Overall happiness dependent on sexual well-being

Recent research conducted at the University of Leuven (Belgium) indicates sexual well-being is an integral part of human life satisfaction, becoming more important as individuals grow older.

Sexual well-being was defined in this study as attaining physical and emotional contentment with a partner. Strong correlations were observed between a healthy sex life, sound mental health, and an optimistic attitude.

Two thousand eighty males and females, ages 18 to 85, answered questionnaires ranking levels of satisfaction in various areas of their lives: health, leisure, family, social life, and sexuality.

On a scale of 1-10, family life was rated most fulfilling with an average score of 8.24, followed by social life (7.77), health (7.45), sex life (7.32), and leisure (7.29). Across both male and female respondents sexual well-being was a strong focus, even with those in late middle age.

Individuals over age 65 without a partner tended to rank their sexuality as less than satisfactory and this factor pulled down their overall feeling of well-being. The study author notes sexual life is an important dynamic in human welfare and should be included as an element on conventional scales of measurement for human well-being.