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Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott

What is the Impact of Sexual Activity on Life Expectancy? Find Out in the 2017 Report



Sexually Active Life Expectancy: What It Is and Why It Matters




Sexuality is an integral part of human life. It can bring joy, intimacy, pleasure, and satisfaction to individuals and couples. It can also affect their health, well-being, and longevity. But how long can people expect to remain sexually active in their lives? And what factors determine their sexual lifespan?




sexually active life expectancy 2017 download



These questions can be answered by a concept called sexually active life expectancy (SALE). This is a population-based indicator that measures the average number of years remaining for a person to be sexually active. It extends the concept of health expectancy to the measure of sexuality via sexual activity. Sexual activity can be defined as any form of sexual contact with oneself or another person.


SALE is important for understanding the health and well-being of individuals and communities. It reflects not only their biological potential but also their social and environmental opportunities and constraints. It can also inform their personal choices and expectations regarding their sexual lives. Moreover, it can help health professionals and policymakers to design interventions and policies that promote sexual health and rights.


In this article, we will explore how SALE is calculated and what factors influence it. We will focus on three main aspects: gender, age, and health. We will review some of the latest research findings on how these factors affect SALE in different populations. We will also discuss some of the implications and applications of SALE for individuals, couples, health professionals, and policymakers.


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How to calculate SALE




The calculation of SALE is based on two sources of data: age-specific prevalence data on sexual activity and life table data on survival probabilities. The prevalence data can be obtained from surveys or studies that ask people about their sexual behavior and frequency. The survival data can be obtained from official statistics or estimates that show the probability of surviving from one age to another. Using these data, SALE can be estimated based on the Sullivan method, which is a common technique for calculating health expectancy.


The Sullivan method involves multiplying the prevalence of sexual activity by the survival probability for each age group, and then summing up the products across all age groups. This gives the total number of years that a person can expect to be sexually active from a given age. Dividing this number by the survival probability at that age gives the average number of years remaining for sexual activity, or SALE.


For example, suppose we want to estimate the SALE at age 50 for men in a certain population. We have the following data:


Age groupPrevalence of sexual activity (%)Survival probability (%)


50-548095


55-597090


60-646085


65-695080


70-744075


75-793070


80+2065


We can calculate the SALE at age 50 as follows:


(80 x 0.95 x 5) + (70 x 0.90 x 5) + (60 x 0.85 x 5) + (50 x 0.80 x 5) + (40 x 0.75 x 5) + (30 x 0.70 x 5) + (20 x 0.65 x 10) = 197.25


197.25 / 0.95 = 20.76 years


This means that a 50-year-old man in this population can expect to live for another 20.76 years on average, and to be sexually active for all of them.


The same method can be applied to different age groups, genders, and health conditions to obtain different estimates of SALE. For example, some studies have reported the following estimates of SALE for various populations:


PopulationSALE at age 55 for men (years)SALE at age 55 for women (years)


Australia15.110.6


Brazil18.112.1


Netherlands14.810.3


Spain15.010.8


USA15.010.6


Diabetic men8.3N/A


Diabetic womenN/A8.9


HIV-positive men9.8N/A


HIV-positive womenN/A11.5


As we can see, SALE varies widely by population, gender, and health condition. It also depends on how sexual activity is defined and measured, and how reliable and comparable the data sources are. Therefore, measuring SALE is not a simple or straightforward task. It requires careful consideration of the methodological and conceptual issues involved.


How SALE varies by gender and age




One of the most consistent findings in the literature on SALE is that men tend to have higher SALE than women across all age groups. This means that men can expect to remain sexually active for longer than women, on average. For example, a study based on data from 59 countries found that the global average of SALE at age 50 was 14.9 years for men and 10.6 years for women. This implies a gender gap of 4.3 years in favor of men.


What are the reasons for this gender difference in SALE? There are several possible explanations, involving biological, social, and cultural factors that affect sexual behavior and expectations. Some of these factors are:


  • Health status: Women tend to have poorer health than men in later life, due to factors such as chronic diseases, disabilities, hormonal changes, and lower access to health care . Poor health can impair sexual function, desire, and satisfaction, as well as increase the risk of sexual problems and infections . Therefore, women may have lower SALE than men due to health-related reasons.



  • Sexual activity: Men tend to report higher levels of sexual activity than women in later life, especially in terms of frequency, variety, and duration . This may be due to factors such as higher sexual drive, interest, and motivation among men, as well as greater availability and acceptability of sexual outlets for men . Therefore, men may have higher SALE than women due to behavioral reasons.



  • Quality of sexual life: Men tend to report higher levels of quality of sexual life than women in later life, in terms of satisfaction, enjoyment, pleasure, and orgasm . This may be due to factors such as better sexual performance, compatibility, and communication among men, as well as lower levels of pain, discomfort, and anxiety among men . Therefore, men may have higher SALE than women due to experiential reasons.



  • Interest in sex: Men tend to report higher levels of interest in sex than women in later life, regardless of their actual sexual activity or quality . This may be due to factors such as stronger biological influences, social norms, and personal values among men, as well as lower levels of inhibition, guilt, and shame among men . Therefore, men may have higher SALE than women due to attitudinal reasons.



  • Partner availability: Women tend to face lower partner availability than men in later life, due to factors such as higher rates of widowhood and lower rates of remarriage among women . Partner availability is a key determinant of sexual activity and quality for both genders, but it may have a stronger impact on women than on men . Therefore, women may have lower SALE than men due to situational reasons.



All these factors contribute to the gender gap in SALE. However, this gap is not fixed or inevitable. It can be reduced or eliminated by addressing the underlying causes and barriers that affect women's sexuality in later life. One of the most important factors that can moderate the gender difference in SALE is partner availability.


How partner availability affects SALE




The availability of a suitable and willing partner is essential for most people's sexual lives. Having a partner can provide emotional support, intimacy, companionship, and sexual stimulation. It can also enhance health, well-being, and longevity. However, not everyone has a partner or can find one easily. This is especially true for older adults, who face many challenges and constraints in their partner market.


One of the main challenges is the imbalance between the supply and demand of potential partners. This imbalance is caused by two factors: the sex ratio and the age gap. The sex ratio refers to the number of men per 100 women in a given population. The age gap refers to the difference in age between partners in a given relationship.


The sex ratio tends to favor men in younger age groups, but it reverses in older age groups. This is because women tend to live longer than men, and thus outnumber them in later life. For example, according to the World Bank data, the global sex ratio at age 65+ was 76.4 in 2020, meaning that there were only 76.4 men for every 100 women in that age group. This implies a shortage of male partners for older women.


The age gap tends to favor men in both younger and older age groups, but it widens in older age groups. This is because men tend to prefer younger partners than women, and thus have more options in their partner market. For example, according to a study based on data from 14 countries, the average age gap between spouses was 2.3 years for men and -2.3 years for women at age 50-54, but it increased to 4.8 years for men and -4.8 years for women at age 75-79. This implies a disadvantage for older women who seek partners of similar age.


These two factors create a situation where older women have fewer and less desirable partners than older men. This affects their sexual activity and quality, as well as their SALE. For example, a study based on data from six European countries found that partner availability accounted for about half of the gender difference in SALE at age 55-74. This means that if older women had the same partner availability as older men, their SALE would be much higher.


Therefore, partner availability is a key factor that affects SALE for both genders, but especially for women. It can also change over time and across contexts, depending on demographic trends, social norms, and personal preferences. Improving partner availability for older adults can have positive effects on their sexual lives and health.


How health affects SALE




Another key factor that affects SALE is health. Health is a broad concept that encompasses physical, mental, and social aspects of well-being. Health can influence sexuality in many ways, both directly and indirectly. It can also be influenced by sexuality in return, creating a bidirectional relationship.


On one hand, health can affect sexuality by enabling or limiting sexual function, desire, and satisfaction. Good health can facilitate sexual activity and quality by providing physical fitness, psychological well-being, hormonal balance, immune function, and stress reduction. Poor health can impair sexual activity and quality by causing pain, disability, disease, dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and medication side effects.


For example, some common health conditions that can affect sexuality in later life are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and dementia. These conditions can affect the blood vessels, nerves, hormones, and brain functions that are involved in sexual response and performance. They can also cause symptoms and complications that interfere with sexual enjoyment and intimacy. For example, a study based on data from 11 countries found that diabetes was associated with lower SALE for both men and women, mainly due to higher rates of sexual dysfunction and lower quality of sexual life.


On the other hand, sexuality can affect health by providing physical, mental, and social benefits. Sexual activity can improve health outcomes by providing exercise, pleasure, intimacy, and relaxation. It can also enhance immune function, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, mood, and self-esteem. For example, a study based on data from the US found that sexual activity was associated with lower mortality risk for men, independent of other factors such as age, health status, and lifestyle.


Therefore, health and sexuality have a bidirectional relationship that can either enhance or impair each other. Maintaining good health and engaging in regular sexual activity can have positive effects on both SALE and overall well-being. However, this requires awareness, education, and support from individuals, couples, health professionals, and policymakers.


Conclusion




In this article, we have explored the concept of sexually active life expectancy (SALE), which measures the average number of years remaining for a person to be sexually active. We have seen how SALE is calculated and what factors influence it. We have focused on three main aspects: gender, age, and health. We have reviewed some of the latest research findings on how these factors affect SALE in different populations. We have also discussed some of the implications and applications of SALE for individuals, couples, health professionals, and policymakers.


SALE is an important indicator that reflects the health and well-being of individuals and communities. It can inform their personal choices and expectations regarding their sexual lives. It can also help health professionals and policymakers to design interventions and policies that promote sexual health and rights. However, measuring SALE is not a simple or straightforward task. It requires careful consideration of the methodological and conceptual issues involved.


SALE is also a dynamic indicator that can change over time and across contexts. It depends on biological, social, and environmental factors that affect sexual behavior and expectations. It can also be influenced by personal preferences and values that vary among individuals and couples. Therefore, understanding SALE requires a holistic and multidisciplinary approach that considers the diversity and complexity of human sexuality.


FAQs




What is sexually active life expectancy?


  • Sexually active life expectancy (SALE) is a population-based indicator that measures the average number of years remaining for a person to be sexually active.



How is sexually active life expectancy calculated?


  • Sexually active life expectancy is calculated based on two sources of data: age-specific prevalence data on sexual activity and life table data on survival probabilities. The Sullivan method is a common technique for calculating SALE.



What are the factors that influence sexually active life expectancy?


  • Sexually active life expectancy is influenced by many factors, such as health status, sexual activity, quality of sexual life, interest in sex, gender, age, and partner availability. These factors can affect sexual function, desire, satisfaction, and expectations.



How does sexually active life expectancy differ by gender and age?


  • Sexually active life expectancy tends to be higher for men than for women across all age groups, mainly due to higher sexual activity, quality, and interest among men. The gender gap in SALE can be reduced or eliminated by improving partner availability for women, especially in older age groups.



How does health affect sexually active life expectancy?


  • Health affects sexually active life expectancy in a bidirectional way. Good health can facilitate sexual activity and quality by providing physical fitness, psychological well-being, hormonal balance, immune function, and stress reduction. Poor health can impair sexual activity and quality by causing pain, disability, disease, dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and medication side effects. Sexual activity can also improve health outcomes by providing exercise, pleasure, intimacy, and relaxation.



I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for reading!


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