Sex and baby boomers

Linda KirkmanLa Trobe University PhD candidate, Linda Kirkman says baby boomers are forging new styles of relationships, which bring challenges for sexual health.

‘There is increasing interest in how Australian baby boomers will influence social change as they age. One area that has not been explored is the sexual health of baby boomers,’ said Ms Kirkman.

Recent research by Family Planning NSW with women aged over 40 using the dating site RSVP found that one third of them were not seeking a long term relationship, or casual sex.

‘There is informal evidence that baby boomers are engaging in friends with benefits relationships, yet previous friends with benefits relationships research has focused on younger people.

‘We know that people continue to be sexual across the lifespan yet there is a lack of sexual health policy for mid-life and ageing Australians,’ said Ms Kirkman, whose study aims to improve the sexual health outcomes for baby boomers.

‘The research focuses on rural people, because accessing sexual health services and information can be more difficult for people living outside a capital city.’

Ms Kirkman’s research supervisor, Associate Professor Amanda Kenny said her research was challenging and important.

‘This is a new area of research and it is vital that we have information on which to base sexual health policy and health promotion in Australia,’ she said.

Ms Kirkman is interested in hearing from baby boomers about their experience of friends with benefits relationships in the last five years. She can be contacted by email at

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