Rim (2011) has published widely on the sexuality of older persons in South Korea. His goal, he says, is to raise awareness about the life-enhancing aspects of sexual activity for seniors. He states that stereotypes that older persons are asexual, or that it is abnormal for them to engage in sexual relations, are forms of prejudice towards older persons in South Korea. Further, if older persons are to have an emotionally and physically fulfilled and stable old age, Koreans must rethink these outmoded and negative attitudes toward love and sex. The need for acknowledgment is particularly necessary when one considers the increased longevity of Koreans, and their need to remain healthy for longer. In addition, because nuclear families are replacing the extended families of the past, more elders are living on their own — resulting in increased loneliness.

Rim sees the influence of Confucianism and feudalism as a barrier to the social acceptance of senior sexuality. Other gerontologists in East Asia also identify beliefs, shaped by Confucianism and patriarchy, as inhibiting a more open acceptance of senior sexuality (Araki 2004: 64). Examples of Confucian beliefs about age-appropriate sexuality include renouncing sexual rela­tions once an elder becomes a grandparent and abstaining from sexual relations when an elder is living with adult children and grandchildren (Shea 2011: 367). Rim identifies other obstacles to the acceptance of love and sex among older persons. First, he says, the younger generations may not understand the sexual desires of older persons; by failing to accept the sexuality of older persons, younger people delegitimise it and make it difficult for seniors to lead fulfilling lives. He states that younger people need to be more supportive of older persons forming relation­ships. Second, he believes that not enough medical professionals have specialist knowledge about the sexual needs of older persons.