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Open Access Researching Marginalized Populations: Ethical Concerns about Ethnography Recherches concernant les populations marginalisées: les préoccupations d'ordre éthique liées à l'ethnographie

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Recent increases in the rates of sexually transmitted infection (STI) in males having sex with males and simultaneous increases in the use of crystal meth within gay circuit parties (GCP) highlight the growing need for research on leisure practices involving sex and drugs. While there is epidemiological evidence correlating these practices, STI rates have not decreased. The author provides an ethical framework for qualitative research that “colours outside the lines” of traditional epidemiological methods for research on sexual health. To date, the majority of GCP research has used survey methods; however, no literature addresses the ethical concerns of naturalistic observation that is aimed at understanding the sexualized environment of GCPs. This review found that while ethical risks are inherent, the benefits to society and to the group under study significantly outweigh the risks.

L'augmentation des taux de maladies transmissibles sexuellement (MTS) observée récemment chez les personnes de sexe masculin ayant des relations sexuelles avec des personnes de même sexe et l'augmentation simultanée de l'utilisation du crystal meth dans les fêtes des circuits gay mettent en évidence le besoin croissant de recherches sur les pratiques de loisirs faisant intervenir le sexe et les drogues. En fait, alors qu'il existe des preuves épidémiologiques corrélant ces pratiques, les taux de MTS n'ont pas diminué. Les auteurs fournissent un cadre éthique destiné à la recherche qualitative, qui « déborde du cadre » des méthodes épidémiologiques classiques de recherche en santé en matière de sexualité. À ce jour, la majeure partie des recherches sur les fêtes des circuits gay ont été menées selon des méthodes d'enquête; toutefois, aucun ouvrage n'aborde les préoccupations d'ordre éthique qui sont liées à l'observation naturaliste visant à mieux cerner l'environnement sexualisé des fêtes des circuits gay. Cette étude a permis d'établir que même si les risques éthiques sont inhérents, les avantages pour la société et pour le groupe étudié l'emportent largement sur ces risques.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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