What’s Your Number? Study Looks at People Over 50 and How Many Sexual Partners They’ve Really Had
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How many sex partners have you had?
We don’t really want to know …
But you may want to know how your number stacks up against the average for people age 50 and over.
A team of British sociologists decided that not enough research on sexual behaviour has focussed on older age groups.
So they looked into information provided by the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which has been tracking the health and well-being of people aged 50 plus since 2002, with annual surveys and face-to-face interviews.
The data for the study about sex partners included responses to the Sexual Relationships and Activities Questionnaire in 2012-13. Some 6,921 participants specified the numbers of sexual partners they’d had.
Information on ethnicity, marital status, household income, sexual orientation, health and lifestyle — the frequency and quantity of smoking, drinking, and physical activity — was also gathered.
Unsurprisingly, men were more likely than women to report a higher number of lifetime sexual partners.
Just under 40 per cent of the men surveyed and around one in four (24 per cent) of the women had at least five sexual partners.
Around one in five men, but fewer than one in 10 women (8.5 per cent) had 10 or more partners.
Among women, white ethnicity and doing regular moderate to intensive exercise were both associated with a higher number of sexual partners — as was the absence of a longstanding illness.
For men, those in the bottom 20 per cent of income and those in the top 20 per cent both reported higher numbers of lifetime sexual partners.