Lifestyle

'Cougars' and condoms: let's talk about sex, says uni

The rise in divorce and online dating are widening women's networks of sexual partners and that of their partners in turn.
The rise in divorce and online dating are widening women's networks of sexual partners and that of their partners in turn. KatarzynaBialasiewicz

SEX can be fraught with awkward conversations.

If you are a middle-aged woman and you're nodding frantically, CQUni want to hear your stories - anonymously of course.

Bundaberg's Dr Cathy O'Mullan is launching a study to find out how heterosexual women aged 45 to 64 negotiate safe sex following a rise in STIs.

She says this demographic is often ignored when it comes to sex studies.

"Over the last decade we've seen almost a threefold increase in sexually transmitted infections, particularly chlamydia, in this group," Dr O'Mullan said.

"While the numbers are still low compared to younger people, it's an area of public health that has been neglected and it is something we need to keep an eye on."

The rise in divorce and online dating are widening women's networks of social and sexual partners and that of their partners in turn.

"It can be really difficult for women in this cohort to start raising the issue of safe sex and condom use," Dr O'Mullan said.

Many women in middle age have been in long-term relationships so they haven't had recent experience in negotiating safe sex.

They may associate condoms with promiscuity, or feel they don't need them because they are at low risk of getting pregnant.

More worrying is pressure from male counterparts to go along with unsafe sex.

While men's sexuality is more widely discussed, a lot of stigma and stereotyping persists around women, Dr O'Mullan said.

"Research shows even health professionals don't readily broach the subject of safe sex with older women.

"We hope the findings will have some use in policy and sexual health promotion.

"We want to challenge some ageist and sexist constructs - stereotypes like 'cougars' - and put this on the agenda."

Women interested in taking part in a phone interview can respond via text message or phone 0435 725 528 to receive an information sheet. 

Queries or concerns can also be addressed via c.omullan@cqu.edu.au or l.parkinson@cqu.edu.au.

Topics:  bundaberg cq university general-seniors-news sex wellbeing


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

EXPLAINED: Bushfire emergency terms broken down

CONCERN BUT NO PANIC: A huge bushfire impacts Peregian Springs and Coolum residents as the flames threaten their homes. The fire burnt over 500 hectares and dozens of emergency crews were deployed throughout the night. Firemen battle the heat and the blaze.

Emergency alerts and lingo in layman's terms

Man receives head injury in car, bicycle crash

RACQ Careflight Rescue helicopter, generic. Photo Contributed

Man airlifted to hospital after motorway collision

Inside the fire zone: Coolum blaze devastation

Wildlife rescue workers go looking for injured wildlife

Local Partners

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

A MERE two points separated two teams from My Kitchen Rules, in a spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!