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AWARD PAPER
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 300-306

Sexuality: Desire, activity and intimacy in the elderly


1 Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Sion General Hospital, Sion, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, T. N. M. C. & B. Y. L. Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai Central, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Gurvinder Kalra
Department of Psychiatry, LTM Medical College and Sion General Hospital, Sion (E), Mumbai - 400 022, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.91902

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Background: Sexual function and activity in old age have been inadequately studied world over. It is important to know that aging processes are not confined to persons beyond the age of 60 years; many changes in elderly have their antecedents in the middle age. Aims: This study sought to determine the patterns of sexual activity and function in individuals over 50 years of age. It also sought to discuss barriers such as chronic illness that may interfere with sexual function. Materials and Methods: We conducted a study of subjects above the age of 50 years in various outpatient departments (OPDs) of a teaching municipal hospital in Mumbai, by interviewing 60 individuals who attended the OPDs, after taking their informed consent. Socio-demographic and other information on their sexual function and activities were obtained. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences v15. Results: 72% individuals below 60 were sexually active, while only 57% above 60 were active. Others had become completely abstinent at some time in their lives. Statistical analysis revealed significant gender, health and educational status based differences in the sample. Conclusion: Our study showed significant presence of sexual desire, activity and function even after the age of 50 years; a decline by the age of 60 and above was a finding that reflected more in women. Chronic illness did affect sexual function and desire.



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