Sexuality & Middle Adulthood Essay

“Ground-breaking research on human sexuality by Masters and Johnson (1966) revealed that sexual activity does not end as humans age, and healthy men and women function sexually into their eighties and beyond” (Crandell, et at. , 2009). However, health, whether physical or psychological can impede overall sexual functioning for middle-age adults. Menopause is a very big issue that is associated with human sexuality in middle adulthood. This of course is a “woman” thing and only women get it, but still it can be extreme for many women.

There is weight gained, rest and sleep is disrupted by night sweats and frequent urination and also many psychological issues that come with all of that. A woman may experience a decrease interest in sex or even sexual stimulation, forgetfulness, mood swings, irritability and also depression. A woman begins to transition in her life as her ovaries stop producing eggs and her body produces less estrogen and progesterone. A lot going on for a woman going through menopause, not to mention if she has a husband or children who don’t really understand what she is going through.

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For men, they go through some similar changes. Male dysfunction is a major source of poor body image and resulting in low desire for men. “Ironically, changes in male sexual functioning with age have largely been ignored by the media until recently With all the publicity surrounding Viagra, it has come more acceptable to discuss the subject of male erectile dysfunction” (Journal of Women’s Health, 2000). Erectile dysfunction is a major problem for older men but now there is great treatment both psychological and medical.

If an individual does not seek medical assistance with this medical problem, it can cause him to go into depression, low self esteem, lack of desire and eventually start having problems at home with his partner. This can also affect his job because with depression and so much on his mind, he will not be able to function at his best at when at work either. They have a decrease in sex drive, in extreme cases impotency; they get enlarged prostates which could lead to prostate cancer. They could also have problems getting and maintaining erections.

There are many medications on the market now to help men with some of these issues.


Crandell, T. L. , Crandell, C. H. , & Vander Zanden, J. W. (2009). Human development (9th ed. ). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Cunningham DA. (2002). Application of Roy’s adaption model when caring for a group of women with menopause. Journal of Community Health Nursing 19(1): 49-60 (28 ref). Retrieved May 31, 2010. Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine. (2000). The Psychological Impact of Aging on Sexuality and Relationships. Retrieved May 31, 2010.