Seniors are a growing segment of modern western society, and with this change comes a whole new set of challenges for psychologists. One of the major areas of senior living which has come under attention recently as an unfortunate locus for misinformation and misunderstanding is the area of sexuality. Many seniors experience a lot of sexual frustration and feel that they cannot have sexual lives because of constraints society pushes on them because of our youth-obsessed culture. However, in the past, when seniors have become aware of constraints and have attempted to explode them, their frustration was reinforced by a society which was not ready for a grey sexual revolution.
However, things are beginning to change as the baby boomer generation comes of age. The baby boomer generation grew up with more sexual consciousness, more accurate sexual information, and more awareness of their own sexuality than any other modern generation. This means that when aging baby boomers encounter sexual frustration or sexual dysfunction in their allegedly golden retirement years they are less likely to suffer through these problems without seeking help. Seniors are fighting against their sexual frustration more vocally and with more information and gusto than ever before, and the first steps towards a better quality of sexual life for seniors have already begun.
There are a lot of other reasons why senior sexual frustration may be coming to an end during this historical moment. For one, recent innovations in disease control and medical device technology have led to a dramatic and definite increase in life expectancy, which means a larger senior population. In fact, as of the beginning of this new millennium, approximately twenty percent of the residents of the united states were over sixty-five years of age. For another, the amount and rigidity of constraints on sexuality in the culture as a whole are beginning to dwindle in the wake of the 1970s sexual revolution.
There is a long way to go, however, until grey haired sexuality is free of constraints imposed by an arbitrarily judgmental society. One of the major shifts which has yet to happen is a change in media representations of older adults who are sexually active. When movies and television begin to feature more portrayals of seniors in their golden years of life who are sexually functioning, healthy, and complete adults with physical desires and needs, then the grey haired sexual revolution will have succeeded in changing the attitudes of the culture at large. The educational value of positive examples of mature adult sexuality in the media cannot be quantified, but most activists feel that is an extremely important facet of educating all sectors of society about the reality of sexuality in the later years of life. Some of the major causes of sexual frustration in the senior years of life are misinformation and negative attitudes absorbed by seniors from the images in the culture which surrounds them.
Once seniors are freed of constraints imposed on them by these negative images, it will become easier for them to discover the truths about their own vibrant sexuality in the golden years of life, eradicating sexual frustration.