Gender And Sexuality In Aging

Humans are living to unprecedented ages and soon Baby Boomers will be the largest demographic in the USA. Not only will they be the biggest aging generation in American history, but they will also be the most liberalespecially when it comes to sex.

Consider this: a mere sixty years ago women were considered matronly and societally spent after turning 40, yet now it’s common to hear phrases like “50 is the new 30” and stars like Jane Fonda (80) and Cher (72) continue to have thriving careers in an industry obsessed with youth.

And it’s not just attitudes that have changed, men and women over-50 are behaving very differently in the bedroom than the generations before them. Many Boomers maintain high sexual satisfaction and high sexual frequencies well into the later portions of their lives.

In this chapter for the Handbook of the Sociology of Gender, sociologist Pepper Schwartz and I review the redefinition of lifelong sexuality among older (and soon-to-be older) adults. We give readers a deeper understanding of what is behind these cultural changes, how society is (and isn’t) adapting to them, and what it means for the future of sex as we know it.

To go to our chapter, click here.

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