Chapter

“I can’t ask that!”: promoting discussion of sexuality and effective health service interactions with older non-heterosexual men

Adrian Lee

in Social Policy Review 19

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349415
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861349415.003.0008
“I can’t ask that!”: promoting discussion of sexuality and effective health service interactions with older non-heterosexual men

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This chapter aims to enhance the understanding of social policy academics and practitioners with regard to the homosexuality of older men, with whom they may interact on a professional basis or write about through their research without actively and consciously considering how sexuality can substantially influence aspects of daily living. It begins by outlining research to date on the size of the older gay male population, in order to argue that this is significant enough to warrant more wholehearted interest from policy makers and service providers. Then, the discourse of sexual citizenship is discussed. Finally, the substantive sections of the chapter introduce the research and the participants, before exploring decision making regarding coming out in a healthcare setting and the implications of different scenarios for the well-being of older gay men. It is argued that healthcare professionals require greater information in order to recognise the wider relevance of knowing a person's sexual orientation and to gain a better understanding of how best to discuss such subjects with patients who might be reluctant to access care and discuss their sexuality and relationships.

Keywords: older gay men; homosexuality; social policy; sexual citizenship; coming out; well-being; healthcare professionals

Chapter.  8746 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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