The solution to keeping oneself feeling younger and more vibrant at an older age has never been sexier. According to a new study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Studies, increased sexual activity later on in one’s life is likely result in improved mental abilities.
Researchers used the answers of 73 people between the ages of 50 and 83 to determine the effects of having relations as one ages. They first asked how often the individuals engage in sexual activity. Other questions related to their lifestyle and health habits were also asked. The scientists then paired the information with their results from a well-established test which is used to assess memory, attention, fluency, language, visuospatial ability, and general brainpower in older adults.
As IFLScience reports, it was discovered that those who engaged in weekly sexual activity scored the highest results. This was especially so in the verbal fluency and overall cognition. And, increased sexual activity was linked with improved attention, memory or language.
It is important to note that no causation was mentioned, as the research only looked at a correlation between sex and mental health. Perhaps those who scored higher ate better diets and/or practiced meditation techniques. More, in-depth studies need to be conducted. This is exactly what researchers aim to do. In the future, they intend to research more into the role of certain neurotransmitters and hormones — such as oxytocin and dopamine — to learn more about the relationship between sexual activity and brain function.
Said lead researcher Dr Hayley Wright of Coventry University’s Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour, and Achievement: “We can only speculate whether this is driven by social or physical elements – but an area we would like to research further is the biological mechanisms that may influence this.”
“Every time we do another piece of research we are getting a little bit closer to understanding why this association exists at all, what the underlying mechanisms are, and whether there is a ’cause and effect’ relationship between sexual activity and cognitive function in older people,” Dr. Wright added. “People don’t like to think that older people have sex – but we need to challenge this conception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over, beyond the known effects on sexual health and general wellbeing.”
Though more research is needed, it’s heartening to know that this isn’t the first time scientists have found this association. A separate study by Coventry University in 2016 found that older men’s sexual activity levels were associated with higher scores of word-recall and number sequencing tests.
IMAGE CREDIT:bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here