The study found that overall men age 57 and older were more likely than women to be sexually active, report a good quality sex life, and be interested in sex—and those differences increase with age.
In the 75- to 85-year-old group, almost 40% of men compared with about 17% of women were sexually active, and about 41% of men reported being interested in sex versus about 11% of women. Furthermore, among those sexually active in that age group, about 70% of men reported having a good quality sex life, compared to about only half of women.
At age 55, “sexually active life expectancy” is 15 years for men and 10.6 years for women. However, while men might have sex for more years than women, the study found men lose more years of sexually active life as a result of poor health than women.
Overall, both men and women in good health were more likely to be sexually active, have sex more frequently, and be interested in sex. Among those reporting good or excellent health, 81% of men and 51% of women said they had been sexually active in the past year, compared to 47% of men and 26% of women reporting fair or poor health.
The study looked at data collected from about 3,000 adults ages 57 to 85 during interviews between July 2005 and March 2006.