Senior citizens increasingly satisfied with their sex lives

March 17, 2015

Senior citizens have experienced a considerable improvement in their sex lives since the 1970s. A doctoral thesis by Nils Beckman at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that six out of every ten women and seven out of every ten men over 70 are highly satisfied with their sex lives.

Based on data from the large H70 and women's population studies, researchers at the University of Gothenburg Center for Aging and Health (AgeCap) have examined the sexual attitudes of senior citizens and identified the factors that determine whether or not they remain sexually active.

Childhood experiences

Childhood experiences have a major impact on the sexuality of senior citizens. The studies, which offered a unique opportunity to monitor women from middle age to 70 years old, showed that a history of childhood poverty, parental squabbling or divorce, and corporal punishment may reduce sexual desire and activity even in middle age.

Gender rols make a difference

Gender roles make a difference as well. Sexual activity is largely fueled by male appetite: women are less likely to be active if their partners do not experience much desire and more likely if their partners do.

"In other words, our studies suggest that women's desire is not decisive for how active they are," Dr. Beckman says. "One reason may be the gender roles that these generations grew up with, which dictate that men always take the initiative."

Sexual activity among 70-year-olds has increased from 12% to 34% for women and from 47% to 66% for men since the 1970s.

Improved quality of the sex life

The quality of the sex lives of senior citizens has improved as well. A total of 62% of women and 71% of men report being highly satisfied with their sex lives, as opposed to 41% of women and 58% of men in the 1970s.

"A general sense of wellbeing, comfortable circumstances, good physical condition and vibrant mental health all contribute to sexual satisfaction," Dr. Beckman says. "Previous sexual experiences and the quality of the relationship also play a role.

"The studies found that even people in their late 90s have sexual feelings. While unlikely to be active at that age, they talk about their sexual thoughts and dreams, often regretting that they no longer have the chance to share intimacy with another person."

Natural for doctors to ask about sex

Dr. Beckman's thesis concluded that half of 97-year-olds have a positive attitude to sex. A total of 88% of men and 82% of women find it perfectly natural for doctors to ask about their sexuality at checkups.

"Caregivers must be broadminded and open to the fact that love, desire and sexuality do not dissipate as people grow older," Dr. Beckman says. "Doctors and nurses should never hesitate to ask patients whether they are experiencing sexual problems, no matter how old they might be."
-end-
Dr. Beckman defended Epidemiological Studies of Sexuality in Old Age on January 30.

Link to thesis: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/37524

Feel free to contact:

Nils Beckman, University of Gothenburg, affiliated with the Center for Aging and Health (AgeCap)
Landline: +46 31-342 8138
Cell: +46 73 907 2056
nils.beckman@neuro.gu.se

Ingmar Skoog, Professor at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and Director of the Center for Aging and Health (AgeCap)
Landline: +46 31-343 8640
Cell: +46 709-433 681
ingmar.skoog@neuro.gu.se

University of Gothenburg

Related Senior Citizens Articles from Brightsurf:

Citizens themselves contribute to political mistrust
People have a special ability to detect and disseminate information about egotistic and selfish leaders.

Citizens' adherence to COVID-19 social distancing measures depends on government response
CU Denver researcher and Business School associate professor Jiban Khuntia, PhD, found while social distancing is an effective preventative measure in the fight against COVID-19, there are significant variations being observed in how and why individuals follow the restrictions in South Korea, North American and Kuwait.

Citizens prefer teachers and administrators to take the hit during economic crisis
With schools around the world looking into various cost-cutting measures in the midst of the COVID-10 pandemic, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York reveals that citizens prefer teachers and administrative staff to be at the frontline of school spending cuts during times of economic crisis.

Increase in immigration has little impact on the wages of US citizens
A new study in Review of Economic Studies suggests that a large increase in the stock of immigrants to the United States would have little impact on the wages of native US citizens.

How the urban environment affects the diet of its citizens
In the high-impact journal Appetite the UPV/EHU's Nursing and Health Promotion research group has published a study using photovoice methodology and which qualitatively compares citizens' perceptions about the food environment in three Bilbao neighbourhoods with different socioeconomic levels.

Novel intervention in senior housing communities increases resilience and wisdom
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with Mather Institute, developed a method to enhance resilience and reduce subjective stress in residents living in senior housing communities.

Stanford researchers explore how citizens can become agents of environmental change
Some programs work better than others when it comes to involving citizens in preserving the environment.

What leads citizens to vote for 'anti-establishment' parties?
An article by Danilo Serani, a researcher with the Department of Political and Social Sciences at UPF, analyses the impact of the economic crisis on the electoral preferences of European citizens.

Undocumented immigrants' transplant survival rates on par with US citizens'
Unauthorized immigrants who receive liver transplants in the United States have comparable three-year survival rates to US citizens, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Treat citizens as partners, not participants, to improve air quality research
Encouraging citizens to take part in almost every step of scientific air quality research improves their understanding of how air pollution affects their health, finds a new study from the University of Surrey.

Read More: Senior Citizens News and Senior Citizens Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.