While the internet has extended sexual accessibility for people of all ages and all physical and mental states, it is even more central a tool for recently separated older individuals who find that they do not have other easy routes to meeting new people. Whether newly single or chronically unattached, internet meetings bring with them all the risks of sexual partnering with relative strangers but no knowledge of their sexual history.
The next generation, born into or reaching adolescence in the age of AIDS, was given some sort of awareness of the cost of unprotected sex. The Baby Boomers, who grew up before STDs were quite as fatal (they were around, but they were curable), needed to worry chiefly about birth control. Pregnancy naturally ceases to be an issue as they age.
The midlife singles will have stepped into the world of dating that has no limits and end in sight, without the proper awareness of the dangers of sex that the younger generation ingested along with their first lessons on sex. Sure, they may know well that there are diseases and problems associated with unsafe sex, but they probably have not undergone the type of sex education that has been improved in recent years; contemporary sex education has a greater emphasis on internalizing the notion that you yourself are at risk, and not just “the other”.
More about Midlife Sex Education