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Chapter 7 Notes

by: Irene Mansour

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Dr. Jeter's Lecture Notes for Chapter 7
Dr. jeter
Class Notes
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Popular in Child and Family Studies

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Irene Mansour on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to FAD3343 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by Dr. jeter in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see CONTEXTS OF ADULT DEVELOPMENT in Child and Family Studies at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months.

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Date Created: 03/29/16
Chapter 7: INTIMACY & SEXUALITY - Later Life Couples o Older women are more likely to be windowed & less likely to be married o Marriage maintains health & quality of life for both partners in the marriage, but benefits men more.  Married men are less likely to abuse substances  Married men are less likely to take risks  Men are happy in marriage than women o Caregiving of spouse may occur o Retirement is an adjustment period for the couple, especially if it’s involuntary retirement.  Marital satisfaction may change w/ respect to retirement & other partner’s working status. o Marital satisfaction actually increases during this time. - Older Adult Singles: Widowhood o Women are more likely to be widowed than men.  Over 2/3 of women over 75 years are widowed. o Death of spouse is a huge life transition/role change, especially for women in traditional marriages. o Stages of Widowhood:  Official recognition of the event  Temporary disengagement/withdrawal from established lines of communication  Limbo  Reengagement - Support for Widows o Family can be a great source of support for widows, but can also be source of stress. o Adult children are grieving loss of parent as spouse is grieving loss of partner. May make communication between them difficult. o Widow’s perceptions of support may be more influential than actual support. o The higher the widow’s personal resources (education, income, social support, community participation), the better she can cope. - Gender Differences in Widowhood o Male (widowers) experience widowhood differently than female (widows)”  Less likely to move in with his children  Less likely to have increased interaction w/ family  Less likely to have close friends  More likely to have increased interaction w/ his sons o Over time, widowers become more aware & appreciative of friends & relationships (in search of others). o Widows develop a new sense of themselves (in search of self) - Older Adults Divorce o Marriage is different now, as we are living longer & thus have the potential to be married longer o The divorced older adults may not receive as much support as their widowed counterparts. o There are few norms dealing w/ the divorce of an older couple.  Bitterness towards each other. - Older Adults Never Married o About 4% of population is never married by age 45 years old o Typically, never married adults find their lifestyles satisfying. They have adjusted to this lifestyle in their younger years o Have parallel levels of life satisfaction as marrieds. - Remarriage o Changing norms for remarriage:  More divorces happening, so more acceptable to remarry  Spouses living longer, allowing for remarriage after widowhood o Dating has changed; courtship before remarriage may be different than dating before first marriage that occurred decades earlier. o Grown children may not present strain on remarriage like younger children do (stepfamilies). o Many older adults do not remarry, but continue to date or even cohabitate. - Sexual relationships & sexuality o Sexuality is not just about the physical aspect of sex. It is about emotions, identity, behaviors, & changes over time. o Cohort, gender, race/ethnicity, social class, religion, & age all influence, & age all influence sexual behaviors & attitudes. - Sex in Later Life o Sexual Invisibility: the sexuality of older people is invisible, in that it is held private by older adults or ignored by society. o Our society focuses on sex occurring between the young & physically attractive  80-year-olds w/ good self-esteem like their bodies as much as 20-year-olds w/ good self-esteem o We assume there is no romantic love in later life, as media portrays romantic love for only the young. o Research on homosexual relationships is sparse (compared to heterosexual), but has found:  Division of household labor is more equal  No gender roles in the house  More effective conflict resolution behaviors  Have same issues as heterosexual relationships - Sexuality Research o Kinsey Studies: landmark studies in 1940 & 50’s regarding sexuality through sexual histories  Concluded sexual activity (not sexual desire) decreases with age  Illnesses, disabilities, more responsibilities, & time all restrict having sex in older age. o Masters & Johnson Studies: late 1960 & 70’s didn’t just study histories but observed sex  Studied physiological things that happened to our bodies during sex  Oldest subjects were in their 50’s & 60’s  Found that as people age, body processes (erections & organisms) slowly decrease w/ age, but do not stop.  There’s no “endpoint” for sexual activity o Duke Longitudinal Study: looks at how older adults take advantage of their sexual potential & remain active  Sexual interest may exceed sexual activity o Starr & Weiner: People in their 70’s & 80’s report sex was as good or better than before, maybe less frequent though. o Older adults experience many facets of sexuality as young adults: unhappy marriages affect sex, extramarital affairs, uninterested spouses, open-marriages  Women are the ones who withhold sex more than men. However, women cannot neglect their husband’s intimacy needs & should have sex w/ them since they’re the only ones their husbands can have sex w/. o Older adults compensate for sexual change that may be brought about by aging/poor health. o Availability of sexual partner influences sexual activity; this is more favorable for men. - Special circumstances o Nursing home/living facility settings don’t allow arrangements of couples to live together or have privacy for sex.  Many segregate living arrangements by gender o Older adults still enjoy romance, companionship, & sex but may be humiliated mocked or not taken seriously about these needs. o Nursing homes can improve policies for privacy & education for both staff & residents about sexual attitudes & behaviors in later life.


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