Education about sexuality in the elderly by healthcare professionals: a survey from the Southern Hemisphere
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Education about sexuality is one method of reducing common negative stereotypes about this aspect of the life of older people. Knowledge and attitudes toward sexuality are therefore particularly important in those who educate healthcare professionals. We surveyed schools of medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, and social work in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa using White's Aging Sexuality Knowledge and Attitudes Scale. A total of 364 usable surveys were returned, revealing no main effects for differences in generally above-average levels of knowledge and attitudes across professions and the three countries. Some country-by-profession interactions were found for both knowledge and attitudes. Age was found to be the sole demographic factor able to predict both attitude toward and knowledge of sexuality. Findings suggest that levels of knowledge about sexuality and attitudes toward it have improved over earlier studies in North America.