Ethical and methodological conflicts in sexuality research

Leena Abraham


This essay is based on issues relating to a study of sexuality among low-income college students in Mumbai. Low-income students were made the focus because: existing urban studies are on English speaking students in ‘elite’ colleges; sex education programmes had not really started in ‘non-elite’ colleges, and these students’ behaviour could be affected by their lack of resources. Data were collected during 1996-1998, from four colleges catering to low income students in the city. Boys and girls in the eleventh standard in high school and in third year undergraduate college were interviewed. In the first phase, qualitative data were gathered using 10 focus group discussions and interviews with 87 students. This was used to design a survey which used a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 966 students participated in the survey.

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