Libido and the Biological Clock
A team of University of Texas graduate students, led by Judith Easton, wanted to know what happened to sexual feelings and action after peak fertility, but while women are still fertile. They took an online survey of 827 women. They divided those women into three groups of “high fertility” (18-26), “low fertility” (27-45) and “menopausal” (46 and older).
One of the things they found was the menopausal women had fewer sexual fantasies and were less willing to bed a near-stranger then younger women. They also found that the older women got, the more sexually willing they were until they hit menopause, at which point it started heading south. Why are women more sexually willing as they get older?
Easton agreed that our culture has finally decided that it’s O.K.—and some might say there’s even pressure—for older women to be hot, act hot, feel hot. But whether it’s fertility, culture or experience, Easton said, the study “sort of does support the idea of the cougar.” The cougar phenomenon first displayed itself in the 1967 film The Graduate in which a middle-aged woman seduces a college student. A cougar is typically a woman 40 years of age or older who exclusively pursues very young men.
The Biological Clock
Although there is no technical equivalent to menopause where a man becomes infertile, a new study warns that a biological clock is also ticking for men. The biggest misconception is that men age and nothing changes; men feel that no matter what they do, everything will be the same. That's just not true. Men's fertility does decline with age. Men’s biological clocks and women’s biological clocks are distinctively different. A woman’s egg supply is set before birth but a man produces sperm throughout life. There is no age limit for fathering children but for women age plays a huge factor in the ability to become pregnant.
The Biological Clock Begins Ticking for Women
Women are 10 percent less fertile at 27, according to a study. Experts have said up to now that female fertility begins to drop in the mid-30s. But researchers found a woman's biological clock may start ticking years earlier. They say 19 to 26-year-olds have a 50 percent chance of conceiving two days before ovulation—a woman's most fertile time. That drops to 40 per cent for those aged 27 to 34.
The Biological Clock Begins Ticking for Men
A man's baby-making alarm may start to ring around age 40. The age of the father may affect the health of the offspring in more ways than one. Studies conducted by Kleinhaus and colleagues at Columbia University looked at some 90,000 births and concluded the older a man is when he conceives a child, the more likely his partner is to miscarry.
Libido and the Biological Clock
The libido is one aspect of a person’s sexual activity but varies from one person to another. It is linked to biological components but is not necessarily a result of biology. It can be affected by medication, lifestyle and relationships problems. Women can experience an increased sex drive in response to dwindling fertility. In contrast, men can experience low libido as a result of many factors, including their perceptions about aging.