Sexual Satisfaction in the Seventh Decade of Life

DeLamater, John, Janet S. Hyde, and Mei-Chia Fong
Working paper no. 2007-17


The purpose of this research was to present and interpret data on the sexual behavior and satisfaction of men and women in their mid-sixties. These results fill an important gap in our understanding of human sexual activity across the life course. The data are from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study 2003 mail survey, including 2,409 men and 2,717 women. The original sample consisted of graduates of Wisconsin high schools in 1957. Regression analyses were used to identify variables independently associated with sexual behavior and satisfaction. Included in the analyses were measures of physical health, sexual functioning, psychological distress, and satisfaction with the relationship. Frequency of sexual activity was significantly predicted by one measure of sexual functioning. Satisfaction with the sexual relationship was predicted by satisfaction with the relationship and frequency of sexual activity. The results support the conclusion that sexual expression remains a significant aspect of intimate relationships in the seventh decade of life.