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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Loneliness emerged as a prominent characteristic in many of the subjects he surveyed. On risk that his notes could have been seized to identify men engaged in illegal acts said he would have risked going to jail rather than hand them over. The research occurred in the middle s before institutional review boards were in existence. 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.

Intimacy in ethnographic research: As Humphreys investigated the phenomena, noticeable patterns emerged. Louis, Missouri to pursue the PhD in sociology. Humphreys got his information by acting as “watch queen”, playing the role of lookout and warning the men if anyone was coming.

Laud Humphreys

Both of these versions were published in 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. Following the release of his study, police arrests of homosexuals and raids on tearooms actually decreased in frequency, exemplifying how the understanding of human nature benefits everyone.

Entering and exiting a tearoom quickly and efficiently resulted in less explaining that a man needed to provide to his family in order to justify his absences. 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. Humphreys separated from his wife in and began living with Brian Miller, a graduate student at the University of Alberta.


The Author Tfaroom Humphreys entered the field of sociology after humphrdys for ten years as a clergyman in the Episcopal Church. A year after recording his observations of tearoom trades, Humphreys tracked down the subjects using the license plate numbers that he covertly recorded. Brekhus, and David P. If conducted appropriately, research studies provide the foundation of new and insightful sources of knowledge.

Firstly, Humphreys believed that a scientist should never neglect an area of study or phenomenon because it was difficult to investigate or inherently socially sensitive.

Research ethics materials wimba 2.doc

The insertor presented his penis for fellatio. 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.

If discovered, knowledge of the deviant sexual behavior would threaten the stability of their families. Social Science and Social Policy. Humphreys noted that the first challenge to studying tearooms was locating the facilities frequented by the subjects.

For most of the rest of his life, he was in private practice, although he and Miller co-authored articles about gay subcultures and victims of violent homophobia.

This article will evaluate the social context, scientific methods, and ethical issues associated with this insightful, yet controversial study. This enticed certain subjects to visit tearooms because they offered a cheaper alternative to the costs of rearing an unexpected child with his wife or tfaroom costs of paying for a prostitute and a hotel room.

The act of oral sexor fellatiowas often free as typically humphreyys members involved in a tearoom trade achieved sexual release from the experience. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That is, only 14 percent were members of the gay community and were interested in primarily homosexual relationships Humphreys, Typically, tearooms were located in public parks.

Thirdly, Humphreys believed that a scientist must protect his subjects, regardless of the cost to the researcher. By using this site, humphfeys agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

He moved to California, earned certification as a psychotherapist, and established his own private counseling service. There were also social costs.


The Tearoom Trade | SexInfo Online

He recorded their licence plates as they returned to their cars, and then humpyreys out their addresses. 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, tearroom even been arrested and imprisoned.

The couples had various reasons for avoiding pregnancy trsde, such as a preference for a certain number of offspring or no offspring and the costs of raising a child. Schacht, who participated in the SSSP session. Portraying himself as a social health researcher he interviewed them under false pretences to gain information on their marital status, sexuality and sexual orientations and occupations. Retrieved June 20, A year later, he changed his hair, kaud and car and went to the home of 50 of these men.

Specifically, they put on a “breastplate of righteousness” social and political conservatism in an effort to conceal their sexual behavior and prevent being exposed as deviants. In the event that law enforcement saw fit to arrest Humphreys for conducting this controversial study, the sensitive data he meticulously collected would be demanded by the authorities.

Another 24 percent were single and were covert homosexuals.

A third benefit to tearooms, and an advantage over traditional hotel rooms or other more private locations, was time efficiency. Though The Tearoom Trade made important contributions to sex research, Humphreys’ research methods violated modern contemporary ethical standards and raised serious hhumphreys about the morality of scientific observation. He was able to gain the confidence of some of the men he observed, disclose his role as scientist, and persuade them to tell him about the rest of their lives and about their motives.

Humphreys wanted to understand the relationship between these men’s anonymous homosexual acts and their public lives.