Researchers have debunked the myth that women’s sexual drive decreases as they age.
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society has revealed that the claim that women’s sexual desire decreases as they age is false.
In the study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the USA, 3,200 women were followed for 15 years.
In the study, it was seen that most of the participants attach great importance to sexuality despite their age. Stating that this situation is not abnormal, team leader Assoc. Dr. Holly Thomas stressed the importance of women being able to talk openly with their partners:
If women can talk to their partners and be sure that sex is satisfying, then their sexuality is ‘very important’ even as they age, she says.
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The director of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Center, who was not involved in the study, Dr. Stephanie Faubion also commented on the findings:
The findings are very comforting. For a quarter of women, sex isn’t just on the radar, it’s also very important.
Stating that many studies in the past showed that women’s interest in sexuality decreased over time, Thomas stated that this situation did not match the information he obtained from his patients during his research.
Importance of sexuality in middle age
In the study, the importance given to female sexuality was divided into three groups. About a quarter (28 percent) of women agreed with traditional thinking and placed less value on sexuality in middle age.
However, one fourth of the women stated the opposite. 27 percent of respondents said that sexuality is very important in their 40s, 50s or even 60s.
Faubion said, “People who are in good general health and relationships continue their sexuality.”
In the study, it was also determined that women who were stated to attach great importance to sexuality had some common characteristics. It was stated that the women in question were educated, not depressed, and had more sexual experiences before reaching middle age.
The third group participating in the research
It was determined that the third and largest group in the study followed a middle path. The group, which comprised 48 percent of the participants, valued a healthy sex life when they entered menopause. But in their 50s or 60s, they were slowly losing their relevance.
Experts state that there are a number of physical and emotional factors that can affect women’s view of sexuality. These factors are roughly grouped into 4 groups:
Medical reasons: Women step into menopause from their 40s and 50s. During this period, with the effect of decreasing estrogenb, various problems can be experienced that reduce sexual desire. When health problems increase with advancing age, sexuality loses its importance compared to previous ages.
Mental and emotional concerns: Women who have experienced problems such as abuse, substance use, depressive anxiety and stress at some point in their lives are included in this category. Experts remind that such emotional factors can reduce sexual desire.
Relationship with a partner: The spouses of women who have reached middle age usually have also stepped into middle age. Apart from divorce or the deterioration of the relationship, the health problems of the aging spouse can also push sexuality into the background.
Social pressure: Social norms that determine how women should think and behave about sexuality can also negatively affect sexual desire. Religious, cultural and familial values can make women feel bad about sexual desire.