Study finds link between maths ability and sexual activity in old age

A paper on the importance of financial literacy in old age made the finding

A new study has found a link between competence at maths and the likelihood of having sex later in life.

The research found that pensioners who can give the right answers to moderately easy sums are twice as likely to be sexually active than those who struggled with the tasks.

The surprising finding comes in a paper on the importance of financial literacy in old age. It was carried out by the UK-based International Longevity Centre, using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which followed thousands of over-50s for the last 14 years.

As expected the study found that being competent at simple sums is associated with higher saving levels and better planning for care.

However the research also revealed a surprising correlation between getting the answers right and having an active sex life.

Almost half of those in their 70s who got the questions right had been sexually active in the recent past, compared with just 28% of those who struggled with them.

Only 41% of those who got one or none of the questions right had had sexual activity in the previous year while nearly four out of five (79%) of those who answered four correctly had been sexually active.