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Senior people engaging more extramarital sex : Study

20 percent of married Americans, aged over 55, admit to extramarital sex, compared to just 14 pc of those under 55

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Elder people are more likely than younger generations to engage in extramarital sex, a new study has revealed.

For their study, researchers at the University of Utah looked at data from the General Social Survey, which is administered by the University of Chicago and contains demographic data on Americans going back to 1972.

According to the study, published by the Institute for Family Studies, 20 percent of married Americans, aged over 55, admit to extramarital sex, compared to just 14 pc of those under 55, reports the Independent.

At the same time, the rate of extramarital sex amongst 18-55-year-old married couples has declined, showing a divergence.

While the researchers found that the overall rate of individuals having sex outside of marriage has stayed stable at 16 percent over the past three decades, the age demographics most involved in affairs has shifted since the beginning of the millennium.

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The researchers speculate that the shattering of sexual norms during that era, accompanied by the generation’s propensity for many partners, may have contributed to the lax attitude of many older Americans.

It’s easy to assume that this is simply because older people are likely to have been married longer and have thus had more time to cheat — the majority were married between 20 and 30 years — but the study reveals that instances of adultery in older marriages have soared since 2000.

There’s also the possibility that the findings reflect a rise in polyamory or “ethical non-monogamy” i.e. having sex with other people with your partner’s consent.

The research, titled ‘America’s New Generation Gap in Extramarital Sex, was led by Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a professor in the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies.

“No matter how many polyamorists there are today, old-fashioned adultery seems to have risen among older Americans,” Wolfinger says.

The researchers were careful to not equate extramarital sex with adultery, as one can be in a polyamorous marriage, or one in which their spouse expressly approves them seeing other partners.

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Life Style

Now, age 10-24 is the new adolescence period: Lancet study

IANS Indo Asian News Service

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Gradual changes in biological growth and social role transitions — coupled with delayed marriage and parenthood — have pushed back the period of adolescence between ages 10-24 rather than the previously known 10-19 years, according to a study,conducted by Lancet.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health Friday, revealed that an early puberty has accelerated the onset of adolescence in nearly all populations, while understanding of continued growth has lifted its endpoint age well into the 20s.

The past century has seen drastic changes in the definition of adolescence, which encompasses elements of biological growth and major social role transitions.

“Rather than age 10-19 years, a definition of 10-24 years corresponds more closely to adolescent growth and popular understandings of this life phase and would facilitate extended investments across a broader range of settings,” said study lead author Susan M Sawyer from the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

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As a result of lifestyle changes, genetics and environmental factors, early puberty for girls at age 8-10 is the new ‘normal’.

While menstruation is a natural process, an early puberty results in various health issues, like depression and behavioural issues as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Similarly, young adults continuing their education for longer period, delayed marriage and parenthood, has pushed back popular perceptions of when adulthood begins.

“The transition period from childhood to adulthood now occupies a greater portion of the life course than ever before at a time when unprecedented social forces, including marketing and digital media, are affecting health and well-being across these years,” Sawyer noted.

An expanded and more inclusive definition of adolescence is essential for developmentally appropriate framing of laws, social policies and service systems, the researchers added.

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