Sexual Activity is Associated with Greater Enjoyment of Life in Older Adults

The present study has shown that several domains of sexual activity and functioning are associated with well-being, enjoyment of life, in a large population-based sample of older English adults

Lee Smith; Lin Yang; Nicola Veronese; Pinar Soysal; Brendon Stubbs; Sarah E. Jackson

2018

Scholarcy highlights

  • Research has shown that subjective well-being is associated with a number of favorable health outcomes in older adults, as well as with reduced mortality. Owing to such clear and compelling evidence, promoting subjective well-being has been identified as an important strategy for promoting public health in various governmental and organizational policies. Subjective well-being encompasses multiple aspects, including experienced well-being, evaluative well-being, and eudemonic well-being.4Experienced well-being, the most widely studied aspect, is typically conceptualized as positive psychological well-being, happiness, or optimism
  • Smith L, Yang L, Veronese N, et al Sexual Activity is Associated with Greater Enjoyment of Life in Older Adults
  • The present study has shown that several domains of sexual activity and functioning are associated with well-being, enjoyment of life, in a large population-based sample of older English adults
  • Men who reported being satisfied with their overall sex life reported greater enjoyment of life, but there was no significant association between sexual satisfaction and enjoyment of life in women
  • We were unable to take into account cultural norms which could influence reasons to engage in sexual activity, and our findings might not be generalizable to other countries with populations having differing attitudes toward sex in later life. In this large representative sample of older English adults, sexual activity and feeling emotionally close to one’s partner during sexual activity were associated with greater enjoyment of life in both men and women, an association between overall satisfaction with sex life and enjoyment of life was only evident in men
  • Men who experienced sexual problems or had concerns about their sex life consistently reported lower levels of life enjoyment, and some associations were observed in women. These findings have important implications for health practitioners and caregivers, highlighting the need to acknowledge that older adults are not asexual, and that a frequent and problem-free sex life in this population is related to improved well-being
  • Our present findings and those of others suggest that it may be beneficial for physicians to routinely query geriatric patients about their sexual activity and to offer help for sexual difficulties

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