Sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and the biomedicalization of sex in older heterosexual men

Gledhill, Susan E. & Schweitzer, Robert (2013) Sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and the biomedicalization of sex in older heterosexual men. Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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To examine sexual desire in older age and the use of pharmaceuticals for sexual enhancement in the context of erectile dysfunction.


The ability of the older person to fulfil sexual desire has not been well supported in Western society.


The paper draws on themes that emerged during a phenomenological study of sexual desire in older age.


Narratives were collected between 2008–2010 from in-depth interviews with six men and two women aged 65–84 years who were part of a larger Australian study of sexual desire in older age.


Emergent themes reveal that for some older people, the biomedicalization of sex can be a disappointing experience.


The findings illuminate the need for nurses who are at the front line of health care, health policy makers and educators, to consider sexual desire experienced in older age in the context of sexual health and healthy ageing. This study will contribute to a growing body of knowledge about sexual desire in older age

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 63284
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Article first published online: 23 SEP 2013
Keywords: art of nursing, gerentology, nurse education, phenomenology, sexual health, sexuality
DOI: 10.1111/jan.12256
ISSN: 1365-2648
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Mental Health Nursing (111005)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2013 01:32
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2014 16:51

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