Trending News: The Secret To Keeping Your Brain Young Might Be Getting It On
Long Story Short
More frequent sexual activity has been linked to improvements in brain function in older adults.
Dad getting a little doddery? Then you need to show him a new study from the universities of Coventry and Oxford in the United Kingdom. The paper, published yesterday in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences links more frequent sexual activity with improved brain function in older adults.
The research involved 73 people aged between 50 and 83 filling out a questionnaire on how often they engaged in sexual activity over the last year and answering general questions regarding health and lifestyle.
They then took part in a standardized test to measure different patterns of brain function such as attention, memory, verbal fluency (like naming as many animals as possible in 60 seconds, or listing as many words beginning with F as they could), language and visuospatial ability (copying a clock face and then a complex design from memory).
It was stronger results in the verbal fluency and visuospatial tests that most closely aligned with the highest levels of sexual activity — the verbal fluency test in particular showing a strong effect. Better attention, memory and language results weren’t tied to sexual activity.
The study followed previous research from 2016 that already showed sexually active older adults performed better on cognitive tests. But the intention of lead researcher Dr Hayley Wright and her colleagues was to drill down into this phenomenon and look at frequency of sexual activity in particular.
The next step is to granulize the research even further and examine how biological elements like dopamine and oxytocin could be influencing the relationship between sexual activity and brain function to give a fuller explanation of their findings.
“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,” Wright said in a news release.
“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.”
In short, time to talk to dad about his boning.
Own The Conversation
Ask The Big Question
Does sex actually improve brain function, or are people with better brain function having more sex?
Drop This Fact
Studies have shown that women who have been exposed to the same semen on a regular basis have lower levels of depression and higher levels of joy and happiness.