New study finds older women don’t have all the facts about safe sex practices

Sometimes, older individuals suddenly lose their partner – whether due to divorce or death – leaving them to re-enter the dating pool. However, times have changed, and some people may be finding that they are not prepared for some of the risks that dating can present – such as sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, many women over the age of 50 are not aware of the risks to their sexual health when they enter the dating pool. Lead author Dr. Cynthia Morton interviewed women over the age of 50 about their sexual health knowledge as well as their safe sex practices as they begin to seek out new partners.

Morton noted that while women are aware of the risk of coming into contact with an STD, they still want to find out more information from their primary care doctors. More often than not, these physicians may not tell their older patients because they may feel as though the older woman already possesses that kind of information.

Additionally, older women may forgo using a condom by not putting up a fight with their partner because they could be afraid of rejection. Morton and her team noted that having this kind of information could be helpful in convincing doctors that they need to make more of an effort in teaching older women about safe sex practices despite their age.

"The findings generated from our research offer a rich foundation for better understanding the motivations and concerns that influence senior-aged women's attitudes about dating at their present stage of life," said Morton.

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