Sex problems among middle-aged Canadians common

At least one-third of middle-aged Canadians experience sexual problems, according to a new U of G study.

Researchers found nearly 40 per cent of women and almost 30 per cent of men between the ages of 40 and 59 face challenges in their sex lives.

“Sexual problems among middle-aged Canadians are relatively common,” says Chris Quinn-Nilas, a PhD candidate in family relations and human development and co-author of the study.

“This is significant given this demographic is among the largest in Canada at the moment and research has shown that sexual problems can hinder a person’s overall well-being.”

Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study is based on a national survey of 2,400 people who were asked about their sexual health, happiness and pleasure.

Nearly 40 per cent of women reported their sexual desire was lower than they would have liked over the preceding six months, and between 15 and 30 percent reported experiencing pain and other sexual problems.

About one-third of men reported low sexual desire, and about one-quarter reported sexual performance issues.  

One of the factors influencing sexual desire is relationship status, says co-author Prof. Robin Milhausen, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition.

Both men and women who are married or living with their partner are more likely to experience lower desire than people who are single, separated, divorced or widowed.

“There is a feeling of predictability and over-familiarity that comes with long-term relationships that can hinder a person’s level of sexual satisfaction over time,” says Milhausen.


Caption: Study authors PhD candidate Chris Guinn-Nilas and Prof. Robin Milhausen