Sex has always been something that is kept behind closed doors, not to be spoken about in public. However, it’s a part of every human’s life. It’s not only necessary for the progression of the human race, but it’s pleasurable, cathartic, and improves overall well-being. Now, according to a new study, frequent sexual activity can even help boost brain activity in older adults.
Society likes to pretend that sex is an activity only carried out by the young. They portray people in their senior years as being disinterested in sex. This is the furthest from the truth.
Seniors are still having sexual intercourse on a regular basis. A previously conducted survey found that 28 percent of Americans over the age of 45 had sex once a week or more in the last six months, with 40 percent reporting having sex at least once a month.
A study investigating increased frequency of sex in seniors carried out by researchers at the Universities of Coventry and Oxford found sex to have the strongest effect on tests that measured verbal fluency and the ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them.
The study in question involved 74 people between the ages of 50 and 83. Of this group, 28 were male and 45 were female. Each took part in a standardized test measuring different patterns of brain function with respect to attention, memory, fluency, language and visuospatial ability. Questionnaires were also filled out detailing their sexual activity over the past 12 months.
The researchers found no differences were linked between sex and attention, memory, or language, with participants performing well in these tasks regardless of their sexual activity.
However, participants who engaged in weekly sexual activity scored the highest with verbal fluency and visuospatial ability tests.
It is possible that the frequency of sexual intercourse augments how biological elements such as dopamine and oxytocin are released into the brain, perhaps explaining these findings.
“People don’t like to think that older people have sex – but we need to challenge this conception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over, beyond the known effects on sexual health and general wellbeing,” said lead researcher Dr. Hayley Wright, from Coventry University’s Centre for Research in Psychology, Behavior, and Achievement.