Sexuality and the Elderly: A Research Guide

By Bonnie L. Walker | Go to book overview

Preface

This literature review was undertaken in order to determine what caregivers needed to know about elderly sexuality, to determine the needs of elderly people related to their sexuality, and to determine how best caregivers could assist them in meeting those needs.

In selecting materials for this book, the first priority was given to empirical studies. As the search continued, however, it became apparent that commentaries by individuals such as Robert N. Butler and Domeena C. Renshaw, trade market books such as Alex Comfort The Joy of Sex and David Reuben Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex, and the literature reviews of Martin Berezin and more recently Fran Kaiser, were extremely important. In the area of sexuality, what society, caregivers, and the elderly believe is true and important may be just as influential and important as what has been scientifically demonstrated to be true.

In addition to acquiring knowledge about sexuality and understanding attitudes about sexuality, this literature review also sought to investigate measurement issues and measurement instruments. Any project designed to educate or train caregivers about elderly sexuality requires an instrument to assess the knowledge and attitudes toward sexuality of elderly people. An instrument designed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of the elderly toward sexuality is also needed.

The literature review also uncovered information about what experts believe should be included in the curriculum of people who care for the elderly. Such a curriculum needed to include information

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