Research is showing that people who are in their middle years are having higher rates of sex outside of marriage than younger Americans. This is according to a study conducted by the University of Utah.
What the researchers found first was that rate of sex outside of marriage, in general, has been mostly constant. However, the age of those having extramarital sex and the length of time they have been married has changed since the year 2000. At that point, people who are fifty years old or older seem to be having more extramarital relationships. Also, this trend is being seen more in couples who have been together for twenty years or longer.
Starting then, people who are fifty years old or older are having more extramarital relationships. Also, this trend is being seen more in couples who have been together for twenty years or longer.
So why is this happening? The study considers factors that often affect the health of a relationship. For example:
- Disenchantment or contempt.
- Agreements and conflict within the relationship.
- The “midlife crisis” when one begins to reexamine their life, career, or even purpose in life.
These considerations have always been destructive factors to a marriage. However, there may be another point to consider. Are these the after-effects of the sexual revolution of the 1960s? Many people who are in their midlife years now grew up or were young adults during that time. One of the after-effects of the sexual revolution could be a normalization of relationships outside of marriage were previously considered taboo. For example:
- Having consensual relationships outside of the confines of marriage.
- Couples who create a family and raise children, but are not legally married.
- Having more than one romantic partner at the same time.
- Creating new definitions/paradigms for marriage.
- Forming/sustaining polygamous relationships.
It is hard to say where this will lead, yet it appears that as people in midlife continue to age, there will most likely continue to be a redefinition of relationships.
Want to learn more about how older Americans are continuing to redefine sexual norms? You can read the full article here: Midlife and Having Extramarital Sex? The Numbers are Rising.
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