The Scientific Secret To Staying Young And Smart? Sex, Duh
The world has attempted to discover the key to eternal youth for thousands of years. Turns out, it was right under our noses the whole time. Researchers from The Manchester University have found that continued sexual activity as we age benefits cognitive function, including memory. Add it to the long list of health benefits associated with a healthy sex life you have posted on the fridge. Seriously, from prolific immune function to improved sleep and stress relief, science just keeps giving us more reasons to get busy.
The study surveyed and tested 1700 subjects, ages 58 to 98. After a series of small tests measuring brain power, they discovered that those getting busy on the regular performed better. This is counter to the idea that as we age, our libido is minimized.
Though we don't typically consider our elderly counterparts as tigers in the sack, the study also found that a third of women over the age of 70 characterize themselves as sexually active; the number was even higher for men. Though the results are intriguing, those behind the study said they couldn't be entirely sure if the degradation of the brain itself led to a less active sex life, so this is also an option. But again, given the large number of other benefits correlated to sex and intimacy, it's a safe bet that sex plays a factor.
Back in 2013, a study by the New England Journal of Medicine challenged the widespread idea that seniors become celibate by a certain age; the largest survey ever conducted on the topic, results indicated that 73 percent of people between the ages of 57 and 63 had had sex the previous year.
The same study found that no matter what age, women were less sexually active than men, which is a finding that has been echoed by nearly every study on the matter.
I’m not so sure, though; it’s important to consider the fact that as women are generally societally discouraged from expressing their sexuality as a whole, it makes sense that studies on the matter would reflect that. In my experience, at least, men are much more comfortable discussing anything sexual as they’ve never experienced the stigma associated with being an openly sexual human. Le bull. But I digress.
Sexual fulfillment is an issue that hasn't always been prioritized in the healthcare industry. Let's hope that studies such as this incite a much-needed change in the way we look at sex itself.
Images: Katie Tegtmeyer/Flickr, Tumblr