“The men I know are all looking at 80-year-old women,” says Murray Katz. Given his age, it’s not exactly a shocker; Katz is 82. But as this article by Frank Greve in the McClatchy Newspapers describes, Katz and his friends are part of a growing trend. Along with living longer, Americans are defying the stereotype of the sexless senior in record numbers. They’re not just hooking up, “they’re the fastest-growing users of Internet dating services and the fastest growing group of cohabiters.”
A number of factors are at work. Men are living longer. Viagra gives a boost to an estimated 14 percent of them, according to an AARP study. Seniors are better off. The internet makes finding a partner more private and more likely. Attitudes are changing too: old people looking for sex and romance are less likely to be labled loony or lecherous.
Love in late life isn’t for everyone. Men are in relatively short supply, and seeing one mate through to the end is enough for many women. Nor is marriage in the offing for many of these couples; remarriage rates are flat. Instead, between 2000 and 2006, cohabiting among older people (over age 50) increased 50 percent between 2000 and 2006.