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Old people are gettin' it done. Interviews of over 7,000 people aged 70 and up found that 54% of men and 31% of women have sex at least every two weeks.
The first-of-its-kind study, by Manchester University and the U.K.'s NatCen Social Research Institute, included octogenarians as research subjects. They found that the decrease in sexual activity had less to do with aging and more to do with problems related to sexual health: men and woman can -- and will -- remain sexually active until they are physically incapable (39% of the men faced issues of erectile dysfunction and 32% of women reported difficulty becoming sexually aroused.)
There's a good chance that reading the previous paragraph made you feel uncomfortable. Why does discussing sex and the elderly remain taboo despite evolving cultural mores and an increase in dialogues about sex in general? In his book, "Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons," professor of psychology Todd D. Nelson speculated that aging reminds us of our mortality and that our bodies will one day fail us. Our default response is that we simply do not want to picture our grandparents or parents having sex, but Nelson argues that our discomfort stems from a deeper-rooted fear in seeing ourselves in them.
Does the idea of sex among septuagenarians, octogenarian and -- heaven forbid -- even older freak you out or are you cool with it? We'd love to hear your opinion, so please leave a comment below -- we dare you! -- so we can get a conversation going.
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Love and intimacy in later life: Active sex lives common in the over 70s
"Older people are continuing to enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties, according to new research. More than half (54%) of men and almost a third (31%) of women over the age of 70 reported they were still sexually active, with a third of these men and women having frequent sex."