Older people 'don't fully understand safe sex'
Many older people don't know much about the protection offered by condoms, reports Aged Care guide. According to a new survey, while older people have a good level of knowledge surrounding certain aspects of sex, there are gaps when it comes to condoms.
Researchers at La Trobe University in Australia found that only 64 per cent of 2,000 Australians aged 60 and over knew that condoms don't offer complete protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is despite almost 90 per cent understanding what STIs are and how they are transmitted.
On top of this, many of those surveyed didn't know how specific STIs could be transmitted and what the risk of contracting them was. This suggests that a lot of older people may be lacking in the knowledge that would help keep them safe from sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the study, knowledge was better among women than men. Researchers suggested that this could be due to the fact that women are more likely to visit healthcare providers and discuss these topics.
With most studies look at young people and their knowledge and attitudes when it comes to sex, this research has shed a light on the fact that more needs to be done to educate older people about safe sex.
Associate professor at the university, Anthony Lyons, said: "We’ve found in the past few years, STIs have been increasing in the older population so we were curious about sexual health and knowledge in the older population."
He continued to say that as many older people are in long-term marriages, they don't have a need for using condoms. However, those who are not in this situation do not always have the knowledge required to keep them save from STIs.
“The older generation didn’t have much sex education, and if they did, it was more probably focused on pregnancy rather than STIs,” he said.
As a result of the findings, researchers have suggested that providing sexual education for older people is important when it comes to keeping up with advances in safe sex. They also highlighted how important it is to be inclusive when it comes to education, remembering that the issue is not only for younger generations.