GERO 413 Sexuality and Aging (distance)

For further assistance with your assignment, ask at the Belzberg Library Reference Desk or contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology (778.782.5043 / Monday (wfh) to Thursday .  For other assistance see Ask a Librarian

Course description

Instructor: Dr. Barbara Mitchell

"Aging and sexual function is often seen in several components: Physiological changes, adapting sex roles, aged stereotypes, sexual drives, sexual values and associated behaviors and the social context of sexual attitudes and beliefs in our society...The course will focus on the normative aspects of sex and aging and those issues that arise around sexual behavior in seniors with chronic illness, cognitive decline and physical impairments. It will examine the subject from the perspective of aging persons who are active and independent in the community, to those who live in a variety of care settings."

Note: for more information see GERO 413's  Canvas page.  If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Book reviews

You can find print books and ebooks in the SFU Library Catalogue. If the book you want is already out on loan you can find other books on the topic (discuss your choice with your TM if you are not sure it's appropriate). Suggested subject headings:

You can also check at your local library for a copy of one of the books on the suggested list.

For more information, see the SFU guide Finding book reviews and writing book reviews

    Term paper


    Assignment calculator time management tool to help you break down your writing assignments into a series of steps

    Start your research here overview of the research process and tips for finding sources - although your suggested sources are right below!

    Writing help online is available via WriteAway -submit a draft of your paper and "online tutors will provide strategies and resources to help you improve your writing".  Turnaround time is currently four days.


    Background information

    Reference works such as encyclopedias are a great place to start to get an overview of a topic.  Entries are written by experts in the field, and there is often a useful bibliography.  In addition, looking though one scholarly monograph is much faster than reading several journal articles. 

    Useful titles:

    • Encyclopedia of gerontology [print or online]
      Major article "Sexuality, Sensuality, and Intimacy"
    • Encyclopedia of sex and gender [print and online]
      See articles: "Elderly, sex among" with a bibliography and a list of related topics, and "Sexuality, Sensuality, and Intimacy" with a bibliography
    • GLBTQ (archived) "an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, & queer culture"
      See entries on Ageism and Aging, including a bibliography
    • Handbook of clinical sexuality for mental health professionals [print or online]
      See sections III and IV on sexual dysfunction, and various entries under Age/Aging in the Index
    • Sexual Victimization: Then and Now [print]
      See Chapter 9: Victimization of the Vulnerable, section "Elder Sexual Abuse"

    Journal articles

    To find journal articles, start with the following indexes:

    the major social gerontology database, and it is all about older people.  You can start with this database for most term paper topics.

    Samples searches: Sexual* AND (media or popular culture) AND (Stereotypes or Attitudes) 
    Sexual Behavior AND  Patients AND attitudes
    Health Promotion AND Sexuality
    Sample subject terms: Sexual Abuse; Sexual Dysfunction

    Communication & Mass Media Complete
    covers journals in the fields of communication and mass media studies

    Sample  search: (aging or older) AND sex* AND (social media or mass media)

    "literature in the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines"
    Hint: You can also narrow the search by selecting Aged (65 yrs and older) in the Age Groups field of the "Refine search" section OR: narrow search with "Subject X"  And (Aging OR Gerontology)

    Sample subject terms: Sexuality; Erectile Dysfunction; Psychosexual Behavior; Sexual Function Disturbances
    Sample search: 

    CINAHL Complete
    Nursing and allied health, for medical topics

    Sample terms: Attitude to Sexuality Aged;  Aged, 80 and Over; Aging
    Sample search:  health promotion AND (sexuality OR sexual health) AND (aging OR old age)

    Sociological Abstracts
    Sample search:  (Elderly or Aging or Ageism) AND Sexuality

    What if you are told to include peer-reviewed journals?

    The databases above contain scholarly journals: CINAHL and PsycINFO have a peer reviewed Limit;  the other databases have a Scholarly or Academic journals limit

    It all articles must be peer-reviewed,  see: What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal? and follow link to find "How to tell if a journal is peer-reviewed"

    What if you find a great, but older, article?

    Go to Google Scholar (with SFU journal holdings), type in the title of the article, and then click on "Cited by" to find newer journal articles

    See also:

    Learning log & Outlines

    For more information, see the following:

    Useful sites

    Services for off-campus students