Silencing the sexual self and relational and individual well-being in later life: a gendered analysis of North versus South of Europe
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTræen B, Hansen T, Stulhofer A. SILENCING THE SEXUAL SELF AND RELATIONAL AND INDIVIDUAL WELL-BEING IN LATER LIFE: A GENDERED ANALYSIS OF NORTH VERSUS SOUTH OF EUROPE. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. 2020 https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2021.1883579
This study explores the European North-South differences in older partnered individuals’ silencing of the sexual self and its links to relational and individual well-being. A web survey was conducted among partnered individuals aged 65 years or above in Norway and Croatia. There were 368 (women: 37.8%, response rate: 22%) and 359 (women: 34.5%, response rate: 27%) individuals who participated in Norway and Croatia, respectively. A range of relational (sexual satisfaction, relationship quality) and individual well-being (anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction) indicators was considered. Sexual self-silencing had significant impacts across outcomes, gender, and countries. Furthermore, contrary to what might be expected, we observed no differences in self-silencing between the two countries; and in both countries, men were more self-silenced than women. Findings suggest that sexual self-silencing can compromise relationship quality and psychological well-being in later life. Health and clinical practice toward older individuals and couples should thus probe about and aim to improve the expression of sexual desires and needs.