January 20, 2010
Korea's elderly are sexually active and in need of information tailored to their age group, according to a recent study.
In an investigation by researchers from the University of Seoul, 28 percent of 441 men and 581 women age 65 or older said they had sex at least once per month. But only 18 percent reported having had any sex education, a situation that local officials have set out to rectify.
"We will enhance [sex education] programs at senior welfare centers," said a city official.
Most of sexually active respondents, 76 percent, said they had sex with a spouse. For another 16 percent, the partner was a friend of the opposite sex, often one they had met at a senior center.
The study raised the issue of STDs, particularly those contracted from a sex worker. Of the 10 percent who said they had contracted an STD, 65 percent said the source of the infection had been a sex worker. Overall, 16 percent of those surveyed said they had been with a prostitute.
The general finding of the study, that people continue to be sexually active in their later years, was taken as a positive.
"Sexual energy does not decline, but seniors have fewer opportunities to have sex," said Bae Jeong-weon, director of the Yonsei Sexual Health Center.