Samantha Blair Rotay, Psy.D., is a 2024 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dr. Samantha Rotay

Dissertation Committee:

  • Dr. Kathi Borden, PhD, Chairperson
  • Dr. Nancy Ruddy, PhD, Committee Member
  • Dr. Gina Pasquale, PsyD, Committee Member


human sexuality, sexuality training, self-efficacy

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Publication Date



Human sexuality is a basic foundation of the human experience. In graduate school for psychology, students are often taught about sexuality in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. However, there is a lack of education around sexual functioning in terms of sexual wellbeing, arousal, and disorders. Many psychologists are licensed as general practice clinicians but only a small percentage of psychologists have training in human sexuality. However, many generalist psychologists hold a caseload of couples and individuals who are experiencing sexual concerns. Due to the limited training, therapists are less likely to assist clients in therapy around sexual concerns. Social-cognitive theory can be used to conceptualize how having access to sexuality training in graduate school might increase a therapist’s self-efficacy to assist clients in therapy. Making it mandatory for all therapists to have human sexuality training would provide insight into a component of the human experience that is often overlooked. The current study expanded on previous research by collecting data regarding whether or not APA accredited graduate programs offered a human sexuality course. Data were collected from program directors and department chairs programs via surveys. The study found that of the 47 programs who responded, fewer than 10 programs offered a human sexuality course and only one had a mandatory course. This means that despite the existing research supporting the benefits for human sexuality training for psychologists, there are still many clinicians entering the workforce without human sexuality training. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


ORCID: 0009-0004-7259-2348


I grew up in a small, rural town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I then went to study in Philadelphia, earning my master's degree before moving to New England to attend Antioch University. As a child, my family traveled a lot and I had a lot of exposure to big cities and many other states. I continued this momentum when I studied abroad twice in my undergraduate studies in Costa Rica and India. Throughout my time at Antioch I lived and worked in four New England states and completed my doctoral internship in southern Utah. I believe all of this traveling has given me an interesting world view and the ability to be flexible, open-minded, and responsive as needed. My clinical experience is made up of my graduate training sites, each one very different from the last: Public school district, Community Mental Health/ BHI, Inpatient, and College Campus. In my free time I love to camp, hike, and backpack as much as I can, or simply sit outside and absorb the fresh air and sunshine.