Women older than 60 who are more satisfied with their sex lives also generally have no trouble coping with getting older and have a tendency to have a high quality of life, based on new research authored by the Journal of the American Geriatric Society this week.
As part of the study, researchers at the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, North park (UCSD) checked out 1,235 women between the ages of 60 and 89 who were enrolled in the San Diego site from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study.
“Because the researchers expected, sexual activity and functioning (such things as desire, arousal and skill to climax) were negatively associated with age, as were physical and mental health,” officials in the University said in a pr release. “However, in contrast to sexual activity and functioning, satisfaction with overall sex life wasn’t significantly different between your three age cohorts studied: age 60 to 69; 70 to 79; and 80 to 89.”
In fact, 67% of the 60 to 69 years old subjects, 60% of the 70 to 79 years old subjects, and 61% of the 80 to 89 year old subjects reported being “moderately” to “very satisfied” using their sex lives, the researchers discovered. The study also learned that those in younger age ranges reported having more frequent sexual encounters (70% from the youngest age group who were married or involved in intimate relationships reported making love in a six month span, versus just 31% of the oldest).
“Unlike our earlier hypothesis, sexual satisfaction wasn’t significantly related to age,” co-lead author and UCSD assistant professor of psychiatry Wesley Thompson said, based on the Daily Telegraph. “Although the levels of sexual activity and functioning did vary significantly, with respect to the woman’s age, their perceived standard of living, successful aging and sexual joy remained positive.
“What this study informs us is that many older adults retain remarkable ability to enjoy sex well into old age,” he added. “This is also true of seniors who maintain a higher-level of physical and mental health because they grow older. Furthermore, feeling pleased with your sex lifewhatever your amounts of sexual activityis closely associated with your perceived standard of living.”
Joining Thompson and co-lead author / UCSD medical student Lindsey Charo on the study were doctors Ipsit V. Vahia, Colin Depp, Matthew Allison, and Dilip V. Jeste, all with the UCSD School of Medicine.