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Prevalence of masturbation and associated factors among older adults in four European countries

Prevalence of masturbation and associated factors among older adults in four European countries
Prevalence of masturbation and associated factors among older adults in four European countries

Solitary sexual activity is a free, safe, and accessible way to experience sexual pleasure. Despite these advantages, research on masturbation in later life is highly understudied. Using data from a cross-sectional probability-based survey of 3816 European adults (mean age 67 years; range 60–75 years), we explored several sociodemographic, health, attitudinal, and sexual behavioral factors associated with reported masturbation frequency. Across all countries, between 41% and 65% of men and 27% and 40% of women reported any masturbation in the preceding month. Satisfaction with sexual activity and attitudes related to disapproval of sex without love were significant predictors of reported masturbation in almost all countries and in both genders. Age, education, self-perceived health, and depression were for the most part predictive of men’s reported masturbation, but not women’s. Generally, those believing sex is beneficial to older people were more likely to masturbate, while less permissive attitudes decreased the likelihood of reporting masturbation. To improve healthy sexual aging, misinformation about masturbation and sexual attitudes in older people need to be addressed.

Cross-cultural, Masturbation, Older adults, Sexual attitudes, Sexual satisfaction, Solitary sexual activity
0004-0002
1385–1396
Fischer, Nantje
3f78d9c8-40ba-446c-a07a-3aea78b94d46
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Træen, Bente
b1e0cf58-f435-4c39-8c5d-6a9e7a40a89c
Hald, Gert Martin
7b8292c5-9fac-4c38-b88d-8af9534f7e8c
Fischer, Nantje
3f78d9c8-40ba-446c-a07a-3aea78b94d46
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Træen, Bente
b1e0cf58-f435-4c39-8c5d-6a9e7a40a89c
Hald, Gert Martin
7b8292c5-9fac-4c38-b88d-8af9534f7e8c

Fischer, Nantje, Graham, Cynthia, Træen, Bente and Hald, Gert Martin (2022) Prevalence of masturbation and associated factors among older adults in four European countries. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51 (3), 1385–1396. (doi:10.1007/s10508-021-02071-z).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Solitary sexual activity is a free, safe, and accessible way to experience sexual pleasure. Despite these advantages, research on masturbation in later life is highly understudied. Using data from a cross-sectional probability-based survey of 3816 European adults (mean age 67 years; range 60–75 years), we explored several sociodemographic, health, attitudinal, and sexual behavioral factors associated with reported masturbation frequency. Across all countries, between 41% and 65% of men and 27% and 40% of women reported any masturbation in the preceding month. Satisfaction with sexual activity and attitudes related to disapproval of sex without love were significant predictors of reported masturbation in almost all countries and in both genders. Age, education, self-perceived health, and depression were for the most part predictive of men’s reported masturbation, but not women’s. Generally, those believing sex is beneficial to older people were more likely to masturbate, while less permissive attitudes decreased the likelihood of reporting masturbation. To improve healthy sexual aging, misinformation about masturbation and sexual attitudes in older people need to be addressed.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 June 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 November 2021
Published date: 1 April 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: Open access funding provided by University of Oslo (incl Oslo University Hospital). This research was founded by the Norwegian Research Council under the Grant Number 250637. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).
Keywords: Cross-cultural, Masturbation, Older adults, Sexual attitudes, Sexual satisfaction, Solitary sexual activity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449976
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449976
ISSN: 0004-0002
PURE UUID: 2ad1d9b7-e412-40f8-b8f0-a0f6c03d9e35
ORCID for Cynthia Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X

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Date deposited: 01 Jul 2021 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2022 02:44

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Contributors

Author: Nantje Fischer
Author: Cynthia Graham ORCID iD
Author: Bente Træen
Author: Gert Martin Hald

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