Chapter 2.pdf

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2100
Cynthia Clark

Chapter 2 – Quantitative Research Methods The Scientific Method 1. Formulating a Research Question. 2. Framing the research question in the form of a hypothesis 3. Testing the hypothesis 4. Drawing conclusions Goal of the Science of Human Sexuality  Variables: Quantities or qualities that vary or that may vary  Demographic: Concerning the vital statistics of a human population (e.g. Density, race, age, education)  Purpose of scientific research into human sexuality is not to dictate to people how they ought to behave, it can provide information or insights that people can use to better understand themselves and make decisions about their own behaviours Quantitative Research Methods  Populations: Acomplete group of organisms or events  Sample: Part of a population selected for study  Generalize: Use information from a particular case or sample to draw conclusions about a larger phenomenon or population Sampling Methods  Random Sample: Asample in which every member of a population has an equal chance of participating  Stratified Random Sample: Arandom sample in which known subgroups of a population are represented in proportion to their numbers within the population  Volunteer Bias: Aslanting of research data caused by the characteristics of individuals who volunteer to participate (e.g. Their wilingness to discuss intimate behavior) Methods of Obseravtion The Case Study Method  Case Study: A carefully drawn, in-depth biography of an individual or a small group of individuals. This infomration may be obtained through interveiws, questionnaires, and historical records The Survey Method  Survey: Adetailed study of sample obtained through such methods as interviews and questionnaires Large-Scale Canadian andAmerican Studies The Kinsey Reports  His sampling methods contained systematic biases, but that it would have been impossible to obtain a true probability sample from the genral population  His estimate that 37% of the male population had reached orgasm at least once through male- male sexual activity was probably too high  He checked: ◦ Reliability: The consistency or accuracy of a measure ◦ Incidence: Ameasure of an event's occurance ◦ Validity: The degree to which a test measures what it purports to measure The NHSLS Study  The National Health and Social Life Survey was intended to provide general information about sexual behaviour in the United States, as well as specific information that might be used to predict and prevent the spread ofAIDS  Conducted by Edward O. Laumann of the University of Chicago and three collegues  Sample included 3432 people who are 19-45 years old The Canadian Youth, Sexual Health, and HIV/AIDS Studies  The main objective of these studies was to understand the determinants of adolescent sexuality and sexual health for different age groups  Involved students in grades 7,9, and 11 from al provinces and territories except Nunavut, The Canadian Community Health Survey  Conduted by Statistics Canada over one- and two- year cycles  Aim of the survey is to provide data on the health status of Canadians who are aged 12 and up  Sample size for each cycle of the survey is more than 100,000  Survey contains questions related to sexuality, such as sexual identity, age of first intercourse, number of sexual partners in the prior 12 months, and condon use at last intercourse The Canadian Contraception Studies  Survey looked at contraception awareness, attitudes and behaviours among a representative sample of Canadian women of childbearing age  Included questions about sexual behaviours, such as whether respondents had ever experience sexual intercourse, or had experienced sexual intercourse in the previous six months  Also asked whether participants had experienced sexual difficulties, such as diminished sexual desire or pain during intercourse The Compas Survey  There were 1479 respondents in this survey  Their demographic characteristics, such as age and education were proportionally similar to those of the Canadian population  The survey asked about sexual oritentation, age at first intercourse, number of intercourse, partners, sexual frequency, oral sex, sexual communication, sexual problems, sex and the workplace, attitudes toward casual sex and attitudes toward toplessness and prostitution The Naturalistic Observaiton Method  Naturalistic Observation: Astudy method in which organisms are observed in their natural environments  For example ◦ Sociologists observe the street lives of prostitutes and psychologists observe patterns of non-verbal communication and body langugae used by couples in dating situations The Ethnographic Observation Method  Ethnographic Observation: Astudy method in which behaviours and customs are observed within a groups native environment The Participant Observation Method  Participant Observation: Astudy method in which observers interact with their subjects as they collect data The Focus Group M
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