Deepening sense of enjoyment that sometimes

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The Psychology of Women
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 01
The Psychology of Women
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deepening sense of enjoyment that sometimes characterizes this stage of maturation. To read more about the relationship between health and sex, see "Healthy Sexuality: Factors That Allow People to Stay Active as They Age." Sexual performance can serve as a barometer of our physical and mental health. For example, erection issues for men may be an early warning sign of high blood pressure, dia- betes, or a decline in testosterone (Lindau et al., 2007). Females may experience vaginal dryness, some loss of desire, decline in androgens, or high blood pressure and diabetes. Medication for some medical conditions can also cause sexual dysfunction (Carpenter et al., 2006). With respect to mental health, a common symptom of hormonal changes is depression, which may also be associated with a decline in sexual desire (Laumann et al., 2006). Previous generations of aging adults may have felt embarrassed to discuss these issues with anyone, even with a physician, who also may not have been prepared to discuss them. In one important study of 3,005 adults (aged 57-85), 38% of men and 22% of women reported having discussed sex with a physician since the age of 50 (Lindau et al., 2007). The current trend toward sexual literacy and the recognition that sexual function- ing is a sign of good health and well-being in general affords both doctors and patients the sense that talking about sexual functioning is healthy and vital to well-being in the second half of life (Lindau et al., 2007). How Sex Shapes Men and Women as They Age Myth or Fact: "Older people do not have sexual desires, older people are not able to make love even if they wanted to, older people are too fragile and might hurt them- selves if they attempt to engage in sexual relations, older people are physically unat- tractive and therefore undesirable, the whole notion of older people engaging in sex is shameful and perverse" (Henry & McNab, 2003, p. 6 1). This is how two leading specialists on aging have summarized the collective myth about sex and aging in the United States. We have seen that sexual desire is not extinguished as people age, but what about the other notions: that sexual activity declines with age, because sex becomes more physically
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The Psychology of Women
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 01
The Psychology of Women
Matlin
Expert Verified
HEALTHY Sexuality ageist Factors That Allow People to Stay Active as They Age We can take steps during early adulthood to make midlife, the period from about the late 30s to the mid- 60s, more enjoyable. The patterns of communication, emotion regulation, expression of our needs, and com- mitment to a life companion that we develop in early adulthood will help us explore, understand, and enjoy midlife. Certain lifestyle choices that people make as young adults also play a role in health and well-being in later life, as one famous study has shown. The study of adult development began in 1937 at Harvard University with 268 men. These men entered college in the 1930s, experienced World War II, married, divorced, had children, grand- children, and worked. The study included some distinguished people, such as the late president John F. Kennedy. By comparing these men to their female peers over decades, one researcher has made some important

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