WASHINGTON (AP) — Middle-aged Americans are the unhappiest age group when it comes to their sex life.
Yet, a majority of them think they have learned just about all there is to know on the subject — and more women than men are confident of their knowledge — according to a new Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll.
Among people aged 45 to 65, 59 percent of women think they know all about sex, while just 48 percent of men share that confidence level.
"I don't think a single person in the whole world knows all there is about sex," commented Debby Herbenick of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University.
"Women historically have more resources," to learn about sex, noted Jennifer Bass, director of communications at the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction.
Among age groups, middle-aged Americans are the unhappiest with their sex lives. Some 24 percent say they are dissatisfied, compared with 12 percent of 18-29 year olds, 20 percent of 30-44 year olds and 17 percent of those over 65.
A majority of middle-aged females — 56 percent — say their sex drive has decreased as they have gotten older, compared with 46 percent of men.
Seventy-two percent of men aged 45-65 have fantasized about having sex with someone other than their sexual partner at the time, compared with 48 percent of women.
The new poll also found that among those aged 45 to 55, nearly half the men — 48 percent — complained that their partners do not want to have sex as often as they do, while just 13 percent of women in that age group say the same.
The AP-LifeGoesStrong.com Poll of the middle-aged generation about sex and relationships was conducted Oct. 1-10, by Knowledge Networks. It involved online interviews with 945 adults between the ages of 45 and 65, as well as companion interviews with an additional 587 adults of other age groups, ages 18-44 and over 65 years of age. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all adults, 3.9 percentage points for adults ages 45-65.
The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, which uses a probability-based design. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly for KnowledgePanel using phone or mail survey methods and were later interviewed for this survey online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who did not otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.
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