Older people are getting STIs from risky behaviour

Mortgages, saloon cars, STIs...

There are many reasons to be attracted to an older man: he knows his way around a wine list, he has sheets with a decent thread count, he doesn’t have housemates and he can cook at least one decent dish. However there is a caveat – according to new research, he’s more likely than younger men to have an STI.

Glasgow Caledonian University have found that people between the ages of 45 and 65 engage in riskier sexual behaviour than their younger counterparts, and therefore are more likely to contract an STI. Perhaps it’s an assumption that middle aged sex is safer, or maybe it’s because they’re a lot less worried about pregnancy, but whatever the reason, older people reportedly aren’t being careful in the bedroom.

According to the study, most people having sex in their mid-forties to mid sixties, had been in long term relationships or marriages, and therefore assume that anyone they’ve had sex with would have too, therefore making the risk of having an STI much lower. A risky presumption it seems as whilst most people in their twenties and thirties wouldn’t sleep with someone unprotected without getting an STI test first (or at least afterwards), older people seem to be relying on the assumption that people their own age are automatically ‘clean’. Which is pretty naive.

Those of us who sat through hours and hours of Sex Ed at school know better, and that whole ‘when you sleep with someone you’re sleeping with everyone they’ve slept with’ thing was actually pretty good advice – advice that clearly we should have passed on to our parents and grandparents.

Doctor Dalrymple, who led the study, commented: ‘Although within this study, perceptions of age appropriateness served to impact on sexual risk-taking, other factors including intimacy, transitioning from relationships and pregnancy concerns are in evidence across the life course. Collectively, these findings pose problems for some health promotion approaches
that merely present facts to older adults; such an approach may not be enough to reduce sexual risk-taking.’

Forget your parents sitting you down and giving you The Talk – it sounds like we need to go home and give Mum or Dad a serious talking to about the importance of using contraception.

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