Within the paucity of literature regarding older adult sexuality, a larger dearth exists concerning biases of long-term care facility staff toward gay and lesbian older adult residents. Prior literature has documented that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals' perceive that they do not receive the same quality of care as that of heterosexual individuals within long-term care facilities. Thus researchers aimed to evaluate whether these biases truly exist within care facilities that can prevent holistic care from being comprehensively provided to everyone regardless of sexual orientation. 153 residential care facility staff members from two separate facilities read one of three vignettes. Each vignette described a scenario in which a staff member walks in on two residents engaging in sexual activity. Residents' gender was manipulated in the three vignettes (male/female, male/male, female/female). Following this, participants completed two questionnaires assessing their views toward older adult sexuality, as well as their opinions on how well the staff member responded to the situation. Although no main effects were discovered for vignette type, exploratory analysis yielded that the facility where participants were employed was significantly related to their levels of situation approval. Along with this main effect, an interaction effect was discovered between vignette and facility type with caregivers' situational approval level. More specifically, Facility 2's mean values were significantly higher (indicating less staff member approval) for the male/female and female/female vignettes as compared to Facility 1's vignette approval ratings. Researchers did not confirm their hypothesis that male/male relationships would be stigmatized, but postulate that this could be reflective of the preponderance of male residents in facility 2. Furthermore researchers believe that the significant main and interaction effects discovered are indicative of overall pathologizing of older women's sexuality as lower approval rates for women existed across both facilities.


Eric Sprankle

Committee Member

Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Donald Ebel

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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