07/28/2010 11:49 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

For Women, Decreased Fertility Doesn't Decrease Desire

It's long been suspected that older gals do it better, but more often? Turns out, they're not getting the credit they deserve, with all indicators being that -- single or married, mother or childless -- older women are as much about being sexually active as they were in their younger years, if not more. A new study out of the University of Texas at Austin reports that women are more willing to engage in "reproduction expediting" sexual activities, like one-night stands or more "adventurous" bedroom behavior, as their biological clock makes itself known.

The report, published in Personality and Individual Differences, involved more than 827 women, and found that those ages 27 - 45 have a heightened sex drive, which researchers have attributed to their decreasing fertility. Compared to women of high fertility (those ages 18 - 26) and menopausal women, women of low fertility were likelier to report:

• Thoughts about sexual activities and a more active sex life (having sexual intercourse more frequently than women of other age groups)
• Not only more frequent sexual phantasms, but more intense ones than younger gals
• A desire to have casual sex or a one-night stand

Researchers concluded that a psychological adaptation takes place with declining fertility, starting in a female's late twenties. Women are more willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities, primary of which is sexual intercourse, in an effort to maximize their reproductive capabilities. They admit, however, that other factors could be at play for her increased sexual pursuits, including a woman's increased comfort with her sexuality with age.

Perhaps they could've been more definitive as to their results had they asked the women for their thoughts on the matter beyond simply assessing if they desired a child. Ask almost any woman in her thirties, and there is something about this decade in her life when her maternal instinct kicks into high gear, as 33-year-old pop star Shakira recently told Rolling Stone: "Lately my body feels like it is just asking to reproduce, to have a huge belly and carry babies." Surprising, disarming,and pleasure-evoking, it's an energy -- a primal stirring -- to which many women can relate. Perhaps, too, can her mate(s) - but that's a whole other study.