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.

Coast driver spent '3km in wrong lane' before head-on crash

HIGH SPEED: The charged Sunshine Coast man was driving the purple car, in the photo.

A Coast man allegedly drove 3km in wrong lane before head-on smash

An eager eye for trains

TRAIN ENTHUSIAST: Noel Walker builds his miniature models in his home at Arcare in Caboolture.

Noel Walker hasn't let losing his sight hold him back.

Get your hands dirty to Clean Up Australia

Register to help Clean Up Australia and the Moreton Bay region.

Register now for Clean Up Australia Day in Moreton Bay region.

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

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

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!