A new study has claimed that people aged over 70 too enjoy an active sex life.
According to new research from The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research, more than half (54 percent) of men and almost a third (31 percent) of women over the age of 70 reported they were still sexually active, with a third of these men and women having frequent sex - meaning at least twice a month.
It is the first study on sexual health of its kind to include people over the age of 80 and uncovers a detailed picture of the sex lives of older men and women in England, finding that a sizeable minority remain sexually active in their old age.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, it finds that overall health and conflicting partnership factors were more closely linked to decreasing sexual activity and functioning, rather than simply increasing age.
Of the more than 7000 people who responded to the questionnaire, very few (less than 3 percent) declined to answer direct questions about their sexual activities and problems.
Lead author Dr. David Lee said that they were hoping that the findings would improve public health by countering stereotypes and misconceptions about late-life sexuality, and offer older people a reference against which they may relate their own experiences and expectations.
Problems most frequently reported by sexually active women related to becoming sexually aroused (32 percent) and achieving orgasm (27 percent), while for men it was erectile difficulties (39 percent). Chronic health conditions and poor self-rated health seemed to have more obvious negative impacts on the sexual health of men compared to women.
Men were more concerned about their sexual activities and function than women and, with increasing age, these concerns tended to become more common. Sexually active women were less dissatisfied with their overall sex lives than men, and also reported decreasing levels of dissatisfaction with increasing age.
The study also found that many septuagenarians and octogenarians were still affectionate towards their partners, with 31 percent of men and 20 percent of women reporting frequent kissing or petting. Among those who reported any sexual activity in the past three months, 1 percent of men and 10 percent of women reported they felt obligated to have sex.
The paper is published in the American academic journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior.