The Graying of “Sexual Health”: A Critical Research Agenda

Authors


  • I would like to thank Stephen Katz for (once again!) providing me with generous feedback and encouragement. Several anonymous reviewers of an earlier draft also provided some helpful suggestions for which I am grateful. This paper builds on work conducted with the assistance of a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Barbara L. Marshall, Department of Sociology, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive Peterborough, ON, Canada, K9J 7B8. E-mail: bmarshall@trentu.ca

Abstract

Cet article questionne de façon critique le concept de la santé sexuelle dans son évolution par rapport aux personnes âgées. Je m'inspire d'études sociales et culturelles sur le vieillissement, d’études féministes et de sciences et technologies pour établir un programme de recherche qui traite de la santé sexuelle en tant que point articulaire pour une gamme de technologies et de processus qui façonnent la vie sexuelle de milieu et de fin de vie. Un tel programme pourrait permettre d'explorer plus en profondeur les sites et les processus par lesquels les formes de sexualité sont façonnées, les types d'agentivités sexuelles («sexual agency») disponibles aux personnes âgées et la reconstruction contemporaine du parcours de la vie sexuelle.

Abstract

This paper critically interrogates the concept of sexual health as it has evolved in relation to older adults. I draw on social and cultural studies of aging, feminist studies, and science and technology studies to outline a research agenda which treats sexual health as a point of articulation for a range of technologies and processes which shape mid- and late-life sexualities. Such an agenda may be able to more fully interrogate the sites and processes by which sexualities are being shaped, the forms of sexual agency on offer to older people, and the contemporary reconstruction of sexual life courses.

Ancillary