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The survey results reflected a trend toward more open attitudes about sex than in the two previous surveys of 19.
Of note, the proportion of adults aged 45 who believed that people should not have a sexual relationship if they are not married fell from 41% in 1999 to 34% in 2004 and to 22% in 2009.
Risky dating behavior, often leading to risky sexual behavior, is a growing public health concern because it contributes to the high incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
These behaviors have been the focus of many national educational initiatives targeting persons at greatest risk—typically those in their late teens or 20s.
Statistics on STIs such as trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and human papillomavirus are generally lacking for this age group (the CDC does not recommend routine collection of surveillance data in these cases, although a few jurisdictions/states have initiated collection of such data). This extent is especially apparent with regard to syphilis, the incidence of which has tripled among adults aged 50 , from 2.1 cases per 100,000 individuals in 2001-2002 to 6.3 cases per 100,000 individuals in 2014.Postmenopausal women in particular may be at increased risk for acquiring HIV from an infected partner during heterosexual contact because of physiologic changes in the vagina.Thinner vaginal tissues and a reduced amount of vaginal lubrication may lead to abrasions or tears during sex that increase the chance that HIV will enter the bloodstream.However, women aged 50 or older today differ from women of previous generations with respect to both their attitudes toward sexuality and the availability of sexual partners as they age.An increasing number of single women in the 50 age bracket are dating and seeking romantic sexual partners.
In the 2009 survey, 48% of the respondents who were single and dating reported having sexual intercourse at least once a week.