Are Older Adults Well Sexually? Sexual Well-Being among a Cross-National Sample of Older Adults

Sofia von Humboldt, Isabel Leal, Ana Monteiro


Objectives: To analyze sexual well-being (SWB) in older adults’ perspective, to investigate the latent constructs that can work as major determinants in SWB and to examine the potential explanatory mechanisms of a SWB overall model, in an older cross-national sample. Method: Measures were completed, using a variety of appropriate methods, including demographics and interviews. Complete data were available for 163 older adults aged between 65-97 years (M=74.2; SD = 4.743). Data were subjected to content analysis. Representation of the associations and latent constructs were analyzed by a Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). Results: The most prevalent response of the interviewed participants for SWB was “affection and care” (11.0%). A three-dimension model formed by “intimacy and well-being”, “care, eroticism and desire”, and “sexual activity and health” was presented as a best-fit solution for German older adults. SWB for Portuguese older adults were explained by a three-factor model: “intimacy, health and desire”, “affection and well-being” and “sexual activity”. Conclusions: The outcomes presented in this paper emphasized the need to explore the indicators of SWB among older adults and the under-developed potential of a SWB overall model for the older population.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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