Gender Differences in Sexually Active Life Expectancy Over the Life Course

Natalia S. Gavrilova, University of Chicago
Stacy T. Lindau, University of Chicago

We examined the association between self-reported health and measures of sexuality in middle-aged men and women. A first estimate of sexuality-related health expectancy is presented: sexually active life expectancy (SALE). We used health and sexuality data from the two major national surveys: National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, MIDUS, (1995-1996), and the National Health, Social Life and Aging Project, NSHAP (2005-2006), to estimate association between self-reported health and measures of sexual activity and satisfaction. Significant gender disparities exist in SALE with women having less years spent in the state of sexual activity. These disparities increase with age. Role of physical health in maintaining sexual activity is apparently higher for men than women. Public health policy should be aware of this important aspect of quality of life and health at middle and older ages.

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Presented in Poster Session 7