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15 March 2002 News Update


More than 80% of men and 60% of women aged between 40 and 80 say sex is an important part of their overall lives, according to a global study of sexual attitudes and behaviours by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Sex is extremely, very or moderately important to 69% of older New Zealanders. The study asked more than 26,000 people in 28 countries, including 500 New Zealanders whose average age was 56.

More than half of the New Zealanders said they had sex one to six times per week. Only 29% agreed that a woman's interest in sex declines with age, compared to 42% of Australians. Similarly, 20% agreed that a man's interest in sex declines with age, compared to 30% of Australians.

The survey also found that across the nations, nearly 70% of those who described their health as excellent, also reported that their physical relationship with their partner was very/extremely pleasurable.

However, New Zealand doctors rarely raise the question of sexual difficulties - only 5% report being asked about sexual difficulties in the last three years. By contrast, far more respondents from North and South America, Asia and the Middle East said that their doctors had asked.

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