Sex is not just for younger women, study shows
Women who are sexually active in their middle ages are likely to remain sexually active as they get older, research has found
Middle-aged women who are sexually active are likely to carry on having sex for decades after, according to a new study suggesting many women do not lose interest in sex as they get older.
In fact, most middle-aged women do not stop having sex as they age even if they are diagnosed with sexual dysfunction, especially if sex is important to them, research has found.
A team of researchers based at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recruited 602 women between the ages of 40 and 65 and asked them to report if they were sexually active, and how important they felt sex was in their lives.
Lead author Dr Holly Thomas said the results dispelled popular public perception that as women age, sex becomes unimportant, and that women stop having sex completely as they get older.
"From our study, it looks like most women continue to have sex during midlife," she said.
Typically, doctors use the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) test to diagnose sexual problems and dysfunction experienced by women. The index includes 19 questions about arousal, orgasm, vaginal lubrication and pain during intercourse.
But, "it may be detrimental to label a woman as sexually dysfunctional," Dr Thomas said, who used the FSFI test in her research.
At the start of the study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, 354 (66.3 percent) of the women reported being sexually active when they first took the test. Four years later, 228 of those women who took the test again reported still being sexually active.
Women who rated sex as important were three times as likely to remain sexually active as women who rated it as unimportant, Thomas said.
"In contrast to prior research, we found that most sexually active midlife women remain sexually active," the study concluded.
The authors also found that sexual function, as measured by the FSFI index, failed to predict whether the women continued to have sex, leading them to suggest the instrument "may be labeling women as dysfunctional when women don't have a problem."
The index's "focus on intercourse may not accurately reflect what constitutes satisfying sex in this population, yielding falsely low scores," Dr Thomas wrote.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...