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New sexual relationships in later life: The case of late modern Sweden
Högskolan i Gävle.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2013 (English)In: 66th Annual Scientific Meeting “Optimal Aging Through Research”, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 61-61 p.Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is often argued that in late modernity sex has escaped its reproductive cage and people form pure relationships, based on mutual satisfaction. Ironically, although older people are per definition non-reproductive, and thus in a position to form pure relationships, they have often been neglected in studies on sexuality. In this paper we present results from a qualitative interview study with a strategic sample of 28 63–91 year old Swedes currently dating or in a heterosexual relationship (married, cohabiting, LAT) initiated 60+. The interviews revealed a clear normative change: The majority reported a definite ban on pre-marital sex when growing up. All had experienced the 1960s sexual liberation, either directly or from the inside of a marriage. Today, these liberal attitudes seem to encompass later life. None of our respondents reported negative reactions from family or friends for initializing new sexual relationships. With two exceptions all informants in new relationships were sexually active, and sexual attraction had been a precondition for the relationship. Sexuality had changed focus: from intercourse to other forms of intimacy, partly aided by a change in sexual functionality. Many informants had interpreted sexual decline as “natural” and age-related in former relationships, but re-discovered sexuality with their new partner. Some female informants had been worried about their body’s beauty or functionality which had led them to re-initiate relationships with former “safe” partners. The qualitative results will be critically discussed in the light of a representative survey of 3000 Swedes, 60– 90 year old (data just collected).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 61-61 p.
, The Gerontologist, 53 (1)
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology; Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97864DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnt151OAI: diva2:680835
GSAs 66th Annual Scientific Meeting
Nya intima relationer på äldre dar
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, Dnr 2009-0720Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0909:1
Available from: 2013-12-18 Created: 2013-12-18 Last updated: 2014-03-18Bibliographically approved

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