Table of contents:
- Experimental conditions i
- The impact of sex on the lives of older people2
- Impact on emotional state 3
- Prospects for the treatment of age-related sexual problems4
Video: Impact Of Sexual Activity On The Quality Of Life Of Older People
Much has been written about the physical and mental health benefits of sex. Research and articles mainly focus on young and middle-aged populations. But the relationship between sexual activity and mood and health problems and the well-being of older adults is rarely studied.
The content of the article
- 1 Experimental conditions
- 2 The impact of sex on the lives of older people
- 3 Influence on emotional state
- 4 Prospects for treating age-related sexual problems
As shown in a study published on December 13, 2018 in the journal Sexual Medicine, sexually active older people report higher levels of well-being, well-being and pleasure in life, compared to those who have long forgotten about sex.
Experimental conditions i
The group study, one of the first in this area, started in 2002, took place in England and lasted two years. It was attended by 3,045 men and 3,834 women aged 50 to 89 years. Among the participants, 95% were white Europeans. 74% of men and 60% of women were married or lived with a partner.
The biennial assessments included a personal computer interview and questionnaires. The independent variables included age, partner, socioeconomic status, alcohol use, smoking, limitations due to long-standing illness, and symptoms of depression. The range of aspects of sexuality included the frequency of sexual activity (intercourse, masturbation, kissing, fondling, hugging), problems with sexual function and activity, and sexual satisfaction.
The level of enjoyment in life was assessed using the satisfaction subscale (control, autonomy, self-fulfillment and pleasure), a proven measure of quality of life characteristic of older age.
The impact of sex on the lives of older people2
The results of the study showed that sexual activity is associated with a more enjoyable life for this group of people. Men and women who reported any type of sex in the previous year reported greater feelings of happiness compared to those who did not.
Feelings of emotional closeness with a partner during sex were also compared to a more positive outlook for both sexes. Among sexually active participants, frequent kissing and fondling with partners was associated with greater enjoyment of life. Concerns about sexual abstinence and problems with sexual function were associated with lower enjoyment of life for men and, to a lesser extent, for women.
It was also found that frequent sexual intercourse for this age (twice a month or more) is associated with the following benefits of psychological and physiological well-being:
- improving quality of life and mental health;
- increased heart rate variability;
- lower risk of certain cancers and fatal coronary events.
Unexpectedly for scientists was the connection between "positive sex life" (determined on the basis of the frequency of sexual intercourse in men and pleasure from the act in women) with a lower annual mortality rate among the participants in the experiment.
Impact on emotional state 3
The most interesting finding was that for men, frequent sex is associated with greater life satisfaction than kissing, fondling, or hugging. For women, on the contrary, frequent kisses, manifestations of tenderness on the part of a partner, hugs and caresses were associated with greater joy from life than sexual intercourse.
“It thus appears that intercourse may be more important for men than for women in terms of well-being, while women's pleasure is more dependent on other sexual activities,” says Lee Smith, PhD and co-author of the study.
Frequent masturbation did not affect the enjoyment of life scores for either sex. At the same time, two or more episodes per month were considered “frequent” sexual activity.
Prospects for the treatment of age-related sexual problems4
The study found that problems such as having and maintaining an erection, reaching orgasm, fears of lack of intimate desire and frequency of sex were associated with lower life satisfaction and feelings of happiness.
Not involved in the study, Pelin Batour, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Cleveland Ohio Clinic, said the experiment could help improve the way drugs are developed and measured for women's sexual health.
Such studies, she said, emphasize that “drugs should take into account sexual desire, satisfaction, pain and other areas of sexuality that are important for women when assessing whether potential new drugs are beneficial. The subjective benefits of quality of life for women are probably more important than the frequency of sexual activity after taking the drugs.”
Study co-author Sarah Jackson, senior research fellow at University College London, commented on the results of the experiment: “Sexuality is different for every person and can change for better or worse throughout life, depending on the circumstances.
Psychological well-being is inextricably linked to physical health, and as populations continue to age, it is necessary to encourage and support the natural sexual activity of older people, which will certainly benefit both the health of citizens and the sustainability of health services.”
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