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Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Older Adults: An Exploratory Analysis.
Clin Gerontol. 2021 May-Jun; 44(3):222-234.CG

Abstract

Objectives:

A significant gap in our knowledge concerns sexual health among the older lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population.

Methods:

We compared a community-based sample of self-identified LGB older adults (n = 128) with population-based samples of behaviorally-defined LGB older adults (i.e., reporting same-sex experiences) (n = 112) and behaviorally-defined older heterosexuals (i.e., reporting no same-sex experiences) (n = 2,893) from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). Differences in sexual activity and sexual problems were examined.

Results:

Older LGB adults were as likely to remain sexually active as older heterosexuals. Gay and bisexual men were more likely than heterosexual men to report some sexual problems. Regardless of sexual orientation, older adults rarely had their sexual health needs addressed in healthcare settings.

Conclusions:

Results highlight the need for more research on LGB older adult sexual health.Clinical Implications: The lack of attention to LGB older adults' sexual health in healthcare settings may be exacerbated by ageism and heterosexism, leading these individuals to avoid disclosing their sexual orientations and avoid conversations about sexuality. Mental health practitioners require education on associations between sexual health and mental health, and how sexual health problems may contribute to mental health concerns in vulnerable populations like older LGB adults.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, Hunter College, The City University of New York, New York, NY, USA.Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, Hunter College, The City University of New York, New York, NY, USA.Center on Halsted, Chicago, Illinois, USA.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, New York, USA.ACRIA Center on HIV and Aging at GMHC, New York, New York, USA. New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, New York, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33203315

Citation

Brennan-Ing, Mark, et al. "Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Older Adults: an Exploratory Analysis." Clinical Gerontologist, vol. 44, no. 3, 2021, pp. 222-234.
Brennan-Ing M, Kaufman JE, Larson B, et al. Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Older Adults: An Exploratory Analysis. Clin Gerontol. 2021;44(3):222-234.
Brennan-Ing, M., Kaufman, J. E., Larson, B., Gamarel, K. E., Seidel, L., & Karpiak, S. E. (2021). Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Older Adults: An Exploratory Analysis. Clinical Gerontologist, 44(3), 222-234. https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2020.1846103
Brennan-Ing M, et al. Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Older Adults: an Exploratory Analysis. Clin Gerontol. 2021 May-Jun;44(3):222-234. PubMed PMID: 33203315.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Older Adults: An Exploratory Analysis. AU - Brennan-Ing,Mark, AU - Kaufman,Jennifer E, AU - Larson,Britta, AU - Gamarel,Kristi E, AU - Seidel,Liz, AU - Karpiak,Stephen E, Y1 - 2020/11/18/ PY - 2020/11/19/pubmed PY - 2021/8/19/medline PY - 2020/11/18/entrez KW - Aging KW - bisexual KW - gay KW - healthcare KW - lesbian KW - sexual activity KW - sexual health SP - 222 EP - 234 JF - Clinical gerontologist JO - Clin Gerontol VL - 44 IS - 3 N2 - Objectives: A significant gap in our knowledge concerns sexual health among the older lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population.Methods: We compared a community-based sample of self-identified LGB older adults (n = 128) with population-based samples of behaviorally-defined LGB older adults (i.e., reporting same-sex experiences) (n = 112) and behaviorally-defined older heterosexuals (i.e., reporting no same-sex experiences) (n = 2,893) from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). Differences in sexual activity and sexual problems were examined.Results: Older LGB adults were as likely to remain sexually active as older heterosexuals. Gay and bisexual men were more likely than heterosexual men to report some sexual problems. Regardless of sexual orientation, older adults rarely had their sexual health needs addressed in healthcare settings.Conclusions: Results highlight the need for more research on LGB older adult sexual health.Clinical Implications: The lack of attention to LGB older adults' sexual health in healthcare settings may be exacerbated by ageism and heterosexism, leading these individuals to avoid disclosing their sexual orientations and avoid conversations about sexuality. Mental health practitioners require education on associations between sexual health and mental health, and how sexual health problems may contribute to mental health concerns in vulnerable populations like older LGB adults. SN - 1545-2301 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33203315/Sexual_Health_Among_Lesbian_Gay_Bisexual_and_Heterosexual_Older_Adults:_An_Exploratory_Analysis_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/lgbtqhealth.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -