How do we research a private intimate activity
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How Do We Research A Private, Intimate Activity? PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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How Do We Research A Private, Intimate Activity?. We are deluged with sexual information, but how much can we trust what we read/see/ hear? A few years ago (2001) a condom company did a study to determine average penis length. It was done in Cancun, Mexico, just outside a popular club.

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How Do We Research A Private, Intimate Activity?

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How do we research a private intimate activity

How Do We Research A Private, Intimate Activity?

We are deluged with sexual information, but how much can we trust what we read/see/ hear?

A few years ago (2001) a condom company did a study to determine average penis length.

It was done in Cancun, Mexico, just outside a popular club.

A tent was set up where male volunteers could look at sexually explicit pictures.


How do we research a private intimate activity

When they had an erection, their penises were measured by medical staff. They obtained 400 volunteers, but only 300 obtained an erection, and the average penile length was 5.877 inches (14.928 cm.), longer than in previous medical studies. Why?

Self-selection: men who considered they had longer penises were more likely to participate. This was a public situation where guys were with friends.


How do we research a private intimate activity

Many magazines have questionnaires that readers can choose to respond.

Can you take the results seriously? Why?


How do we research a private intimate activity

Respondents do not represent the population, but only the people who read a particular magazine. E.g. those who read Redbook are probably not the same people that read Cosmopolitan or Playgirl.

How do we get around these obstacles to obtain accurate data?


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS

  • Three Important Considerations Are:

    • RESEARCH DESIGN

    • RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS

    • SAMPLING


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Research design helps us determine what we can conclude about the nature of the relationship(s) between or amongst variables of interest.


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Some important features of research design:

    • control of extraneous variables

    • manipulation of independent variable

    • measurement of dependent variable

    • random assignment of participants to conditions

  • Representativeness:

    • affects generalizability


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Other Sampling Techniques (non-random)

    • Convenience

    • Stratified


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Convenience Sample:

    • Getting whoever you can, e.g. Muse questions around campus, Janus report

  • Stratified Sample:

    • Instead of random sample, where you would get different age groups, say, in the same proportion that they exist in the population, take same N for each age group, so comparisons can be made (e.g. seniors)


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

Instruments need to have:

  • Validity

    • The extent to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure

  • Reliability

    • The extent to which an instrument gives consistent measures over time

  • Research is only as good as the instruments we use


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Problems With Doing Research in Sexual Behaviour

    • Problems with definitions and terminology

    • Problems of Measurement

    • Problems of Participant Selection

    • Problems of Ethics

    • Many Refusals

    • Volunteer Bias


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Self Reports: Unreliable

    • Social Desirability

    • Memory

    • Inability to Estimate (How long, etc.)

  • Wording of Questions Important

  • Direct Observations: Sampling Bias?

    • (Masters and Johnson)

  • Problems with Direct Observation


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Use of Inappropriate Populations

    • Clinical

    • Prisoner

  • Inappropriate Inferences From Sample to Population

  • Informed Consent of Research Participants

    • Before or After?


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Minimal Harm

    • E.g., Cost/Benefit Analysis

  • Debriefing

  • Assurances of Anonymity and Confidentiality


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How we Gather Data:

Correlational Designs

  • Imply only an association between variables

    Experimental Designs

  • Can infer that changes in one variable cause changes in another variable.


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How we gather data (cont’d):

  • Experimental Designs (Cont’d)

    • E.g.: Romer (1997) Does interviewing by computer give different results than face-to-face interviews?

    • Participants: children 9-15 years

    • 13 yr. old boys:

      • computer condition: 76% had sex

      • interview condition: 50% had sex

    • 13 yr. old girls:

      • 48%

      • 25%


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How we gather data (cont’d):

  • Conclusions?

    • More truthful with computer privacy

      OR

    • More daring in fibbing with computer

  • Can only say that the type of interview (computer or human) influenced the amount of reporting.

  • Manipulated IV caused changes in DV but what does it mean??


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

One example of recent research:

  • Meredith Chivers @ Queen’s

  • IV: videos of

  • bonobos having sex

  • heterosexual sex

  • both male and female homosexual sex

  • man masturbating

  • woman masturbating

  • hunk walking naked on a beach

  • beautiful woman exercising in the nude

    DV1: plethysmograph readings

    DV2: subjective ratings of arousal on a keypad


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

Results for men:

  • Straights were aroused by hetero sex and female sex, masturbation and nude

  • Gays were aroused by gay sex and male masturbating and nude

  • Neither group responded to the bonobo video

  • Their subjective ratings matched the physiological measures.


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

Results for women:

  • Regardless of sexual orientation, physiological arousal to every sex clip, including the bonobos.

  • Subjectively, keypad reports at odds with objective measures. Mind and genitals are not connected.

    So - women’s sexuality still largely not well understood.


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How We Gather Data (Cont’d)

  • Field Experiment

    • Real Life Setting

    • Less Control Over Extraneous Variables

    • Random Assignment to Conditions

    • Researcher Controls Independent Variable

    • Researcher Determines Which Dependent Variable(s) To Measure


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How We Gather Data (Cont’d)

Quasi Experiments

  • Researcher Has No Control Over Independent Variable

  • Instead, Uses “Natural” Events As IV (e.g., Act Of Legislation, Hurricane/Blizzard, Social Movement, Etc.)

  • Researcher Does Have Choice Of Dependent Variable(s)


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How we gather data (cont’d):

  • Unobtrusive Observation

  • Archival Research

  • Interviews, Surveys

    • Face-To-Face

    • Telephone

    • Questionnaire

  • Case Studies

  • Clinical Studies


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

How we gather data (cont’d):

  • Use of Self Reports

    • Social Desirability Bias

  • Attitudes

    Often At Odds

  • Behaviour


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Some Examples of Research:

    • Morton Hunt Survey: similar to Kinsey, 1970s. Changes in % of premarital and extramarital sex.

    • Hite Report: Shere Hite, a self-styled social scientist. Sent questionnaires to about 20,000 women from lists of feminist organizations, friends, etc. Only 3% return: volunteer bias. Medial love it, but totally useless, not rep.

    • Laud Humphreys: The Tearoom Trade.


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Studies from the text to know:

    • Clelia Mosher survey (Ch. 1)

    • Kinsey

    • Masters and Johnson

    • NORC/NHSLS

    • Canada Youth and AIDS Study

    • Ontario First Nations AIDS and Healthy Lifestyle Survey


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Studies from the text to know:

    • Canadian Survey of Gay and Bisexual Men

    • Computer Study (Romer et al. 1997)

    • Humphries “Tea Room Trade”

  • Awareness of Sex Research in Canada (no details)

  • General Trend in France and Britain


How do we research a private intimate activity

RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS (CONT’D)

  • Morton Hunt Studies (1970s/80s):

    • Similar to Kinsey, different results. Increased admission of pre and extramarital sex.

    • Question: does this reflect actual behavioural change or changing social attitudes?


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