2 Goals of Sexology The study of sexuality Goal is to: Measure & Describe : clear, unbiased, preciseExplain: relation observations to other factorsPredict: use observations to estimate future behavior or developmentsApply and Control: Influence behavior to help solve problems and improve sexualityCompared with many other disciplines, sexology is an infant science, having originated largely in the 20th century
3 Non-Experimental Research Methods: Case Studies Single subject or small groupEach studied individually and in depthData gathered using:Direct observationQuestionnairesTestingExperimentation
4 Non-experimental Research Methods: Case Study Advantages:In depth explorationsFlexibility in data gathering proceduresDisadvantages:Hard to generalize resultsOften based on retrospective self-reportNot suitable for many research questions
5 Non-experimental Research Methods: Survey Methods Small to large samples of peopleData gathered using:Face-to-face interviewsQuestionnairesCan be computerized or distributed onlineChoosing the sampleRepresentative sampleRandom sample
6 Non-experimental Research Methods: Survey Methods Advantages:Questionnaires: anonymity may improve honesty, cheaperInterviews: more flexible, rapport, may improve clarity & understanding
7 Non-experimental Research Methods: Survey Methods Disadvantages:Inaccurate informationDemographic biasFaulty estimation, poor recallSocial desirabilityA response bias in which the person provides a socially acceptable responseExaggerationDenialDifferences in meanings of terms
8 Non-experimental Research Methods: Survey Methods Examples:The Kinsey ReportsThe National Health and Social Life SurveyThe Youth Risk Behavior SurveyViolent Pornography and Alcohol Use surveyCritical thinking questions: SHOULD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUND SEX RESEARCH? ARE THERE POTENTIAL BENEFITS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT JUSTIFY SUCH EXPENDITURES?
9 Non-experimental Research Methods Outcome from Survey Data Caption: Ethnicity and Sexual Practices.
10 Non-experimental Research Methods: Direct Observation Studies Small to moderate samplesObserve and record responses of subjects- Reliability increases with representative sample and accuracy of recording devicesAdvantages:Eliminates possibility of falsificationRecords can be kept indefinitelyDisadvantages:Self-selection, behavior influenced by observers, expense
11 Non-experimental Research Methods Which of the non-experimental research methods has provided the most data about human sexuality?
12 The Experimental Method: Procedures Small to moderate samples:Independent variableCondition or component that is manipulatedDependent variableOutcome or resulting behaviorReliability and validity increase with:Random selectionRandom assignment
13 The Experimental Method The Effect of Caffeine on Arousal TimeIV = Caffeine, DV = Arousal TimeExperimental Group: Drink a beverage with caffeine and be presented with an arousing image; arousal time would be measuredControl Group: Drink a beverage without caffeine and be presented with same arousing image; arousal time would be measuredIf the Experimental group was slower to be aroused, it would be due to the caffeine.Copyright 2008 Allyn & Bacon
14 The Experimental Method Advantages:Lowers the influence of other variablesCan establish cause-effect relationshipsDisadvantages:Being measured may affect actionsArtificiality of laboratory setting
15 Technologies in Sex Research Electronic devices for measuring sexual arousalPenile strain gaugemeasures slightest change in penis sizeVaginal photoplethysmographmeasures increased vaginal blood volumeHow do researchers measure sexual arousal electronically?Can computers and the Internet aid in gathering sensitive information?
16 Measuring Sexual Arousal Caption: Devices for electronically measuring sexual arousal.
17 Technologies in Sex Research Computer assisted self-interview (CASI)- Eliminates literacy issues and negative impact of interviewer; participants may prefer over face-to-face interviewResearch in CyberspaceAdvantages: Cheaper and more efficient; nearly limitless survey poolDisadvantages: sample selection bias, low response rates; privacy and ethical issues
18 Ethical Guidelines for Human Sex Research No pressure or coercion for participationInformed consent and voluntary participationConfidentiality and anonymityQuestion of deceptionInstitutional ethics review
19 Evaluating Research: Questions to Ask Why was the research done? Who did the research? What are their credentials? What biases are there?Who were the participants? How were they selected & assigned to groups?How was the research conducted? What methods were used?Where was the research reported? What additional support is there?To what degree can we rely on the findings of sex research?