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Older Women Can Benefit From Sex Ed Campaigns

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Most campaigns designed to educate people about their sexual health target younger generations, excluding a large number of sexually active women over the age of 50 who need and want this information, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Florida revealed that although older women are aware of the risks for sexually transmitted diseases, they are not comfortable asking their doctor questions about their sexual health.

The study, published in a special issue of the Journal of Consumer Affairs, concluded the communication between women over the age of 50 and their physicians needs improvement. Study author Cynthia Morton and her colleagues pointed out that many health professionals mistakenly think older women already have all the information they need.

On the contrary, the study revealed older women need information on how to discuss safe sex practices with their partners. Although they know why safe sex is important, they may avoid talking about condoms with their partners to avoid conflict or rejection, the investigators found.

"The findings generated from our research offer a rich foundation for better understanding the motivations and concerns that influence senior-aged women's attitudes about dating at their present stage of life," Morton stated in a journal news release.

Older women, the study authors added, would like to know how to better communicate their sexual health concerns to their doctors.

The study concluded this new insight into older women's sexual health concerns should prompt the development of social marketing campaigns to help women receive the information they want on sexual health.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information on sexual problems in women.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Journal of Consumer Affairs, news release, Sept. 14, 2011

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