In , sociologist and ordained Episcopalian minister Laud Humphreys published his book The Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public. Ethics Controversies: Case Studies – Debates about the ethics of the Tearoom Trade Study Methodology. In the ‘s PhD student in sociology Laud. Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. 2. \; f! ri. ‘; i’. ~j. ~. ” I. I.j. Ij. ‘e.:~ f :’ t. lAUD HUMPHREYS. ‘”,. “,. At shortly after five o’clock on a weekday.

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But there they are, studying us, taking notes, getting to know us, as indifferent as everybody else to the feeling that to be a complete human involves having an aspect of ourselves that’s unknown. This page was last edited on 12 Novemberat Humphreys tapped into a theme of incongruence between one’s words and deeds that has become a primary methodological and theoretical concern in sociology throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

If the police had got hold of Humphreys’ data or if the identities of the men involved had been revealed, they would have been severely stigmatised, their family lives ruined, they could have lost their jobs, or even been tearomo and imprisoned. In addition to recording the sex acts of over men Humphreys had a small subset who knew he was a researcher and spoke to him about sex in public places and homosexuality which was in the s criminalised in the United States.

Retrieved June 23, Men would pick a restroom positioned in a remote part of the park, isolated by distance from highly trafficked areas such as the entrance or teaorom sports fields.

The dissertation proposal was reviewed only by Humphreys’ Ph. This article will evaluate the social context, scientific methods, and ethical issues associated with this insightful, teagoom controversial study.

Research ethics materials wimba 2.doc

Humphreys was also one of the first sociologists who openly self-identified as gay. True, today one could not do such research because there was no ‘informed consent’ but then again, in many cases, when doing research on deviant behavior, one will never get ‘informed consent’ so we miss out on a lot of important findings.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. At the time of this lauc, anti- sodomy laws were enforced nationwide. Humphreys developed this idea to explain the apparent contradiction of presumably straight, married men holding a public conservative stance against homosexuality, yet engaging in impersonal sex with men in public settings. Case Studies – Debates about the ethics of the Tearoom Trade Study Methodology In the ‘s PhD student in sociology Laud Humphreys studied men who have sex with other men in public restrooms of city parks.


Nonetheless, others have defended Tearoom Tradepointing out that participants were conducting their activities in a public place and that the deceit was harmless, since Humphreys designed the study with respect for their individual privacy, not identifying them in his published work. Brekhus, and David P. Of the other 62 percent of Humphreys’ subjects, 24 percent tradr clearly bisexual, happily married, well educated, economically quite successful, and exemplary members of their community.

Humphreys asserted that the men participating in such activity came from diverse social backgrounds, had differing personal yrade for seeking sexual partners in such venues, and variously self-perceived as “straight,” “bisexual,” or “gay. A furor arose when some of those other members of the department objected that Humphreys’ research had unethically invaded the privacy and threatened the social standing of the subjects, and petitioned the president of Washington University to rescind Humphreys’ Ph.

Laud Humphreys entered the field of sociology after serving for ten years as a clergyman in the Episcopal Church.

Laud Humphreys and the Tearoom Sex Study

Informal inquiry Knerr, indicated that Humphreys’ research has helped persuade police departments to stop using their resources on arrest for this victimless crime. Retrieved lauud ” https: Research ethics materials wimba 2. Remembering the many teaorom of Laud Humphreys to sociology and the study of sexuality”.

Though The Tearoom Trade made important contributions to sex research, Humphreys’ research methods violated modern contemporary ethical standards and raised serious questions about the morality of scientific observation. In the ‘s PhD student in sociology Laud Humphreys studied men who have sex with lsud men in public restrooms of city parks.

Police officers were aware of several tearoom locations. The insertee performed the oral sex. ByTearoom Trade had sold more thancopies. Merely engaging in sexual acts with the same gender could merit an arrest, and this risk increased significantly if the acts were conducted in a public facility.

Laud Humphreys and the Tearoom Sex Study

This left some subjects in a position where their sexual desires were not met by their spouse, who avoided both the use humpnreys contraceptives and the lauv of an unintended pregnancy.


That is, only 14 percent were members of the gay community and were interested in primarily homosexual relationships Humphreys, The men involved did not know he was a researcher. Views Read Edit View ttearoom.

Humphreys was able to observe and describe various social cues body language, hand language, etc. He is often studied in research methods classes for the ethical questions that his works raised. In some cases, long-term relationships did grow out of these interactions, but for the most part a minimal exchange of words offered the most privacy and anonymity.

During this time, sodomy accounted for the majority of homosexual arrests. At the time of Humphreys’ research having humphhreys with men was a crime in most of the U. Secondly, Humphreys believed that a scientist should take every possible precaution in order to minimize the degree to which studying a phenomenon distorts its natural occurrence.

This study focuses on these interactions through investigation of possible social, psychological, or physiological reasons for this behavior.

Understanding Human Sexuality 9th ed. He was associate professor of sociology at Pitzer Collegein Claremont, CA, from ; he earned full professorship at Pitzer inwhere he worked until aboutwhen he began to focus on his psychotherapist practice.

Prophet of homosexuality and sociology.

He was a true pioneer and a hero to all of us in these fields. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. There were several different roles that a man might take on during a tearoom interaction. However, there were about a dozen subjects trrade whom Humphreys revealed his true identity in order to gain assistance in conducting the study, learning the rules, and locating tearooms.

Among a variety of other important factors, this lack of sexual gratification tearoomm many subjects to frequent tearooms.

Table of Contents Key questions Example of harm from social science research – Research merit and integrity Justice Special protections for vulnerable communities Ethics Controversies: Laud Humphreys’ unheralded theoretical contribution to the sociology of identity. The psychology of human sexuality. Another 24 percent were single and were covert homosexuals.

Publicly identifying oneself as a social researcher while observing the interaction between men who prize their anonymity in a tearoom would produce drastically different lsud than presenting oneself as a trusted watchqueen.