The survey was conducted by experts from the United States and Norway and the respondents were found to be representative of the Norwegian male population in terms of marital status and education.
The postal survey asked respondents to rate aspects of their sex lives on a four point scale from zero to four. The highest level of satisfaction with their sex lives was recorded among men in their twenties with an overall satisfaction level of 2.79. the second highest level was for men in their fifties who responded with a satisfaction level of 2.77. Men in their thirties were at 2.55 and in their forties 2.72. They also found that after the age of 59 overall satisfaction with their sex lives fell. For men in their sixties it fell to 2.46 and then to 2.14 for men in their seventies.
Even though overall satisfaction with their sex lives did not drop significantly with age, the survey showed that sexual function did decline significantly with age. The average score for sex drive for men in their 20's was 2.19 and moved down to 1.54 for men in their seventies.
The survey found that 86% of respondents were either married or in a long term relationship. Fifty seven percent had been sexually active in the 30 days before the survey was completed and only six percent had had a new sexual partner in the previous six months. The survey also found that 25 percent were on medication for high blood pressure, five percent for diabetes, six percent for anxiety/depression and five percent for erectile dysfunction.
Co-Author Professor Sophie D Fossa said of the results "Our results show that although men experience more problems and less sexual function as they get older, it doesn't necessarily follow that they are less satisfied with their sex lives as a result."
High blood pressure and diabetes are both contributing factors in declines in sexual function among men as they age. Many men who are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction also have diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes or both.
Source: Assessment of male sexual function by the Brief Sexual Function Inventory. Mykletun, Dahl, O'Leary and Fossa. Norway / USA. BJU International. Volume 97, pages 316 to 323. (February 2006). Journal of: the British Association of Urological Surgeons