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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In the event that law enforcement saw fit to arrest Humphreys for conducting this controversial study, the sensitive data he meticulously collected would teaeoom demanded by the authorities. He preached a message of acceptance and tolerance to any who would listen, and embodied these principles by ministering mostly to the LGBTQ community.

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 23, Loneliness emerged as a prominent characteristic in many of the subjects he surveyed. Thirty-eight percent of Humphreys’ subjects clearly were neither bisexual nor homosexual. He published the dissertation as Tearoom Trade: Of the other 62 percent of Humphreys’ subjects, 24 percent were clearly bisexual, happily married, well educated, economically quite successful, humpnreys exemplary members of their community.

Impersonal Sex in Public Places in He is often studied in research methods classes for the ethical questions that his works raised. Under the guise of a social health surveyor, Humphreys interviewed the subjects about their lives without disclosing that he had already met them before.

Becker at Northwestern University from”Humphreys was enormously influential on graduate students and younger scholars in the field of deviance, ethnography, and what we called ‘participant observation’.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Laud Humphreys’ unheralded theoretical contribution to the sociology of identity. On one occasion, an undercover patrolman actually revealed to Humphreys that law enforcement was upregulating activity in a certain area of a park due to an increase in African-American visitors, an event unrelated laid the tearoom activities. Thirdly, Humphreys believed that a scientist must protect his subjects, regardless of the cost to the researcher.

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There were also social costs. Impersonal Sex in Public Places.

Research ethics materials wimba 2.doc

Humphreys tapped into a theme of incongruence between one’s words and deeds that has become a primary methodological and theoretical concern in tearoon throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The research occurred in the middle s before institutional review boards were in taroom. The turmoil resulted in numerous other unfortunate events, including a fist fight among faculty members and the exodus of about half of the department members to positions at other universities. A year later and carefully disguised, Humphreys appeared at their homes claiming to be a health-service interviewer and interviewed them about their marital status, race, job, and so on.

Research ethics materials wimba 2. Typically, tearooms were located in public parks. Impersonal sex in public places. He recorded their licence plates trqde they returned to their cars, and then found out their addresses. He then referred Humphreys to a restroom in another park known to be frequented by homosexuals and isolated from the unrelated presence of African-Americans that had increased police activity.

The psychology of human sexuality. They were men whose marriages were marked with tension; most of the 38 percent were Catholic or their wives were, humphgeys since the birth of their gearoom child conjugal relations had been rare. Keys, tezroom published inunder the title Laud Humphreys: Humphreys also concluded that such encounters were harmless, and posed no danger of harassment to straight men.

Falsely presenting himself as a social health worker, Humphreys traveled to the homes of the subjects and asked if he could conduct a social health survey. Only 14 percent of Humphreys’ subjects corresponded to society’s stereotype of homosexuality. Others have said no researcher should have such power over others, no matter how good their intentions are.

Laud Humphreys – Wikipedia

Most social scientists agree that observing people’s acts in public spaces is not unethical, as long as people are not identified. Humphreys influenced generations of sociologists and other social and behavioral scientists in complex ways.


A year tearoim, he changed his hair, dress and car and went to the home of 50 of these men. Humphreys’ book is based on his Ph. Skip to main content. Schacht states that an estimatedcopies of Tearoom had been sold bywhich makes it one of the best selling books ever written by a sociologist. Tearomo 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.

This enticed certain subjects alud visit tearooms because they offered a cheaper alternative to the costs of rearing an unexpected child with his wife or the costs of paying for a prostitute and a hotel room.

The special issue contained ten articles analyzing his research and his multiple contributions as a social activist and scholar. Laud Humphreys, a sociologist, recognized that the public and the law-enforcement authorities hold highly simplistic stereotyped beliefs about men who commit impersonal sexual acts with one teatoom in public restrooms. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Another 24 percent were single and were covert homosexuals. At humphresy time of this study, anti- sodomy laws were enforced nationwide. Retrieved from ” https: Around the time Humphreys conducted his study, many superhighways were being constructed, and the rest stops along these roads provided ideal tearoom humhpreys due to their numerous locations and ease of accessibility.

He moved to California, earned certification as a psychotherapist, and established his own private counseling service.

In the ‘s PhD student in sociology Laud Humphreys studied men who have sex with other men in public restrooms of city parks. He was a charter member of the International Academy of Sex Research. Inhe entered graduate school at Washington University St.