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Sexuality Profile Survey for Women 60-75 years old

May 5th, 2009

Dr Petra

Older women are frequently ignored in sex research, so much so that we don’t know nearly enough about the sex lives of seniors.

The good news is there’s a new survey designed to find out more about the sexual experience of older women.

So if you’re between 60 and 75 and have some time to spare, why not join in with this online study?

Details about the research (including information about the researcher) below….

Dear Potential Respondent to the Sexuality Profile Survey for Women 60-75 Years Old:

Thank you for your interest. Please allow me to introduce myself.

My Background: I am an alumna of Harvard/Radcliffe (B.A.,’61; M.S and PhD from the graduate School of Arts and Sciences, ’63 and ’69). In my earlier career, I was an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, doing research and teaching in reproductive biology, contraception and infertility testing. Later, I moved into technology transfer at Massachusetts General Hospital and then business development in the pharmaceutical industry in the area of women’s health,

My Current Project: Recently, I decided to return to school to pursue a doctorate in Human Sexuality and Sex Education. Because my goal is to do research, write and teach, I have enrolled in a combined program to get a Masters of Public Health and a Doctorate of Education at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco .

Part of the requirement of the graduate program is for each student to conduct a standard sexuality survey on a sub-group of the population. This survey is part of a longitudinal study that has been ongoing for more than 25 years; it was initiated by the National Sex Forum in San Francisco and comprises part of a large data base maintained there for research purposes. The survey was not written by me and, except for the last ~18 questions (Section 2), has not changed since its inception in order to ensure uniformity in the date base.

My Research Interest: The group that I want to study is women 60 to 75 years old because this is a group whose sexuality gets almost no attention and therefore is underserved.

A better understanding of the sexual attitudes and behaviors in this under-researched segment of the population will make it possible to inform and direct future research in the field. There is much to be learned that will benefit women themselves as well as the health care professionals who care for them. Survey items include questions on participants’ demographic details, knowledge and attitudes regarding specific sexual behaviors, and participants’ attitudes toward their own sexual experiences.

Request for your assistance: Would you be willing to complete this survey and, if convenient, also circulate it to anyone you know in this age group who might also be interested? Completing the survey should take 15 – 20 minutes and I would be very grateful for your assistance. All respondents are entitled to receive a copy of the results.

Participation in this survey is anonymous, voluntary (obviously) and strictly confidential and can not be traced. There is no way that paper or electronic responses can be tracked.

Accessing the survey: The survey is posted on Survey Monkey, a website for research surveys.

Unless Outlook is your email client, responding on-line is easy and all you need to do is click on this link

It should pop right up. However, in a few cases, people who use Microsoft Outlook as their email client have had trouble opening the link. In that case, all you need to do is copy and paste the link into your browser. Or you can try this link instead:

If difficulties persist, please let me know and I will help you. Or, if you prefer, I can provide a paper copy of the survey along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope for its return.

If there are any questions, concerns or difficulties accessing the survey, or if individuals just want to learn more about the project, they can call me at 617.277.2090 or email me at

If they would prefer to send me a letter, my address is 14 Welland Road Brookline , MA 02445 .

It would be a pleasure to connect with potential respondents and provide more information as needed.


Anita P. Hoffer, Ph.D.

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