Impact on longevity of older men being with younger women and frequent sexual intercourse

One of the headlines this week describing a population study in Denmark reads:  Men’s key to longevity: have sex with younger women: Study.”  Another headline reporting on the same study reads “Daily sex with woman 15 yrs younger cuts death risk by 20%.”   “The study reveals that a man’s chances of dying an untimely death are cut by one-fifth if his bedpartner is 15 to 17 years younger to him.”  — “Men who took care of children and put food on the table lived longer, found the study that examined deaths between 1990 and 2005 for the entire population of Denmark.  The higher life expectancy in case of men having sex with younger women was attributed possibly not to having the sex itself, but rather to having a younger woman around to take care of you as you grow old and have increasing problems.   Hmm. 

But is having sex really irrelevant?  There is the Caerphilly Cohort Study which relates frequency of sexual orgasims to mortality, a 10-year cohert study of 918 men living in Caerphilly, South Wales and adjacent villages aged 45-59 at time of enrollment in the study.  “RESULTS: Mortality risk was 50% lower in the group with high orgasmic frequency than in the group with low orgasmic frequency, with evidence of a dose-response relation across the groups(ref).” 

Living with and having frequent sex with a female probably adds to longevity in other species in addition to humans.  Back some time ago in this blog posting I reported research that indicates that living and mating with a female adds up to 20% in the longevity of fertility of male mice.  See also the post Polygamy helps men live longer  and the post Use it or lose it and sexual intercourse.  Hmm again.  Seems like having women around, younger ones and perhaps more than one, and having frequent sex contribute to male longevity. 

Another study casts light on the issue from an evolutionary point of view. “It turns out that older men chasing younger women contributes to human longevity and the survival of the species, according to new findings by researchers at Stanford and the University of California-Santa Barbara(ref).  The study looked at contemporary primitive societies, investigating “ longevity and fertility data from two hunter-gatherer groups, the Dobe !Kung of the Kalahari and the Ache of Paraguay, one of the most isolated populations in the world. They also looked at the forager-farmer Yanomamo of Brazil and Venezuela, and the Tsimane, an indigenous group in Bolivia. “They’re living a lifestyle that our ancestors lived and their fertility patterns are probably most consistent with our ancestors.” – “In the less developed, traditional societies, males were as much as 5-to-15 years older than their female partners. In the United States and Europe, the age spread was about two years. “It’s a universal pattern that in typical marriages men are older than women,” Puleston said. “The age gaps vary by culture, but in every group we looked at men start [being sexually reproductive] later.”  — “The paper noted that the age gap is most pronounced in societies that favor polygyny, where a man takes several wives, and in gerontocracies, where older men monopolize access to reproductive women. The authors also cite genetic and anthropological evidence that early humans were probably polygynous as well(ref).”The researchers argue that older males mating with younger women provides an evolutionary advantage because it enables safer pregnancies of women in stable marriages before menopause and because: “the fatherhood of a small number of older men is enough to postpone the date with death because natural selection fights life-shortening mutations until the species is finished reproducing(ref).”  So, an old man fathering a child with a younger woman may not personally receive any longevity benefit, but his offsprings might. 

As a personal note, I have fathered five children with four different women.  One of these wonderful women, one wife back, is 16 years younger than me and another, my current wife, is 17 years younger than me.

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at www.vincegiuliano.com and an extensive site of my art at www.giulianoart.com. Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to vegiuliano@agingsciences.com.
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