The headline in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (Journal of Sexual Medicine) Published Online: August 13, 2008 presents an interesting portrait of our senior and sometime more senior seniors and their sex lives.Here's the headline:
Sexual Dysfunction among Older Adults: Prevalence and Risk Factors from a Nationally Representative U.S. Probability Sample of Men and Women 57–85 Years of Age
A study done by Edward O. Laumann, PhD, Aniruddha Das, MA, and Linda J. Waite, PhD
examined the prevalence of sexual problems across different sociodemographic groups, and risk factors for these problems in various aspects of health and life.
To gather information for the study they did a statistical analysis of data from the 2005–2006 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a nationally representative U.S. probability sample of 1,550 women and 1,455 men aged 57–85 at the time of interview.
The study showed that sexual problems among the elderly are not an inevitable consequence of aging, “but instead are responses to the presence of stressors in multiple life domains.” This impact, they said, may partly be gender differentiated, with older women's sexual health more sensitive to their physical health than is true for men.
The mechanism linking life stress with sexual problems is likely to be poor mental health and relationship dissatisfaction. The NSHAP results demonstrate the consistent impact of poor mental health on women's reports of sexual problems and the less consistent association with men's problems.
What did they make of the study” There report says: “The results point to a need for physicians who are treating older adults experiencing sexual problems to take into account not simply their physical health, but also their psychosocial health and satisfaction with their intimate relationship.”
But the report lifts some interesting shades into the senior sex world and that is that there are satisfying sex lives possible into your 70s and 80s. One story reported that “68 percent of men between 57 and 85 reported having sex last year, as did 42 percent of women, according to the study's lead author, Dr. Laumann, who did landmark studies on male and female sexual life. He added, more older women might have wanted to have sex, but there just aren't as many available older men for them to partner with.
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According to HealthDay News on the healthfinder.gov site: "healthy people can have reasonably satisfying sexual health for most of their lives," said Laumann. "There are challenges that arise, but it's not aging, per se, that's the issue. A decline in sexuality may be the canary in the mineshaft. Sexual problems may manifest before diabetes and high blood pressure." (August, 2008) To discuss this article, visit our forums.