About the project

Sex Age & Me is the first national study to explore older Australians’ sexual and romantic relationships, sexual health, and safe sex practices. The project is funded by the Australian Research Council, and is a collaboration between the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, the National Ageing Research Institute, and the University of Sheffield.

In 2015, we conducted a study of the sexual health and relationships of Australians aged 60+. This study was the most comprehensive of its kind in Australia, involving both a national survey and in-depth one-on-one interviews. Participants were recruited from across Australia with all residents aged 60 years and older eligible to participate. Study advertisements were promoted using a variety of sources including Facebook, radio, and news articles in mainstream publications and those targeting older Australians.

Key objectives were to explore:

  • Sexual behaviours, relationships and dating patterns
  • Knowledge of STIs and STI prevention
  • Use of safer-sex practices
  • Gaps in knowledge and safer-sex practices
  • Sexual health help-seeking behaviours and experiences talking about sex with healthcare professionals
  • Ways of giving meaning to and understanding sex and safer sex in later life

In total, 2,137 participants completed the survey and 53 men and women participated in the in-depth interviews. For further information about the study methods and data collection, see:

Lyons A, Heywood W, Fileborn B, Minichiello V, Barrett C, Brown G, Hinchliff S, Malta S, Crameri P. The Sex, Age, and Me Study: Recruitment and sampling for a large mixed-methods study of sexual health and relationships in an older Australian population. Culture, Health & Sexuality. Advance online publication.

 

The Sex Age & Me team are:

Dr Anthony Lyons, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society

Professor Victor Minichiello, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, and The University of New England

Dr Catherine Barrett, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society

Dr Graham Brown, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society

Dr Sharron Hinchliff, University of Sheffield

Associate Professor Briony Dow, National Ageing Research Institute

Dr Bianca Fileborn, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society

Ms Wendy Heywood, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society

Ms Pauline Crameri, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society