Sexuality Research in Iran: A Focus on Methodological and Ethical Considerations

  • Azam RAHMANI Dept. of Midwifery & Reproductive Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
  • Effat MERGHATI-KHOEI Iranian National Center of Addiction Studies (INCAS); the Risk Behavior Institution. Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Lida MOGHADDAM-BANAEM Dept. of Midwifery & Reproductive Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
  • Fatemeh ZAREI Dept. of Health Education, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Ali MONTAZERI Mental Health Research Group, Health Metrics Research Center, Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, ACECR, Teh-ran, Iran.
  • Ebrahim HAJIZADEH Dept. of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
Keywords: Sexuality research, Methodological considerations, Iran

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.
Published
2015-10-11
How to Cite
1.
RAHMANI A, MERGHATI-KHOEI E, MOGHADDAM-BANAEM L, ZAREI F, MONTAZERI A, HAJIZADEH E. Sexuality Research in Iran: A Focus on Methodological and Ethical Considerations. Iran J Public Health. 44(7):979-986.
Section
Original Article(s)