Regular Sex May Be Key to Happy Marriage for
MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among older married
Americans, an active sex life is associated with greater happiness
with their marriages and with life in general, according to a new
The finding is based on an analysis of the responses of 238
married people 65 and older who took part in the 2004 General
Sexual-activity frequency significantly predicted both overall
and marital happiness, and this association remained even after
factors such as age, gender, health status and financial
satisfaction were taken into account.
Nearly 60 percent of those who had sex more than once a month
were very happy with life in general, compared with 40 percent of
those who had no sex in the last year. Nearly 80 percent of those
who had sex more than once a month were very happy with their
marriage, compared with 59 percent of those who had no sex in the
The findings were presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the
Gerontological Society of America in Boston.
"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," study author Adrienne Jackson, an assistant professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, said in a society news release.
"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," Jackson added.
To assess frequency of sexual activity, survey participants were
asked the following question: "About how many times did you have
sex during the last 12 months? By 'sex' we mean vaginal, oral or
Participants were also asked the following questions to assess
general happiness, and marital happiness, respectively: "Taken all
together, how would you say things are these days -- would you say
that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?"; "Taking
things all together, how would you describe your marriage? Would
you say that your marriage is very happy, pretty happy, or not too
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about
sexuality in later life.
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