Chapter 2 - Chapter 2: Sex Research: Methods & Problems...

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Chapter 2: Sex Research: Sexology – the study of sexuality Test assumptions in a scientific way to find out whether they are true or false and to document what underlying relationships, if any, they reveal. Early in the last century, Sigmund Freud asserted that women’s orgasms resulting from vaginal penetration are more “mature” than those resulting from clitoral stimulation alone. A common assumption today is that “vaginal” orgasms are superior to clitoral orgasms. The Goals of Sexology People who study human sexuality share certain goals with scientists in other disciplines: understanding, predicting and controlling or influencing the events that are the subject matter of their respective fields. Nonexperimental Research Methods Three common notions about human sexual behavior: Exposure to violent porn can increases a man’s tolerance of, and willingness to commit, sexually violent acts, such as rape Alcohol can enhance sexual responsiveness Vaginal orgasms are superior to clitoral orgasms Case Studies: examines either a single subject or a small group of subjects, each of whom is studied individually and in depth. Data gathered through direct observation, questionnaires, testing, and even experimentation Advantages: Flexibility in data-gathering procedures In-depth explorations of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings Disadvantages: Limited generalizability of findings Accuracy of data limited by fallibility of human memory o Person’s past history – especially childhood and adolescence Not suitable for many kinds of research questions Survey: data pertaining to sexual attitudes and behaviors derived from relatively large groups of people by means of questionnaires or interviews. Advantages: Relatively cheap and quick method for obtaining large amounts of data Can obtain data from more people than is practical to study in the laboratory or through case studies Disadvantages: Problems of: o Nonresponse o Demographic bias o Inaccurate information Choosing the Sample Representative (probability) sample: a type of limited research sample that provides an accurate representation of a larger target population of interest.
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Chapter 2: Sex Research: o Obtain U.S. census Beureau statistics on number of married couples whose partners are age 65 or older who reside in major geographic regions of the US o Select subgroups of sample according to the actual distribution of the larger population – if 25% of the couples live in the East then you would draw 25% of sample population from here. o Select actual subjects from these lists Use a table of random numbers to generate random selections from lists o Can then generalize findings to all married American couples age 65+ o More accurate generalizations to the entire target population than random samples Random Sample: a randomly chosen subset of a population
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Chapter 2 - Chapter 2: Sex Research: Methods & Problems...

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