Middle adulthood is defined as the period of age after young adulthood and just before the onset of old age (Willis, 2005). According to Willis (2005), individuals are classified under middle age when their ages lie between 40 and 60 years old. A number of physical and behavioral changes are experienced during this period of age. The most noticeable physical changes include diminished hearing and seeing (Willis, 2005). It has been found that men’s hearing capacity during middle age declines more than that of their female counterparts. Vision also declines for both men and female as their ability to focus diminishes, and they require bright lights to identify smaller objects (Willis, 2005). Both men and women experience diminished strength and coordination as fat replaces some of their muscle. Flexibility diminishes, and their reaction time decreases significantly (Willis, 2005). Women undergo menopause, and men experience decreased fertility. Hair begins to turn white or grey, and more wrinkles appear on the face as the skin starts to sag. Behaviorally, the personalities of both men and women tend to change over a short time, and they may abruptly regress to their earlier years (Willis, 2005).
Sexual performance for both men and women diminishes significantly during their middle adulthood (Willis, 2005). This can be attributed to reduced muscle strength and coordination, diminished sex hormones, and familiarity. The sexual desire decreases because of reduction in hormones in the body. Men experience erectile dysfunction, and women undergo symptoms of menopause (Willis, 2005). At about the age of fifty years, women undergo menopause, which is characterized by ovaries not releasing eggs and the inability of their bodies to produce estrogen. Staying many years in marriage increases familiarity, which reduces the feelings of intimacy between the couples (Willis, 2005). This has been found to have a significant negative impact on sexual performance. Individuals are classified under early adulthood when they are 20 to 35 years of age (Willis, 2005). Unlike in the stage of middle adulthood, during the stage of early adulthood, individuals perform well in sexual relations because of high sexual desires and physical strength and energy (Willis, 2005). Studies have shown that towards the end of early adulthood and during middle adulthood, men experience decreased desire for sexual relationships (Willis, 2005). Some incidents such as divorce occur towards the end of early adulthood and in the course of middle adulthood (Willis, 2005).
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are those infections that individuals acquire through unprotected sex (Barlow, 2011). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is among those STIs that commonly attack people in the world. Although, HIV can be transmitted through other means, such as blood transfusion, sharing of piercing instruments, during birth or pregnancy, during breastfeeding, or through road accidents, unprotected sex remains to be the major avenue through which individuals acquire HIV (Barlow, 2011). HIV attacks the immune systems of the body, and therefore the body lacks sufficient defense against infection and diseases, which are referred to as opportunistic infections. This virus infects and kills CD4 cells that protect the body against infections (Barlow, 2011). Individuals with HIV can develop AIDS after a number of years, depending on how they take care of themselves with their HIV positive status (Barlow, 2011). HIV and AIDS have been associated with a number of myths. Some of the myths include: HIV is a punishment for those people who are wicked; individuals acquire HIV through having sex with monkeys or drinking the blood of the monkeys; and that a person cannot transmit HIV to others if he or she does not portray symptoms (Barlow, 2011).
In spite of the widespread media coverage on the sexually transmitted infections and the medical technology, HIV has continued to infect a great deal of people worldwide in a daily basis (Barlow, 2011). This is because of carelessness, or forced sexual intercourse, especially in the influence of drug and substance consumption. According to many rape cases that have been reported, the victims acquire HIV during the forced sexual intercourse (Barlow, 2011). Most of the sexual offenders carry out their actions under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. A number of expectant mothers often transmit HIV to their babies as a result of negligence, especially when they fail to take the antiretroviral medications regularly (Barlow, 2011). Peer pressure is one of the causes of various evil doings in human society, especially among adolescents. Many adolescents are influenced by their friends to abuse drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana (Barlow, 2011). Under the influence of drugs, adolescents can engage in unprotected sex and therefore, acquire or transmit sexually transmitted infections. Adolescents are very active sexually, and can significantly increase the rate of HIV transmission within the society (Barlow, 2011).
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During expectance, fathers are expected to help their partners carry out various tasks in preparation for child delivery. It is extremely important when both couples assist each other during the preparation for childbirth during labor and delivery to ensure that things happen in a positive manner. The mother experiences a bundle of mental, emotional, and physical issues, for instance, her legs hurt, and her back aches (Reed, 2005). Therefore, during this time the father should support and help his wife doing various tasks in preparation for child delivery. Just like in the modern society, traditionally, fathers helped their wives with baby care even though their primary role was to provide the basic human needs, such as food, and clothing (Reed, 2005). Unlike in the modern society, it was not a custom for fathers in the traditional society to be present during the time of labor and birth (Reed, 2005). It will not be justified for fathers to be absent during labor and delivery, because expectant mothers need enough support during this time. Since the health of both mother and her child is very important, fathers should be more involved during the time of labor and delivery to ensure that everybody is free from complications (Reed, 2005). Other family members should also provide support and help during labor and child delivery. The participation of family members during labor and delivery promotes a positive attitude about childbirth.