Writing in the British Medical Journal, the study that was conducted by University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that an increasing number of 70 year olds are having good sex and more often, and women in this age group are particularly satisfied with their sex lives.The research also found that knowledge about sexual behaviour in older people, i.e. 70 year olds, is limited and mainly focuses on sexual problems, less is known about "normal" sexual behaviour in this age group.
In the study, the researchers studied attitudes to sex in later life among four representative population samples of 70 year olds in Sweden, who they interviewed in 1971-2, 1976-7, 1992-3, and 2000-1.
In total, over 1 500 people aged 70 years were interviewed about different aspects of their sex lives including sexual dysfunctions, marital satisfaction and sexual activity.
The authors found that over the thirty year period the number of 70 year olds of both sexes reporting sexual intercourse increased: married men from 52 percent to 68 percent, married women from 38percent to 56 percent, unmarried men from 30 percent to 54 percent, and unmarried women from 0.8percent to 12 percent.
In addition, the number of women reporting high sexual satisfaction increased, more women reported having an orgasm during sex and fewer reported never having had an orgasm.
While the proportion of women reporting low satisfaction with their sex lives decreased, the proportion of men reporting low satisfaction increased.
As for the reason, the researchers suggest that it is now more acceptable for men to admit "failure" in sexual matters.
They also note that the number of men reporting erectile dysfunction deceased, whereas the proportion reporting ejaculation dysfunction increased, but the proportion reporting premature ejaculation did not change.
"Our study...shows that most elderly people consider sexual activity and associated feelings a natural part of later life", the British Medical Journal quoted scientists, as saying.