"I particularly valued the way in which, from the very beginning of the book, the author highlights 'difference and diversity' in relation to sexuality and later life and cautions against the tendency to homogenise or 'mythologise' older people. This is essential knowledge for anyone who works with older people. The 'voices' of a range of older people which are incorporated into the discussion, particularly in Section Two, reinforce the very real heterogeneity and complexities that exist." Practice: Social Work in Action What factors underpin dominant understandings of later life sexuality? How do older people experience and prioritise sexuality and sexual health? What sexual health issues are relevant to older people and how are these addressed by health care professionals? This is the first book to integrate theoretical insights into sexuality, sexual health and ageing, with research findings from studies conducted with older people and the professionals that work with them. The book is split into three sections.
In the first section stereotypes that typify contemporary understandings of sexuality and ageing are explored, particularly the 'myth of asexual old age' and the more recent stereotype of the 'sexy oldie'. Section two identifies what we actually know about ageing and sexuality by reviewing current literature, as well as presenting findings from one of the first qualitative studies to explore sexuality from the perspective of older people themselves. The final section of the book explores what 'sexual health' means within the context of ageing and focuses on issues relevant to health professionals working with older people. Sexuality, Sexual Health and Ageing provides key reading for students, researchers, practitioners and policymakers working within gerontology, sociology, psychology, social work, health sciences, nursing and medicine. This book is likely to become essential reading for all academics and professionals working with older people or in the area of sexual health.