The life history theory suggests that there exists trade-off between life processes like reproduction and growth and maintenance of the organism.
One significant trade off is between somatic effort (towards growth and maintenance of the body) and reproductive effort (towards producing offspring).
Quoting from wikipedia page Cost of reproduction hypothesis
The traditional view of the cost of reproduction says that a cost is caused by differential allocation of limited internal resources. (...) Reduced immune function and a decreased defense against environment stress are also important factors in the cost of reproduction.
It has been suggested that this kind of trade-off in resource allocation between different life processes has plasticity, that is, the resource allocation between different life processes in a given individual is dependent upon external factors like the absolute amount of nutrient input.
Reduced nutrient availability can substantially magnify, while increased nutrient availability can diminish or obviate an apparent trade-off. (...) For example, in laboratory and field experiments on bivalves, cladoc- erans, insects, and mammals, allocation to maintenance or storage was found to take precedence over allocation to reproduction under nutrient-poor or stressful conditions
So, my question is, what does all this mean? Could sexually inactive life for an organism, for whatever reason, actually correspond to longer health span? (Better immunity, growth and maintenance of the body, etc.)
I know that the rate of deterioration of health with age is hugely determined by the rigid parameters corresponding to the specie the organism belongs to. But for a given organism, the various life processes like reproduction, repair and maintenance, and immune system are fighting for the limited resources available, and it appears that there is some amount of plasticity in how much resource will be allocated to which life process. In other words, the rate of deterioration of health of an individual appears not to be completely written on stone.