At 50, Karl Pillemer had a revelation about his career. After 25 years as gerontologist, he found himself focused almost entirely on problems like elder abuse and isolation: “the Book of Job for older people,” as he put it at the 2012 Age Boom seminar for journalists. This conformed to the general portrayal of olders as frail and debilitated, and was reinforced by researchers “because focusing on problems is how we get funding.” But not only had this stopped feeling fulfilling, it didn’t jibe with his actual experience, and so an outreach project was born.
“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.”