IN HER column, Joan Smith refers to a recent lecture that I gave at a conference of a section of the British Psychological Society (23 July). Apparently, she has relied on secondary sources for her information, and she has seriously misrepresented my lecture. She alleges that I seem worried about changes in sexual practices among the over-sixties "leading to older women being seen, in his words, as randy old hags".

Had she obtained the text of my lecture, she would have seen that I was protesting against the grossly disrespectful manner in which some disturbed people refer to the fact that their bereaved or divorced mother had formed a new love relationship in later life. I made it perfectly clear that as far as I am concerned, anyone single in later life who forms a new love relationship of any kind has my approval and best wishes.

Her remarks about lesbianism are completely inappropriate when applied to my lecture, and she is wildly inaccurate in implying that I am disapproving of modern developments in the sexual mores of older people of which I wholeheartedly approve. That was what my lecture was about!

Hamilton B Gibson