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Bernardo J Carducci, Ph.D.

Advisor: Dr. William Griffitt

Dissertation Title

Cross-gender and cross-generational perceptions of human sexuality

Dissertation Abstract

Measures of self-report and perceived sexuality were examined in a 2 (sex of subject) x 3 (age group of subject) x 7 (target group) factorial design to assess the extent to which self-report ratings of sexuality were related to perceived sexuality ratings of others in different age groups. Males and females of three different age groups served as subjects in the present study. The three age groups included a young subject group (ages ranging from 17 to 25), A middle-age subject group (ages ranging from 28 to 48), and an elderly subject group (ages ranging from 51 to 79). Male and female subjects within the three different age groups were asked to provide self-report sexuality ratings and separate perceived sexuality ratings of members of the same and opposite sex within three different age groups: a young target group (ages 18 to 25), a middle-age target group (ages 35 to 45), and an elderly target group (ages 65 to 75). The subjects were also asked to provide self-report and perceived ratings of emotional attraction and interpersonal evaluation. The results indicated that males and females within each age group did not differ significantly from each other on the self-report measure of sexuality. Perceived sexuality ratings were found to decrease as the age of the target group increased. While both males and females were quite accurate in their perceived sexuality ratings, female subjects were found to provide higher perceived sexuality ratings of the various target groups than did the male subjects. Correlational analyses indicated that the males' self-report sexuality ratings were significantly positively correlated with their perceived sexuality ratings. Similar correlational analyses for the female subjects indicated that their self-report sexuality ratings were not correlated with their perceived sexuality ratings. Additional correlational analyses indicated that the perceived sexuality ratings provided by both the male and the female subjects were significantly positively correlated with their perceived emotional attraction and interpersonal evaluation ratings. The results also indicated that the subject groups did not differ significantly from each other on the self-report measure of emotional attraction. The perceived interpersonal evaluation ratings were found to decrease as the age of the target group increased. The results were interpreted as corroborating and extending the generalizability of previous research in perceptions of sexuality. Suggestions for future research are also presented.

Education

Ph.D., Psychology, Kansas State University, 1981