Unit 3d: Older women’s issues


Physical Development and Aging


1.  Aging results from physical and environmental factors

2.  Cardiovascular, muscular, skeletal and reproductive systems age differently for men and women.

3.  Changes in the heart

4. Men maintain greater muscle strength as they age than women

5. After menopause women loose bone mass much faster than men

6.  Menopause is accompanied by sharp decreases in the levels of estrogen and progesterone.



Sexuality and Older Women


1.  Sexuality in one’s later years can be just as gratifying as one’s younger years

2.  A number of myths and stereotypes exist about sexuality in later life

3.  Older women grew up in sexually restrictive times



Benefits of Sexual Activity Later in Life


1. Physical Benefits

2. Psychological and Emotional Benefits

3. Some women find sex more fulfilling and attitudes towards sex more open later on in life.


Sexual Behavior in the Elderly


1.  Interest in sexual behavior remains fairly high throughout adult life, declining only gradually in the later years

2.  Some elderly want to be more sexually active than they currently are


Factors Affecting Sexual Behavior


1.  Physical Factors

2. Psychosocial Factors


Enhancing Sexuality Later in Life




AIDS incidence is increasing more rapidly among women than men

Women age 40 and older make up 1/3 of AIDS cases amongst females

Over 3100 cases have been diagnosed in ages 60 years and older, and the number of new cases has increased nearly by a factor of 10


1st  factor putting older women at risk is the increased thinning of vaginal tissues


2nd factor is decreased lubrication



Older women with HIV may have a more difficult time obtaining a correct diagnosis and treatment



Childbearing in Later Years

Romantic Partnerships: Lesbian Partnerships among older women

Single Women


65 and older 4.7 percent have never married (1999 census)