National Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles survey confirms that sexual health is not the preserve of the youngJon
In response to articles published today (26 November) in The Lancet regarding the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, which interviewed over 15,000 adults over two years, FPA welcomes the focus on the sex life of older people up to the age of 74.
All too often our national focus with regards to sexual health tends to be around young people, which belies the reality that older people have sex, with all of its usual implications, from having fun to passing on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The survey also acknowledges the clear link between sexual health, and general health and wellbeing. FPA firmly believes that unless we are better enabling a culture which embraces the truth about our sexual habits and health, then we are risking the overall health and wellbeing of society too.
Natika H Halil, FPA’s Director of Health and Wellbeing said:
“The survey confirms what FPA has been hearing about for a long time from many of the people we speak with – particularly through our Middle-Age Spread campaign – sex does not stop when you turn 50. And yet we have no nationally collated indicators which cover the sexual health of anyone over the age of 24. This new data is extremely valuable in supporting people of all ages.
“It also highlights that older age groups are not finding appropriate services available for their needs and this is a genuine problem, when, as the survey also indicates, very few men and women actually feel able to seek help from professionals about their sexual health.
“We must better ensure that discussions about sex continue to be progressive, integrated into our conversations about health in general, and no longer the preserve of young people, with far too many older people shying away from this important aspect of their overall wellbeing.”