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sex with informants as deviant behavior: an account and commentary

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Engaging in sex with informants in social research is regarded as deviant; hence, it is rarely admitted in print. The author argues that such behavior is likely to influence what the researcher sees, how conclusions are reached, and what is written about. He summarizes what has been discussed on the issue of sexual self-disclosure and indicates how his own intimate relations with informants on three projects may have shaped his vision and conclusions. Sex with informants both provides benefits and poses risks; some of them are discussed as well. In addition, ethical issues are raised and discussed. Some possible reasons are advanced as to why reticence tends to be the rule in ethnographic sexual experiences.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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