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Jakarta Post

Misperceptions exclude older people of their reproductive rights

  • Stevie Emilia


Jakarta   /   Wed, September 23 2020   /  01:00 am
All smiles: Sixty percent of the world’s older population resides in the Asia-Pacific region and the number is projected to rise to nearly 1.3 billion by 2050. (Courtesy of HelpAge International/-)

When it comes to sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), there is a common misperception that older people are not sexually active so they no longer need sexual health services and counselling. Such stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age is known as ageism. “Ageism is a barrier to sexual health for older people. [Making] older people are excluded from sexual health programming,” said Caitlin Littleton, regional program advisor at HelpAge International Asia Pacific Region, which works in 75 countries, including Indonesia. Littleton disclosed four main false beliefs about sexuality among older adults, including that older people are not able to have sex. “In reality, inability to have sexual intercourse is linked with health issues rather than age.” Another false belief is that older people do not...