Race, sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction among older adults

Tracee N Moore, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction within an older adult population. This study sought to determine which variables had a significant influence on the overall sexual satisfaction among older adults. The lack of research and knowledge in the area of sexual behaviors and patterns of the older adult population has permeated a negative connotation in our society. Further explored were the influence of race and well-being and their impact on sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction. The primary hypothesis for this investigation examined the differences in predictive variables across races, age cohorts and genders as measured by Sexual Activities: Interest, Participation, and Satisfaction by Johnson (1986), the Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI-2) by Spector, Carey & Steinberg (1998), the Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS) developed by Hudson (1998), and the Perceived Well-Being Scale (PWB) designed by Reker & Wong (1984). It was also hypothesized that high levels of overall life satisfaction and perceived positive well-being would demonstrate a significant relationship with sexual desire, sexual activity and overall sexual satisfaction. The sample included 191 men and women over the age of 50 years located in the southern region of the United States. Results indicated significant correlations among psychological well-being, solitary sexual desire, interest in sexual activity, the presence of mental health problems and satisfaction with current sexual activities. These findings provide opportunities for positive social change in viewing sexuality, the sexual behaviors and sexual patterns of older adults as an important component of quality of life throughout the entire lifespan. Recommendations for future research are suggested.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Aging|Ethnic studies

Recommended Citation

Tracee N Moore, "Race, sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction among older adults" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3468686.