In the not-so-distant past, sex was regarded as not only inappropriate but also immoral once we were aged beyond our reproductive years. Australian researchers have now reported that a substantial proportion of older men may have unmet sexual needs. Hyde and colleagues studied the prevalence of sexual activity and associated factors in more than 3274 community-dwelling men from Perth, Western Australia, who were aged 75 to 95 years old. One in two of these elderly men considered sex to be important but only one in three reported being sexually active. The researchers said that addressing risk factors, such as depression, diabetes and medication use may improve sexual activity but will not benefit partnerless men. Further multidisciplinary research was needed to explore how older men can achieve sexual fulfilment when they are widowed, or when their partners are incapable of or uninterested in sex.
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