little support exists for the expression of sexuality in older individuals, in addition to lack of representation and education. Thompson et al. (2014) analyzed and compared the ways in which young adults view older adult sexuality and their overall attitudes towards the topic. A total of 180 individuals (18-24 years old) filled out self-report surveys and data was analyzed. The researchers found that overall attitudes towards senior sexuality was positive. However, there existed a bias towards favoring younger adults to older adults in expressing sexuality, and general sexuality to any specific activities.
This article presents the stigma surrounding sexuality in elder people as seen my young adults. It shows that sometimes what is said does not always align with the societal norms. Many people may adjust to the popular opinion and negate their honest opinion about the subject.
This article provides useful insight into the way young people see adult sexuality. By addressing their concerns, the stigma around senior sexuality can be adjusted and lifted, as well as publicly and societally accepted as normal and healthy.
Woodward, Kathleen. “Performing age, performing gender.” NWSA Journal (2006): 162-189.
The following article discusses the ways the older female body is represented in mass media and the beauty standards surrounding older women. Woodward discusses how the older body beauty standards are skewed to steer more towards a youthful look and how mass media fails to represent the way the female body ages with time.
This is relevant to the discussed class material regarding ageism which is prevalent in the American culture and overall. The lack of representation in mass media and the way society dictates beauty standards reflects on the way people live their lives.
This article is able to show the ageism approach to the female body and the way it impacts sexuality in older people. It is able to show the negative impacts societal beauty standards have on sexuality in elders.