Research shows older Americans are sexually active, from the Harvard Health Letter

Research is showing that Americans are staying sexually active in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s, reports the December 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter.

The article sums up findings from two important surveys investigating the sexuality of older Americans. Indiana University researchers reported earlier this year that 20% to 30% of long-lived Americans are sexually active into their 80s. And a University of Chicago survey published several years ago showed that half of Americans continue to engage in sexual activity well into their 70s.

The Health Letter offers several possible explanations for sexuality extending later and later into life. People are staying healthy longer, and the University of Chicago study found a close association between good health and sexual activity among older people. The advent of erectile dysfunction drugs has helped many men stay sexually active. And it is the baby boom generation, the group that came of age as sexual mores were changing, that is getting old.

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