European older adults’ use of the Internet and social networks for love and sex


What is the prevalence of using the Internet for love and sexual activities among older adults across Europe, and what predicts such use? Data were collected in probability samples among populations aged 60–75 years in Norway (N = 1271), Denmark (N = 1045), Belgium (N = 991), and Portugal (N = 509) using postal questionnaires. A total of 36% of men and 15% of women reported having used the Internet for sex and love purposes, most often to watch pornography. The use of the Internet for various love and sex purposes was higher in participants who had a partner, who had masturbation activity and who were satisfied with their current level of sexual activity. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that use of the Internet to find committed partners, watch pornography, buy sex products or seek information or advice was lower in Portuguese men than men in Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Tailored websites to promote both sexuality and how to preserve a committed relationship are likely to prove important for the aging population.

Bibliographic citation

Træen, B., Carvalheira, A., Kvalem, I. L., & Hald, G. M. (2018). European older adults’ use of the Internet and social networks for love and sex. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 12(3), Article 1. doi:


Older adults; Internet; online sexual activity; dating; Europe; cross-cultural studies

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