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Research Methods in Human Sexuality

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Presentation on theme: "Research Methods in Human Sexuality"— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Methods in Human Sexuality
Chapter 2

2 In this chapter… A Scientific Approach to Human Sexuality
Populations and Samples: Representing the World of Diversity Methods of Observation Correlation Ethics in Sex Research Research Methods in Human Sexuality

3 An empirical approach is used to study human sexuality
A Scientific Approach Knowledge is based on research evidence An empirical approach is used to study human sexuality

4 The Scientific Method Formulate a research question
Frame in form of hypothesis Test the hypothesis Draw conclusions A hypothesis is a precise prediction about behavior that is tested through research

5 Goals of the Science of Human Sexuality
Describe Explain Predict Using clear, unbiased, precise language Relating observations to other factors Using observations to estimate future behaviors

6 Populations & Samples Population Sample
A complete group of people or animals Target population = group being studied Sample Part of a population selected for research Must be representative to generalize

7 Populations & Samples Size Sample size must be representative Random
Every member of target population has equal chance of participating E.g., put all members of population in a hat and draw number needed Stratified Random sample that represents subgroups in population E.g., if 13% of population is Asian, so is 13% of sample

8 Random samples are difficult to come by
Populations & Samples Random samples are difficult to come by Volunteer bias in sex research Use convenience samples

9 Methods of Observation
Case Study Carefully drawn, in-depth biography of an individual or a small group of individuals that may be obtained through interviews, questionnaires, and historical records Useful for unusual circumstances and clinical work Advantage Rich information Disadvantage Not as rigorous as experiments Memory gaps Observer bias

10 Methods of Observation
Survey Detailed study of a sample obtained by interviews and questionnaires Questionnaires versus Interviews Questionnaires less expensive Questionnaires may be administered to many people at once Questionnaires are anonymous Interviews can be given to those who can’t read Interviews can be more flexible and allow for more detailed information

11 Surveys of Human Sexuality
Kinsey Reports National Health & Social Life Survey (NHSLS) Playboy Foundation National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) Magazine surveys National Survey of Adolescents and Young Adults

12 Limitations of Survey Methods
Faulty estimation, poor recall Non-representative sample Social Desirability Volunteer Bias Exaggeration Misunderstanding terms or questions

13 Methods of Observation
Naturalistic Observation Behavior is observed where it occurs Attempt not to influence behavior Ethical dilemmas may arise

14 Methods of Observation
Ethnographic Observation Anthropologists engage in ethnographic research Provides data about customs and behaviors that occur among various ethnic groups Researcher’s presence may influence behaviors

15 Methods of Observation
Participant Observation Investigators collect data by interacting with the subjects under study

16 Methods of Observation
Laboratory Observation Individuals are studied in controlled conditions in a laboratory setting Masters and Johnson Among first to report observations on individuals and couples involved in sex acts Methods and instruments offered first reliable data on what happens to the body during sexual response Confounding factor from knowing you are being observed

17 Correlation Positive Negative
Statistical measure of the relationship between two variables A correlation coefficient expresses the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables Positive Both increase or decrease together Negative Both increase or decrease opposite each other

18 Correlation A correlation between two variables does not indicate that the relationship is a causal one Correlation does allow predictions to be made about the value of one variable given the value of the other

19 Critical Thinking Would you expect that there would be a positive or negative correlation between satisfaction in a relationship and communication? Explain.

20 The Experimental Method
The best method for studying cause and effect Experiment Seeks to confirm cause-and-effect by manipulating independent variables and observing their effects on dependent variables Independent variable – condition that is manipulated Dependent variable – result that is measured

21 The Experimental Method
Treatment An intervention that is administered to participants Control Group Do not receive the treatment Experimental Group Receive the treatment

22 The Experimental Method
Participants are put into the experimental or control group via random assignment Random selection is important due to selection factor Bias that may operate in research when people are allowed to determine whether they will receive a treatment Groups should be relatively equal if random assignment is used

23 Exposing participants to harm
Ethics in Sex Research Exposing participants to harm Confidentiality Informed Consent Use of deception

24 Critical Thinking Do you believe that this deception is justified?
Can you think of a more ethical way of measuring “aggression”? Do you believe that this deception is justified? In experiments on the effects of violent pornography on aggression, men are led to believe that they are shocking women by pressing a button when they actually are not.

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