Iranian Journal of Public Health 2015. 44(7):979-986.

Sexuality Research in Iran: A Focus on Methodological and Ethical Considerations
Azam RAHMANI, Effat MERGHATI-KHOEI, Lida MOGHADDAM-BANAEM, Fatemeh ZAREI, Ali MONTAZERI, Ebrahim HAJIZADEH

Abstract


Background: Research on sensitive topics, such as sexuality, could raise technical, methodological, ethical, political, and legal challenges. The aim of this paper was to draw the methodological challenges which the authors confronted during sexuality research with young population in the Iranian culture.
Methods: This study was an exploratory mixed method one conducted in 2013-14. We interviewed 63 young women aged 18-34 yr in qualitative phase and 265 young women in quantitative phase in (university and non-university) dor-mitories and in an Adolescent Friendly Center. Data were collected using focus group discussions and individual inter-views in the qualitative phase. We employed conventional content analysis to analyze the data. To enhance the rigor of the data, multiple data collection methods, maximum variation sampling, and peer checks were applied.
Results: Five main themes emerged from the data: interaction with opposite sex, sexual risk, sexual protective, sex education, and sexual vulnerability. Challenges while conducting sex research have been discussed. These challenges included assumption of promiscuity, language of silence and privacy concerns, and sex segregation policy.
Conclusion: We described the strategies applied in our study and the rationales for each strategy. Strategies applied in the present study can be employed in contexts with the similar methodological and moral concerns.

Keywords


Sexuality research, Methodological considerations, Iran

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