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Healthy sexual aging (completed)

A mixed-method study of sexual function and sexual well-being in older European adults

About the project

In Europe, older adults are a growing group of citizens that is thought to have more sexual difficulties with increasing age. While sexuality is long believed to be unimportant for older men and women, there are reasons - due to for instance cultural changes - to believe that current and future older adults will value their sexual health more than those from previous generations. Health authorities in European countries are gradually realizing that a growing number of older adults will regard their sexual health and sexual well-being as an important issue, even as a human right. Currently, there is a lack of empirical data about how older adults experience and cope with the physical, psychological, and relational changes that affect their sexual health.

Outcomes

The project aims to provide in culture-specific knowledge that will enable policy makers and health professionals to better react to the challenges associated with older adults' sexual health and well-being. In addition, we propose to design evidence-based education and intervention programs for: (a) health professionals in geriatric care; and (b) older individuals and couples struggling with sexual health related issues. It is known that European countries differ in terms of sexual cultures and the social organization of sexuality, and these differences are historically rooted. For example, North- and South European countries strongly differ in sexual norms, attitudes and behaviours based on sociocultural differences in terms of gender roles and gender equality.

Preliminary data from Norway can tell us something about how sexually active the older adults are. In the recently conducted survey, we used a broad definition of sexuality, and asked a representative sample of 60-75 year old Norwegians if they had had some form of sexual activity last year. As much as 91% men and 74% women answered yes to the question. The gender difference is explained by the fact that more women than men in this age group live alone.

Financing

The project is financed by the Research Council of Norway (FRIHUMSAM - Researcher Project) 2016 - 2020.

Cooperation

The research project is a collaboration between the Department of Psychology and partners at University of Zagreb, University of Southampton, University of Sheffield, University of Copenhagen, University of Leuven, ISPA-University Institute Portugal and The Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, Norway.

Publications

  • Træen, Bente; Hansen, Thomas & Stulhofer, Aleksandar (2021). Silencing the sexual self and relational and individual well-being in later life: a gendered analysis of North versus South of Europe. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. ISSN 1468-1994. 35(4). doi: 10.1080/14681994.2021.1883579. Full text in Research Archive
  • Fischer, Nantje; Graham, Cynthia A.; Træen, Bente & Hald, Gert Martin (2021). Prevalence of Masturbation and Associated Factors Among Older Adults in Four European Countries. Archives of Sexual Behavior. ISSN 0004-0002. doi: 10.1007/s10508-021-02071-z..
  • Træen, Bente; Hald, Gert Martin; Fischer, Nantje & Janssen, Erick (2020). European older adults’ use of lubricants and medications to enhance erectile function. International Journal of Sexual Health. ISSN 1931-7611. 32(2), p. 81–93. doi: 10.1080/19317611.2020.1749210. Full text in Research Archive
  • Fischer, Nantje; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Hald, Gert Martin; Carvalheira, Ana & Træen, Bente (2020). Sexual Satisfaction in Older Heterosexual Couples From Four European Countries: Exploring the Roles of Actual and Perceived Discrepancy in Sexual Interest. Journal of Sex Research. ISSN 0022-4499. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2020.1809615.
  • Rossow, Ingeborg Margrete & Træen, Bente (2020). Alcohol use among older adults: a comparative study across four European countries. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. ISSN 1455-0725. 37(6), p. 526–543. doi: 10.1177/1455072520954335. Full text in Research Archive
  • Graham, Cynthia; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Lange, Theis; Hald, Gert Martin; Carvalheira, Ana & Enzlin, Paul [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2020). Prevalence of sexual problems and associated distress in aging women across four European countries. Archives of Sexual Behavior. ISSN 0004-0002. doi: 10.1007/s10508-020-01742-7. Full text in Research Archive
  • Træen, Bente; Kvalem, Ingela Lundin; Hald, Gert Martin & Graham, Cynthia (2019). Extradyadic Activity in European Older Adults. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. ISSN 1468-1994. doi: 10.1080/14681994.2019.1685085.
  • Carvalheira, Ana; Graham, Cynthia; Stulhofer, Aleksandar & Træen, Bente (2019). Predictors and Correlates of Sexual Avoidance Among Partnered Older Adults among Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal . European Journal of Ageing. ISSN 1613-9372. 17(2), p. 175–184. doi: 10.1007/s10433-019-00540-y. Full text in Research Archive
  • Fischer, Nantje; Træen, Bente; Stulhofer, Aleksandar & Hald, Gert Martin (2019). Mechanisms underlying the association between perceived discrepancy in sexual interest and sexual satisfaction among partnered older adults in four European countries. European Journal of Ageing. ISSN 1613-9372. p. 1–12. doi: 10.1007/s10433-019-00541-x. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hinchliff, Sharron; Carvalheira, Ana Alexandra; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Janssen, Erick; Hald, Gert Martin & Træen, Bente (2019). Seeking help for sexual difficulties: findings from a study with older adults in four European countries. European Journal of Ageing. ISSN 1613-9372. 17(2), p. 185–195. doi: 10.1007/s10433-019-00536-8. Full text in Research Archive
  • Træen, Bente; Kvalem, Ingela Lundin & Ohnstad, Ingrid (2019). Experiences of Non-Consensual Sex in Older Adult Men and Women in Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Portugal. Sexuality & Culture. ISSN 1095-5143. 24, p. 113–139. doi: 10.1007/s12119-019-09630-6. Full text in Research Archive
  • Træen, Bente; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Jurin, Tanja & Hald, Gert Martin (2019). Seventy-five years old and still going strong: Stability and change in sexual interest and sexual enjoyment in elderly men and women across Europe. International Journal of Sexual Health. ISSN 1931-7611. 30(4), p. 323–336. doi: 10.1080/19317611.2018.1472704.
  • Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Jurin, Tanja; Graham, Cynthia; Janssen, Erick & Træen, Bente (2019). Emotional intimacy and sexual well-being in aging European couples: A cross-cultural mediation analysis. European Journal of Ageing. ISSN 1613-9372. 17(2), p. 139–150. doi: 10.1007/s10433-019-00509-x. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hald, Gert Martin; Graham, Cynthia; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Carvalheira, Ana; Janssen, Erick & Træen, Bente (2019). Prevalence of sexual problems and Associated distress in aging men across four European countries. Journal of Sexual Medicine. ISSN 1743-6095. 16(8), p. 1212–1225. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.017. Full text in Research Archive
  • Træen, Bente; Carvalheira, Ana; Hald, Gert Martin; Lange, Theis & Kvalem, Ingela Lundin (2019). Attitudes Towards Sexuality in Older Men and Women Across Europe: Similarities, Differences, and Associations with Their Sex Lives. Sexuality & Culture. ISSN 1095-5143. 23(1), p. 1–25. doi: 10.1007/s12119-018-9564-9.
  • Træen, Bente; Carvalheira, Ana; Kvalem, Ingela Lundin & Hald, Gert Martin (2018). European Older Adults’ Use of the Internet and Social Networks for Love and Sex. Cyberpsychology : Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace. ISSN 1802-7962. 12(3). doi: 10.5817/CP2018-3-1.
  • Træen, Bente; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Janssen, Erick; Carvalheira, Ana; Hald, Gert Martin & Lange, Theis [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2018). Sexual Activity and Sexual Satisfaction among Older Adults in Four European Countries. Archives of Sexual Behavior. ISSN 0004-0002. 48(3), p. 815–829. doi: 10.1007/s10508-018-1256-x.
  • Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Hinchliff, Sharron; Jurin, Tanja; Hald, Gert Martin & Træen, Bente (2018). Successful Aging and Changes in Sexual Interest and Enjoyment among Older European Men and Women. Journal of Sexual Medicine. ISSN 1743-6095. 15(10), p. 1393–1402. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.08.011.
  • Fischer, Nantje; Træen, Bente & Hald, Gert Martin (2018). Predicting Partnered Sexual Activity among Older Adults in Four European Countries: The Role of Attitudes, Health and Relationship Factors. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. ISSN 1468-1994. p. 1–19. doi: 10.1080/14681994.2018.1468560.
  • Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Hinchliff, Sharron; Jurin, Tanja; Carvalheira, Ana & Træen, Bente (2018). Successful aging, change in sexual interest and sexual enjoyment in couples from four European countries. European Journal of Ageing. ISSN 1613-9372. 15(10), p. 1393–1402. doi: 10.1007/s10433-018-0492-1.
  • Schaller, Sidsel; Træen, Bente; Kvalem, Ingela Lundin & Hinchliff, Sharron (2018). Linking the past and the present: constructing meaning from childhood emotional and sexual experiences towards present sexual well-being in older adults. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. ISSN 1468-1994. doi: 10.1080/14681994.2018.1539227.
  • Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Jurin, Tanja; Graham, Cynthia; Enzlin, Paul & Træen, Bente (2018). Sexual well-being in older men and women: Construction and validation of a multi-dimensional measure in four European countries. Journal of Happiness Studies. ISSN 1389-4978. 20, p. 2329–2350. doi: 10.1007/s10902-018-0049-1.
  • Træen, Bente; Carvalheira, Ana; Kvalem, Ingela Lundin; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Janssen, Erick & Graham, Cynthia [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2017). Sexuality in Older Adults (65+)—An Overview of the Recent Literature, Part 2: Body Image and Sexual Satisfaction. International Journal of Sexual Health. ISSN 1931-7611. 29(1), p. 11–21. doi: 10.1080/19317611.2016.1227012.
  • Træen, Bente; Hald, Gert Martin; Graham, Cynthia; Enzlin, Paul; Janssen, Erick & Kvalem, Ingela Lundin [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2017). Sexuality in Older Adults (65+)?An Overview of the Literature, Part 1: Sexual Function and its Difficulties. International Journal of Sexual Health. ISSN 1931-7611. 29(1), p. 1–10. doi: 10.1080/19317611.2016.1224286.

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  • Træen, Bente & Villar, Feliciano (2020). SEXUAL WELL-BEING IS PART OF AGEING WELL. European Journal of Ageing. ISSN 1613-9372. 17(2), p. 135–138. doi: 10.1007/s10433-020-00551-0.
  • Fischer, Nantje & Træen, Bente (2020). Sexual satisfaction in older couples from four European countries: exploring the effects of actual and perceived discrepancy in sexual interest, physical affection, and emotional intimacy .
  • Fischer, Nantje; Træen, Bente & Stulhofer, Aleksandar (2018). The Mechanisms between Sexual Interest and Sexual Satisfaction among Older Partnered Adults in Europe: A Moderated Mediation Model.
  • Træen, Bente; Stulhofer, Aleksandar & Janssen, Erick (2018). THE HEALTHY SEXUAL AGING PROJECT: A MIXED-METHOD STUDY OF SEXUAL FUNCTION AND SEXUAL WELL-BEING IN OLDER ADULTS IN NORWAY, DENMARK, BELGIUM, UNITED KINGDOM, CROATIA, AND PORTUGAL.
  • Janssen, Erick; Enzlin, Paul & Træen, Bente (2018). Predictors of sexual and relationship satisfaction in European couples and individuals, with emphasis on the role of physical intimacy and nonsexual touch.
  • Schaller, Sidsel; Træen, Bente & Kvalem, Ingela Lundin (2018). Barriers and facilitating elements in help seeking in Norwegian interviewees' accounts.
  • Carvalheira, Ana; Graham, Cynthia & Træen, Bente (2018). Sexual avoidance among older adults across Europe.
  • Kvalem, Ingela Lundin; Carvalheira, Ana & Træen, Bente (2018). Healthy sexual aging: Body image and sexual satisfaction - A comparison across four European countries.
  • Træen, Bente (2018). Eldre og seksualitet - status på forskning.
  • Træen, Bente (2018). Eldre og seksualitet - fakta og myter.
  • Træen, Bente (2018). Fra sex i middagshøyden til sex i solnedgang.
  • Træen, Bente (2018). Seksuell helse hos eldre voksne i Europa.
  • Træen, Bente; Stulhofer, Aleksandar; Janssen, Erick; Graham, Cynthia; Hald, Gert Martin & Enzlin, Paul [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2016). Healthy sexual aging: Sexual function and sexual well-being in older European adults. http://openscienceeu.com/. p. 61–63.

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Published Aug. 9, 2016 12:23 PM - Last modified Jan. 12, 2021 3:48 PM