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Lessons From A 107-Year-Old Sex Therapist

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December 13, 2021 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex therapist Dr. Shirley Zussman passed away on December 4, 2021 at the age of 107. She had a remarkably long career in the field, having earned her doctorate in 1957 and not retiring from her private practice until the age of 105! Dr. Zussman accomplished a lot in her career. Among other things, she worked alongside Masters and Johnson in the 1960s, she was a two-time President of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), she was a book author and sex columnist, and she appeared on some of the biggest television shows of all time, including Oprah.

For her 100th birthday, Time published a video retrospective on her career, which you can watch below. Although sex changed a lot during her decades of practice, from the invention of the birth control pill to the rise of HIV/AIDS to the advent of online dating and hookups, she found that much stayed the same–especially in terms of the sexual problems encountered in relationships and what people really want from their love lives.

Check out the video below to learn more about Dr. Zussman and her reflections on how the sexual landscape changed over the course of her career.

RIP Dr. Zussman, and thank you for your many contributions to the field!

Watch more videos on the science of sex and relationships here.

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Written by

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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