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Santa's little timewarp

Research Participation Request: "A study of identities in asexual communities"

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Santa's little timewarp

Sam Rosen from University of Nottingham, UK, has contacted AVEN about the following project:


I’m a PhD researcher in the social sciences at the University of Nottingham and my research is looking into identities in asexual communities. I am interested in exploring the perceptions that asexuals have of their own identities, the impact of social attitudes upon asexual identities, and the different factors that are present in asexual identities within the AVEN community.

My reading into my subject area has so far indicated that the existence of asexuality challenges many preconceived notions of what sexuality is, how it is communicated and how it is understood. I hope that my research will therefore help to open up these discussions to make them more inclusive of asexuality, whilst also providing some insights into the importance of asexual identity practices to members of the AVEN community.

I plan to use three different methods to collect data for my project: observation (approved), questionnaires (approved) and focus groups (pending approval). These processes, and how I will recruit participants for them, are described in more detail below.

This will involve me spending time on the AVEN forums, observing the ways that the website is used and the issues which are important to asexuals within this setting. You won’t need to do anything specific for this but you may see me posting on the forums, contributing to discussions or asking questions. I will not generally be quoting directly from the forum posts but, in the event that I do come across a comment that may be particularly interesting to my research, I will contact the user individually to ask about using their comments in my work. If you are contacted but would prefer that I don’t use your comments, you should feel free to decline without any negative consequences. I intend to start this section within the next few weeks.

I will be looking for participants to complete a short questionnaire on perceptions of asexuality and experiences of living as an asexual. The questionnaire will include a series of multiple choice and open answer questions and it will be available online (I will post a link to it on the forums once it is active). I hope to start this section towards the end of this year or the beginning of next year and will provide more details then.

Focus Groups:
Should approval be granted, I would like to conduct a series of face-to-face focus group sessions, with small groups of AVEN users, to discuss matters observed to be of importance to members of the AVEN community. These sessions will be informal, with participants encouraged to talk about their own experiences and any issues which they feel are relevant. The sessions will be audio recorded and transcribed for the purposes of analysis. Due to funding restraints, these sessions will be restricted to taking place within the UK. I will use private messaging to invite individuals to these sessions but please be assured that there will be no obligation for anyone to take part should they not wish to. I hope to start these sessions in the spring of 2017.

Finally, I would like to reassure everyone that all the data that I collect will be made anonymous and any identifying information removed before being included in my results.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on aexsaro@nottingham.ac.uk, via my user account “motheaten”, or leave a comment in the thread below.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to working with you all!

This research request has been partially approved (focus groups pending approval) by the Research Approval Board for advertising on AVEN.


Dedicated Research Contact

(I guess this needs some explanation. A simple majority of Research Approval Board members has voted to approve this project. However for the last part we need "heightened scrutiny" according to our own rules. We haven't reached the minimum participation needed for this yet, but I didn't want to delay the first two parts because of that.)

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Asexual McQueen

How far along is this the study? 


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Santa's little timewarp
27 minutes ago, Asexual McQueen said:

How far along is this the study? 



As far as I know it shouldn't take much more time until the next part, the questionnaires. We'll probably make a new announcement then.

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On ‎26‎/‎03‎/‎2017 at 8:38 PM, Asexual McQueen said:

How far along is this the study? 


Hi Asexual McQueen,

I'm the researcher for this project so I thought I would drop by with an update. As timewarp said, I'm hoping to get the questionnaires out within the next week or two (I was hoping to have them out already but I've been pretty busy over the last few weeks so there's been a bit of a delay.) Once the questionnaire is ready, I'll be sure to let you all know (probably with the help of the Project Team). Other than that, my observations on the forums are ongoing.

I hope this answers your question but if there's anything else that you would like to know then feel free to get in touch.

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