1. Explanation of This Research Project on Female Sexuality

Thank you for your interest in my survey for a research project on sexuality in women between the ages of 60 and 75.

Before I tell you more about it, please allow me to introduce myself.

My Background: I am an alumna of Harvard/Radcliffe (B.A. from Radcliffe,’61; M.S from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, ’63; and Ph.D from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, ’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 sub-group that I am studying is women 60 to 75 years of age because this is a group of women whose sexuality gets almost no attention and is therefore 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.

Thank you for your assistance: Filling out the survey should take ~15 – 20 minutes and your participation is important and greatly appreciated. In addition, if you know women in this age bracket who also may be willing to participate in the survey, please make them aware of it. All respondents are entitled to receive a copy of the results; please see the directions at the end of the survey for requesting your copy.

Participation in this survey is anonymous, strictly confidential and can not be traced by anyone. All data is summarized statistically and no individual results are reported or tabulated.

If you have any questions, concerns or difficulties accessing the survey, or just want to learn more about the project, please don’t hesitate to call me at 617.277.2090 or email me at aphoffer@earthlink.net.

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

It would be a pleasure to connect with you and provide you with more information.


Anita P. Hoffer, PhD