Changing Sexual Practices in New Intimate Relationships in Later Life – A Life Course Perspective
2014 (English)In: 8th International Conference on Cultural Gerontology: Programme and Abstracts, 2014, 138-138 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
It has been argued that in late modernity sex has escaped its reproductive cage and people form pure relationships, based on mutual satisfaction. Ironically, although older people are per definition non-‐reproductive, they have often been neglected in studies on sexuality. In this paper we present results from 1) a qualitative interview study with a strategic sample of 28 63–91 year old Swedes currently dating or in a heterosexual relationship (married, cohabiting, LAT) initiated 60+ and 2) a quantitative survey including answers from 1225 60–90 year old Swedes. The interviews revealed a clear normative change, from a cultural context that condemned extra-‐marital sex in young adulthood to a context encouraging sexual relationships but not marriage in later life. All had experienced the sexual liberation of the 1960s, and today, these liberal attitudes seem to encompass later life. Today, an active sex-‐life is regarded as important for a good relationship and sexual attraction was seen as a precondition for newrelationships. Many informants had interpreted sexual decline in former relationships as “natural ageing”, but re-‐discovered sexuality with their new partner. In the survey, a majority (93 %) had had their sexual debut before marriage (despite the restrictive norms). Half or the respondents have had ≥ 4 sexual partners, and one in five ≥ 10. Sexual activity correlated negatively with relationship length. It has often been argued that sexual values and practices will become more liberal in the future by cohort replacement. Our data indicates that “the future might already be her
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. 138-138 p.
relationships, older people, sexuality, 60+
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20807OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20807DiVA: diva2:877894
8th International Conference on Cultural Gerontology, 10–12 April 2014, National University of Ireland Galway Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh