Nearly 45 per cent of the middle aged women agreed to snaring at least one new lover in a year.
According to study leader Deborah Bateson, a senior medical coordinator at Family Planning NSW, the internet ‘‘seems to be a very useful place for them … It’s great that older women are out there meeting new partners.”
She conducted the research to see whether 40-pluses were able to negotiate safe sex as effectively as their younger counterparts.
‘‘Three-quarters [of sexually transmitted infections] are detected in people aged under 29, but there’s also an increase in women aged 40 and above … entering or re-entering the dating market, perhaps after the end of a long-term relationship,’’ the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Bateson as saying.
For the survey, an online dating site RSVP, owned by the Herald’s publisher, Fairfax Media, sent an email to female participants, directing them to Bateson’s survey site.
The findings revealed that older women were more forthright in insisting on knowing a new partner’s sexual history.
Nearly 59 per cent of the over-40s would ask about previous partners, versus 43 per cent of the younger women, with a similar discrepancy in willingness to ask about intravenous drug use.
‘‘The older women seemed to benefit from the maturity of years and asked those potentially tricky questions,’’ said Bateson.
However, 37 per cent of the older women were more likely to agree to sex without a condom, compared to 28 per cent of younger women.
The findings were presented at 2009 Australasian Sexual Health Conference in Brisbane.