Very little research on women’s sexuality addresses the needs and concerns of women past menopause. Dr. Anita Hoffer, a former associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital who’s currently pursuing a doctorate in Human Sexuality and Sex Education, is out to change this.
She’s conducting a survey of women aged 60 – 75, designed to examine their knowledge and attitudes regarding specific sexual behaviors, as well as their attitudes toward their own sexual experiences.
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.
The survey itself, a requirement for Hoffer’s graduate program, is part of a longitudinal study that has been ongoing for more than 25 years, initiated by the National Sex Forum in San Francisco.
The survey is available online. If you have trouble accessing the online survey or simply prefer paper, send your mailing address to Dr. Hoffer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will send you a paper copy along with a stamped self-addressed envelope to facilitate its return.
In all cases (electronic and paper), participants who would like to see the results once they become available need to send separately their contact information to Hoffer upon completing the survey; this preserves the confidentiality of your responses. She will then add your name to the distribution list for results.
Additional information on the project and contact details for Hoffer are also at the survey website.