Students from Hofstra University and residents of the Bristal Assisted Living Community explored the similarities between the social and sexual mores of college students and their grandparents’ generation. The class was taught by Teresa Grella-Hillebrand, the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic at Hofstra.
The Hofstra Students and the Bristal residents discussed how life on campus has changed over the decades and explored concerns that each group must address including the use of technology, casual sex, and the increase in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Among the issues facing seniors reentering the dating world:
- Women live 8 years longer than men. This means that there are many widowed women whose prospects of finding another partner are slim. Available women outnumber men by a 7:1 ratio.
- Many older men who are eligible often seek younger wives.
- Older women often come to see themselves as unattractive because of society’s worship of youth and the concept that only a young woman is beautiful.
- Older men often develop a sense of inferiority because they are less virile than they used to be.
- Older people must find and define new modes of intimacy and sexuality that are not based on conceptions that apply only to younger adults.
- For seniors who seek an active love life they need to be cognizant of sexually transmitted diseases which are on the rise among older people.
- Some seniors might benefit from a few sex-ed classes, which are common in high schools but nonexistent at senior centers.
- Seniors need to develop a strategy to introduce their new” friend” to adult children and grandchildren.