Are you worried that old age will make your brain week and you will not be as smart as you currently are?
Come on! There is a solution for that problem. Get over your old age phobia because a study says having a lot of sex in your later life can make you more intelligent.
Now, we know why our elders say, wisdom comes with old age!
“Sexual relationships in later life are… not just important for sex per say, they are impacting on other factors, in this case cognitive function,” says researcher Dr Hayley Wright from Coventry University’s centre for research in psychology, behaviour and achievement.
Researchers from the universities of Oxford and Coventry asked 73 participants which include 28 men and 45 women, aged between 50 and 83 about their sexual activity.
37 said they had sex weekly, 26 monthly and 10 never.
Brain function of the participants was then assessed, and the researchers found that those who had sex the most often scored on average two percentage points higher in some tasks than those who had sex monthly and four points higher than those who never had sex.
The study, published in the Journals of Gerontology concluded that having regular sex had the biggest impact on verbal fluency tests – for example, naming as many words or animals beginning with the letter F as possible in one minute.
On the contrary, there was no real difference when it came to the participants’ performance in memory, language and attentiveness tests though.
The study authors are not sure why the link between sexual activity and brainpower exists, but they suggest that sex is linked to the secretion of neurohormones such as dopamine or oxytocin that transmit signals in the brain. More research needs to be done though.
“We can only speculate whether this is driven by social or physical elements – but an area we would like to research further is the biological mechanisms that may influence this,” said Dr Wright.
“Every time we do another piece of research we are getting a little bit closer to understanding why this association exists at all, what the underlying mechanisms are, and whether there is a ‘causal’ relationship between sexual activity and cognitive function in older people.
According to him, People don’t like to think that older people have sex – but we need to challenge this conception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over, beyond the known effects on sexual health and general well-being.
Having grey hair isn’t the wisdom indicator after all.