Remember what great sex lives some of the fabulously post-60 "Golden Girls" seemed to have? Turns out that wasn't unrealistic, according to a new study out of the University of California, San Diego.
The research examined the sex lives of women between the ages of 60 and 89 and found those who enjoyed an active sex life had a better quality of life and were happier, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Though sexual activity was lower in older woman -- "seventy per cent of women in their sixties reported some sexual activity in the previous six months, a figure which dropped to 57 per cent among women in their seventies and 31 per cent among those in their eighties," according to the report -- and the women studied were less likely than younger women to become aroused or climax, the results showed a majority of the women ranked their sex lives between moderately satisfied and very satisfied, according to the Telegraph.
Professor Wesley Thompson who led the UCSD study told The Sydney Morning Herald that maintaining a high level of sexual satisfaction may positively reinforce other psychological aspects of successful aging.
Out of the 1235 women surveyed, the overall conclusion was that a satisfying sex life is closely linked with a high quality of life all the way into our 80s.
Thompson told the Daily Mail "While we cannot assess cause and effect from this study, these results suggest that maintaining a high level of sexual satisfaction may positively reinforce other psychological aspects of successful aging."
The findings were contrary to what the researchers initially hypothesized, reports the Telegraph. Thompson's team had expected to see sexual satisfaction drop as women age.
But how does women's sexual activity later in life compare to men's? A comparative study published in the British Medical Journal, as reported by TIME Magazine in 2010, found that "67% of men ages 65 to 74 said they had been sexually active in the past year, compared with just 40% of women in the same age group." When it comes to sexual satisfaction, a study published in the British Journal of Urology in 2006 found that men in their 50s were actually more satisfied with their sex lives than men in their 30s and 40s, LiveScience.com reported, but their satisfaction declined sharply after age 59.