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ERIC Number: EJ920465
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0748-1187
Sexuality Following the Loss of a Child
Dyregrov, Atle; Gjestad, Rolf
Death Studies, v35 n4 p289-315 2011
The aim of study was to increase our understanding of sexuality and intimacy following the loss of a child. A questionnaire on intimacy and sexuality was sent to 1,027 members of the 2 major bereavement support organizations for parents who have lost children in Norway. A total of 321 (33%) were returned. In addition, 10 couples were interviewed in depth about their experiences. The final sample (n = 285) consisted of 169 women (59.3%) and 116 men (40.7%) who represented 175 couples. Parents who were neither married nor cohabitants were excluded, as were nonbiological parents. Around 2/3 of the parents had resumed sexual contact within the first 3 months after their child's death. The activity of about 1/3 had been reduced. Significantly fewer mothers than fathers experienced sexual pleasure and close to 30% of the mothers reported that this had been reduced since the death. Only 11% noted that sexuality as an issue was raised in follow-up conversations. Many parents have only a few sexuality-related problems following a child's death, but a fairly large minority, especially women, experience major problems. There are clear gender differences in reactions and perceptions, often agreed upon by the 2 genders. Men are ready to resume activity in the sexual area much earlier than women. Women suffer much more from grief that in different ways intrudes on the sexual act and they more often perceive sex as somehow being wrong. Men also easily misunderstand women's need for closeness as a wish for sex. (Contains 1 footnote and 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway