Sunday, 11 March 2012
You may remember, gentle reader, that I am doing a research degree in public policy. I am nearing the end of my studies now, and in fact only have a few lectures left before it’s all done. Studying, classes, projects, revising… they all keep me busy. I’ve loved it and it’s really taught me invaluable skills and opened up my horizons. Bargain.
Of course there is one element left – my dissertation.It is very important for me to do my dissertation research on an LGBT themed topic. Having tried to do my projects and essays on LGBT-relevant areas I’ve been amazed, and somewhat frustrated by the lack of data out there.
It seems general social research isn’t exploring how the issues it tackles affect LGBT people, or where this is done it isn’t done consistently. This means different research can’t easily be compared because different questions are asked, or there aren’t enough LGBT people taking part in a research project to make populations comparable.So where does my dissertation come in?
I posted a while back about wanting to look at the behaviours of men in civil partnerships to see if they tended to display less risky behaviour. I wanted to use the data collected by sigma research who do a fantastic sexual health survey. They collect the data, but don’t look at that question themselves. Sadly, whilst acknowledging it is an interesting question they refused to share their data with me.So, being me, I decided what the hell-crap-damn – I’ll collect my own data. Ha! Take that wise, and experienced researchers!
My dissertation proposal has been signed off, although I am looking at a wider range of life experiences to see how these impact on behaviours and social attitudes. I’ve started an advertising campaign using banner ads on some LGBT websites, and flyers to hand out, which mean I should reach about 250,000 gay and bisexual men. With luck that will get me at least few hundred responses.I’m very very excited and can’t wait get my hands on some data to get modelling. It should all be done by the beginning of September and in the meantime while people are completing my online research questionnaire I will be doing a lot of background reading which will have the added advantage of expanding my horizons about issues affecting gay people.
It would be remiss of me, of course, not to plug my research questionnaire… so if you are a gay or bisexual man, or a man who has sex with men – and you are resident in the UK – then you are more than welcome to take part at www.shrodis.com. It’s completely anonymous and every response is appreciated J