Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender

Living Edition
| Editors: Amy D. Lykins

Older Adulthood

  • Idalia V. Maciel
  • Michael D. BarnettEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_33-1



Older adulthood is defined as adulthood from the age of 50 and over.


This entry will cover the recent scientific research conducted on sexual behavior in older adulthood, from the age of 50 onwards. It will cover the topics of sexual health concerns among the elderly along with the disregard of these by medical professionals, the ethics of sexual activity in long-term care facilities, the controversial issue of cognitive impairment and consent, and the invisible group of LGB older adults.

Sexual Behavior in Older Adults

The majority of older adults continue engaging in sexual behavior until they are physically or psychologically incapable (Lindau & Gavrilova, 2010). Through improvements in health care, the elderly are now capable of living longer sexual lives than in previous generations (Bancroft, 2007; Waite, Laumann, Das, & Schumm, 2009). Despite the prevalent stereotype that sexual desire diminishes with age, sexual fulfillment is found to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Behavioral and Brain SciencesThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and CounselingThe University of Texas at TylerTylerUSA