1.Discuss the issue of bias of self-report in human sexuality research? How does it occur?
How can it be minimized?The issue with self-reporting in human sexuality research is that respondents may not always be truthful. According to the text, “Respondents may underreport, overreport, or do both when responding to sex interviews or questionnaires.” [Gri85]Sex can be a very taboo subject, and thiscan lead to people feeling ashamed of actions and desires. For example, should the research question regard same sex relations and the respondent is still “in the closet” they may be less likely to be truthful. Furthermore, people may have engaged in certain sexual activities that they wish to conceal because of guilt, fear of censure, or fear of disrupting their marriages, social standing, or careers.” [Gri85]. Also, inaccuracies may also stem from simple memory lapses. Another issue with self-reporting is the risk of overreporting. In the same way that someone with a lot of sexual experience may wish to conceal this due to embarrassment, one with very little or no sexual experience may as well. For some, there is pressure to have experienced certain sexual acts by a certain milestone. Not achieving these conquests may lead to inflation of actual events or plain lies. This concept is portrayed in movies and tv shows frequently. The boy/man that is inexperienced or a virgin and when asked, instead of admitting the lack in their experience they make up stories to maintain their pride. Also, the text discusses homosexuals that may lie about heterosexual conquests to conceal their sexuality. Minimizing inaccuracies can occur through proper communication from the researchers. By assuring confidentiality, and the lack of judgement, respondents may be more likely to answer truthfully. Stressing the importance of accurate results may also be useful. If the respondents know what the research hopes to accomplish and why it is important, they may have more pride in participation and thus a greater desire to answer accurately.