Online Dating: Changing Intimacy One Swipe At A Time?

I’m excited to announce that the chapter Dr. Pepper Schwartz and I authored in conjunction with our lecture at the 25th Annual National Symposium on Family Issues is finally out! If you want a great text for sociology courses on the family, mating, or technology (or just for personal and/or professional use) check it out.

The Changing Nature of Intimacy

Although we know that intimacy changes with age, researchers are still struggling to understand why these changes occur and what they mean to the older adults in relationships experiencing them. That means men and women are often left in the dark when it comes to their sexual and emotional health later in life.

Perhaps even more troubling, our culture still has deep-seeded stigmas regarding older people having and (dare I say) enjoying sex. These stigmas deteriorate the quality of treatment that older men and women receive from their family, friends, and even the medical professionals who are charged with overseeing them.

In this chapter for the Journal of Aging Life Care, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and I explore the barriers to fulfilling intimacy that older men and women experience, including various medical conditions that inhibit sexual activity as well as the social prejudices found within the healthcare industry.

To go to our chapter, click here.

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.