Outline some of the reasons why aging in American society is often associated with sexlessness.

Essay by willbfeUniversity, Master'sA+, March 2005

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"And yes, [he] did want to be that young again. But he wanted to be a boy precisely so he could fall in love with other boys, with no awkward age difference, no accusations of cradle robbing" (Lowenthal, 1998, p. 135).

Youth and beauty. And sex.

Our society covets youth and beauty. On T.V., in movies, in magazines, everywhere you look youth and beauty are equated with sexiness. Old is rarely equated with beauty. Old is rarely associated with sexiness. If one didn't know better, one might actually believe that someone who is not "young" or "beautiful" does not have sexual desires and certainly does not engage in sexual activities. Thank goodness for The Golden Girls to show us otherwise.

Despite an age of sexual liberation, there is still an underlying perception that sex is for procreation and that to indulge in sex for purposes other than conceiving a child is somehow naughty, wrong, or sinful.

Since older people often have no desire to have children, there again comes the assumption that they have no desire for sex. Or worse, some may believe that they have no business wanting to have sex.

As people get older, many of their bodily functions slow down. They may walk slower, talk slower, move slower and even think slower. Some people thus assume that the sexual anatomy slows down or becomes dysfunctional. A woman goes through menopause, which some people equate with a cessation of sexual needs. And Viagra is touted as essential for all aging men.

In the past, and to some extent today, sex became a taboo topic among proper adults. Archie Bunker refused to discuss anything that had to do with sex between he and his wife. It was considered crude to talk about sex once a person was "grown...