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:: By Seth Mayer, ’08

:: Graphic by Allen Carroll

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Investigations ::


Getting on and getting it on

As Americans reach their 70s, nearly half stay sexually active, according to the University’s National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. By 75, however, fewer sustain sex lives, say assistant medical professor Stacy Tessler Lindau, AM’02, sociologist Edward Laumann, and four other Chicago researchers, who conducted the most comprehensive study of its kind. Through in-home interviews with 3,005 adults between 57 and 85, the project collected data on sexual relationships, health, marital status, and sexual problems.

Published in the August 23 New England Journal of Medicine, the study shows that at every age level men were more likely report sexual activity. Between the ages of 65 and 74, 39.5 percent of women mentioned having sex in the past year. In the same age group, 67 percent of men reported having sex. Researchers suggest the gap may exist because, on average, men tend to marry younger women.