THE STARR-WEINER REPORT ON SEX AND SEXUALITY IN THE MATURE YEARS by Bernard D. & Marcella Bakur Weiner Starr

THE STARR-WEINER REPORT ON SEX AND SEXUALITY IN THE MATURE YEARS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What Hite was to female sexuality in the 1970s, this would like to be to the older generation: long assumed to have little sexual desire or achieve little fulfillment, the over-60s here prove that they're every bit as eager for sex as their younger counterparts. Of course, several people have been telling us this for years, from Robert Butler and Alex Comfort to Gay Gaer Luce: but, as always, it seems all the more definitive when backed by 800 or so surveys, buoyed up by quotes from the respondents themselves. One of the most curious findings: older people think about and engage in sex about as often as Kinsey reported for 40-year-olds, 30 to 40 years ago (i.e., that generation has remained about constant through the years--no decline in interest or activity whatsoever). When asked to approve or disapprove of an activity such as masturbation, for example, over 80 percent approved in theory (more women than men, presumably because of the increased ratio of women to men in later years and the subsequent lack of available sex partners); less than half also admitted to practicing it themselves, however. And 91 percent of respondents were enthusiastic about the concept of living together without the sanction of marriage: presumably a change in direction since early years. However, a strong caution must be uttered: like most surveys, this contains some biases that may render the results less than completely representative. In this case, the chief problem is regional slant: 47 percent of the replies came from the urban Northeast (chiefly, here, New York City and environs); the Midwest and South, on the other hand, accounted for only 13 percent. Still, this provides some encouraging news for those in ""the mature years""; as one subject put it, ""only my outer shell has changed.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1981
Publisher: Stein & Day