A new study has found that sex is a significant predictor of happiness among married seniors. The researchers revealed the more often older married individuals engage in sexual activity, the more they are likely to be happy with both their lives and marriages.
This finding is based on the 2004 General Social Surveys, a public opinion poll conducted on a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalised English and Spanish-speaking person 18 years of age or older living in the U.S.
Adrienne Jackson, PT, PhD, MPA, an assistant professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University conducted the data analysis.
“This study will help open the lines of communication and spark interest in developing ‘outside the box’ approaches to dealing with resolvable issues that limit or prevent older adults from participating in sexual activity,” said Jackson. “Highlighting the relationship between sex and happiness will help us in developing and organizing specific sexual health interventions for this growing segment of our population,” she stated.
Based on the survey responses of 238 married individuals age 65 years or older, Jackson discovered that frequency of sexual activity was a significant predictor of both general and marital happiness. The association even remained after accounting for factors such as age, gender, health status, and satisfaction with financial situation.
Whereas only 40 percent of individuals who reported no sexual activity in the last 12 months said they were very happy with life in general, almost 60 percent who engaged in sexual activity more than once a month said they were very happy. Similarly, while about 59 percent of individuals who reported no sexual activity in the last 12 months said they were very happy with their marriage, almost 80 percent who had sex more than once a month said they were very happy.
The finding was presented in Boston at The Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) 64th Annual Scientific Meeting.