172071 Sexuality, sexual discourse and sexual health of older urban people in the contemporary Vietnam

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:30 AM

Son Nguyen , Falcuty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand
Sexuality plays a crucial role in improving quality of life and sense of well-being regardless of their age. The myths of being uninterested in sex or in maintaining sexual activities in older people are popular and reinforced in daily life, leading older people to refrain from their sexual needs and vulnerable to sexual health problems. The research aims to explain sexuality and existing sexual discourses of older people and to describe how they cope with sexual health problems. Community mapping, key-informant interviews, participant and non-participant observation and in-depth interviews with 11 older people, aged between 50 and 76 were conducted through 4 months of ethnographic research in a small village. The findings showed that sexuality of older people are influenced by dominant sexual discourses focusing that sex is limited for people with youthful, healthy, and beautiful body, representing a marked contrast with decayed, unhealthy, and old bodies. These lead people to believe that sex among older people is improper or hedonistic. Gender discourses also play role in influencing on older people's sexual meanings and practices. Sexually active older men are facing with depression because of their concerns in sexual dysfunctions. Older women reported dilemmatic constraints between painful sexual intercourse and fulfilling gender roles as wives. Unacceptability of using condom in conjugal relation and extra-marital sexual practices among older men may be risky of contracting STDs and HIV/AIDS. The research provided implications for policy makers, planners and implementers to give the cultural-sensitive and context-specific sexual health care services to enhance the quality of sexual life for older people.

Learning Objectives:
1- To explain dominant sexual discourse of older people in contemporarily social and cultural context in Vietnam. 2- To analyze sexual practices of older people in the context of their every daily lives. 3- To examine sexual health problems of older people and describe how they cope with these problems.

Keywords: Sexuality, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I cannot attend the meeting
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.