Predicting older heterosexual women's sexual desire and sexual activity: a logistic regression analysis

The purpose of this study was to examine older women's biopsychosocial quality of life and how it relates to sexual activity and sexual desire. In order to investigate predictors of sexual activity and desire in older age, self-report data were collected from a sample of ethnically diverse older women (N = 86) and quantified via using four measures to obtain a multifaceted perspective on health in older age. The following scales were used: (1) the Medical Outcome Study - Short Form 36 (SF 36) to quantify perceived total physical health; (2) the Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression (CES-D), a 20-item self-report depression scale; (3) the 5-item PTSD screener (BPTSS); and (4) the 22-item measure on social health (OWSQLI). Two backward logistic regression analyses were conducted in order to independently predict sexual desire and sexual activity from the aforementioned four scales. Results indicated an overall significant model for both outcome variables. Lower scores on physical health and higher scores on PTSD symptomatology were significant predictors of older women's sexual desire, while living with an intimate partner and depressive symptomatology significantly predicted sexual activity. Clinical implications of the results, methodological limitations, and suggestions for further research are included.