Those ages 40 to 59 were classified as middle-aged; those who were older were separated into two groups: ages 60 to 74 and 75 and up.People in the older age categories and in the upper range of the middle-aged group all rated sexual attraction as slightly less important than younger users did, but still highly valued it as a goal.“Contrary to the stereotype, older adults still value sexual attraction quite highly,” the study concluded.When looking specifically at gender, though, the researchers found that men in all age groups valued sexual attraction more than women did, while women in all age groups ranked characteristics like personality and kindness much higher than sexual attraction.As one study participant who had remarried expressed it, sex was “the icing on the cake. ” It’s also a misconception to assume that women 50 and up who are widows, divorcees, or are otherwise single have their sights set on remarrying, forming a long-term relationship, or even just dating again.“At this stage in life, especially for women who have been a caregiver for a deceased spouse, independence is very important,” says Wendy Watson, co-author of a 2011 study, “Dating for Older Women: Experiences and Meanings of Dating in Later Life,”.But that doesn’t mean women age 50 and up don’t have much of a sex life.
Kathy lives in London with her husband and two children.This week’s Freakonomics Radio episode is a rebroadcast of the episode “What You Don’t Know About Online Dating” (You can subscribe to the podcast at i Tunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The episode is, for the most part, an economist’s guide to dating online. ) You’ll hear tips on building the perfect dating profile, and choosing the right site (a “thick market,” like Match.com, or “thin,” like Glutenfree Singles.com? You’ll learn what you should lie about, and what you shouldn’t.One woman explained that she likes having a dating companion with whom she can do things she enjoys, but she “doesn’t need a man to be happy” and would consider a long-term relationship, but “definitely not" marriage.“Dating was seen as an enhancement to life,” the authors noted.