Older Women More Sexually Satisfied Than Younger Ones

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Older women report that they are more sexually satisfied and possess a greater sense of positive well-being than younger women, according to researchers at San Diego’s Alvarado Hospital.

For most women, sexual problems that concern sexual desire, interest, satisfaction, and pleasure are integral to the overall sexual experience and are not separate from the experience. A reason that treatment in women with sexual dysfunction cannot be measured by how often they engage in sexual activity is that they often continue to be sexually active even when they are not sexually satisfied. For men who suffer with erectile dysfunction, however, frequency of sexual activity is how the success of their treatment is determined.

To determine whether there is a correlation between the level of sexual satisfaction and well-being, researchers enrolled 295 women aged 20 to 65 who were assigned to one of four subgroups: sexually satisfied, sexually dissatisfied, premenopausal, and postmenopausal. The women rated themselves as to whether they were or were not sexually satisfied.

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Women who rated themselves as being sexually satisfied scored higher for “positive well-being” and “vitality” and had a higher overall psychological well-being score when compared with women who reported themselves to be sexually dissatisfied. The researchers also found that the older women in the study generally reported more sexual satisfaction than did the younger women.

Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which published the study’s results, noted that the study “emphasizes the role and importance of women’s sexual health in women’s overall health and well-being.” He further noted that the research would “help health care professionals appreciate the need for overall women’s healthcare to include women’s sexual health care.”

The study did not identify why some older women are more sexually satisfied than their younger counterparts. In a survey conducted by an RN and researcher at the University of Washington School of Nursing, women age 50 and older, more than half said their “closest relationship provided sexual satisfaction,” and more 80 percent said their intimate partner was physically attractive and that “both partners had a strong emotional attraction for each other.” Ninety percent of the women also said that they had a positive attitude about themselves.

SOURCES:
Davison SL et al. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2009 Sep
Johnson B. Selfhelp magazine, May 13, 1998
San Diego Alvarado Hospital, news release

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