August 25, 2011
A Family Planning New South Wales study of adult women with a profile on the Australian dating website RSVP found those over age 40 were less likely to use a condom with a new partner. Of the 1,788 women surveyed in 2009 about safer sex and Internet dating, 62 percent were over 40. Older women were open to discussing STDs but less likely to refuse unprotected sex, the report found. "It is possible that older women are simply not part of the 'condom generation,'" said report co-author Deborah Bateson. "This may explain why our Family Planning NSW clinics are seeing more women aged 40 and above requesting information and testing for sexually transmitted infections." In addition to mistakenly assuming infection risk declines with age, "Women who have reached menopause also don't have the added incentive of using condoms to prevent pregnancy," Bateson said. New strategies to encourage condom use should be investigated, suggests the report.