Rebecca E. Gilda is a 2015 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara

Dissertation Committee

  • Sharleen O'Brien, Psy.D., Chair
  • Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., Second Faculty Reader
  • Whitney Dunbar, M.A., Student Reader
  • Susan Kolod, PhD. External Expert


clinical psychology, geriatric sexuality, sexuality, sexaulity theory, developmental psychology, subjetive experience, American society, women, ages 65 to 75, media, social psychology, social influences

Document Type


Publication Date



This dissertation focused on capturing and describing the experience of sexuality for women between the ages of 65 and 75 as they live in American society. The main research question asks how these women gain awareness, perceive, and react to the stereotypes, assumptions, expectations, and negative images associated with their sexuality. The participants completed a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview with the principal researcher. Information was gathered about age, relationships, family history, employment, and sexuality. In the interview general and specific questions were asked relating to sexuality in order to answer the research questions. The data from these was analyzed to answer the research questions. The short term goal of this research was to gain understanding and inform the field of psychology and the public about the experience of the studied population. Another goal was to outline possible implications of the findings for clinical practice and future research. The data collected was able to answer questions related to how social influences played a role in the lives of older women. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the Ohiolink ETD center