The sexuality experience of older widows in korea

Okjong Yun, Miyoung Kim, Seung Eun Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Sexuality plays an important role in elders' lives. However, few studies exist concerning the essential meaning crucial for the overall understanding of sexuality in later life. In this study we explored the experience of what sexuality implied and meant to older widows using the descriptive phenomenological approach. Purposive sampling yielded 10 elderly women who were in sexual relationships. We collected data through in-depth interviews with participants and conducted a thematic analysis. The findings were classified into eight themes: trying to find another side of herself, starting a romantic relationship, invigorating life, displaying femininity, being concerned about the perceptions of others, enjoying sexual freedom, feeling the limit of sexual intimacy, and facing up to reality. The sexual lives of older widows entailed a process of recovering their femininity, self-achievement, and self-esteem, which helped them to live independent lives by developing more active and flexible attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-483
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • aging
  • phenomenology
  • sexuality / sexual health
  • van Manen
  • women's health


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