Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. I, Oct. 19, 1998


Sexuality and Senior Olympians

Peter B. Anderson, PhD, Keri Diez, MEd, Susan F. Tynes, PhD


The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the self-reported sexual frequency and sexual self-image of senior Olympic athletes. The questionnaire contained items related to demographics, physical activity, attitudes and beliefs toward sports participation, general life satisfaction, general life activity, and sexual behavior and self-image. Respondents were 19 male and 16 female Caucasian heterosexual senior athletes (age range 54-78, M=64.5) who reported expressing themselves sexually, alone or with a partner, on average 6 times monthly (range 0-20). They desired to increase their sexual expression to 7.8 times monthly (range 0-20). Despite an overall drop in reported frequency in sexual expression related to the increasing age of the participants (M= 9.2 for 50 year old's; M= 4.6 for 70 year old's), there was no statistical difference in the average rate of sexual expression between the groups. Overall the respondents described themselves as being always or almost always affectionate (69%), confident (64.3%), contented (63%), enthusiastic (69.2%), faithful (81.5%), gentle (81.5%), loving (75%), and romantic (70.4%) in depicting themselves as sexual persons.

Key Words: aging, sexuality, athletes, physical activity

This article was presented as a poster at the annual Southern District AAHPERD Convention, Biloxi, MS., February 7, 1998. It is a primarily descriptive work that will hopefully lead to more sophisticated explorations of sexuality and physical activity among older adults.

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