Reflexivity and ethical considerations in investigating the links between sex and leisure

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Leisure is fundamental to comprehending various contemporary issues related to sex and the sexual. Freely chosen, pleasurable, and intrinsically motivated sexual activity fits nearly all definitions of leisure. In contemporary Western society, sex is construed as a recreational activity related to health, wellbeing, and identity. Within traditional post-positivist training, many researchers are encouraged to take an objective stance on the investigated topic, which requires creating a research self that is artificially detached, impersonal, distanced, and free of bias. Reflexivity can be understood as a multilayered concept with mutually related and interconnected layers of ontology and epistemology, methodology, and validity/trustworthiness. Reflexive researchers often find themselves struggling with the questions of the appropriate degree and nature of disclosure. Emotions are part and parcel of sexological interviewing, yet specific emotional risks of such research are typically unknown when the study is designed. Nevertheless, responsible, ethical, reflexive researchers must consider the emotional impacts of their data collection procedures on the participants.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSex and Leisure
Subtitle of host publicationPromiscuous Perspectives
EditorsDiana C. Parry, Corey W. Johnson
ISBN (Electronic)9781003003427
ISBN (Print)9780367434649
StatePublished - 2021


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