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A Cross-Sectional Study of Exotic Dancers and Non-Dancers: Exploring Participant Recruitment and Methodological Challenges in Sexuality Research

Case
By: Amanda R. Champion & Cory L. Pedersen Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Psychology
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Abstract

In recent years, media and advertising have undergone a shift toward embracing taboo aspects of female sexuality into mainstream culture. Provocative clothing, pole dancing classes, and boudoir photo-shoots are marketed toward everyday women—apparel and activities that were once exclusively associated with women in the exotic dance profession. However, much literature on exotic dance and dancers has reinforced the assumption that exotic dancers are uneducated or immoral or that the exotic dance profession is dirty or shameful. The bases of such findings stem primarily from sociological investigations, which rely on qualitative methodologies such as semi-structured interviews and field observations, with small samples sizes and few comparison groups. Our study intended to bridge the gap in the exotic dance literature by offering one of the few research investigations using quantitative methods, with a larger sample of dancers and a comparison group. This case study provides insight regarding the challenges of conducting research on taboo aspects of human sexuality in general and pertaining to the cross-sectional examination of exotic dancers and dancing in particular. These challenges include participant recruitment of sensitive populations, measurement selection, and measurement modification. This case study outlines several considerations that should be considered when recruiting among sensitive populations, such as the social and psychological risks associated with identifying or labeling participants and participant mistrust of the research process. Researchers should strive to maintain balance between research goals and participant needs and draft a recruitment action plan tailored to their target population. Measurement selection and modification can also present difficulties for researchers as scales may not exist to examine the concepts or population under investigation—this case study will briefly outline measurement modification and limitations to this study.

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