Cover Letter

2% of survey complete.
Dear Potential Participant,

Thank you for your interest in the Hormones & Sociosexuality Study conducted by Ms. Missy Teatero and Dr. Kirsten Oinonen with the Health, Hormones, & Behaviour Lab in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University. Dr. Dwight Mazmanian is also a collaborator of this study. The main purpose of this research is to examine the effects of hormones (e.g., cortisol and progesterone) on patterns of physical, emotional, and sexual well-being. The majority of this project will constitute Ms. Teatero’s doctoral dissertation but other related research questions will be examined as well. Lakehead University students (16 years or older) and members of the general public (18 years or older) are eligible to participate.

This study takes place in 3 main stages. Stage 1 involves an online Screening Questionnaire that takes about 40 to 60 minutes to complete. This questionnaire will be used to select participants who will be contacted by the researchers in the next few weeks. If selected to participate in Stages 2 and 3, you will be asked to complete two Phase Questionnaires and a 2- to 5-minute Daily Questionnaire across approximately 1 month, all sent via e-mail unless you would prefer hard copies. The two Phase Questionnaires will be separated by about 10 to 14 days and take approximately 40 to 60 minutes to complete. Overall, you will be asked to respond to questions of a personal and sexual nature that include, but are not limited to, the following: health, reproductive experiences like puberty, mood, personality, sexual attitudes and behaviours, and romantic relationships.

Thunder Bay residents may be asked to complete the Phase Questionnaires during two separate lab sessions (each about 1 hour in total) at Lakehead. During these sessions, a few body measurements (e.g., finger length and weight) will be taken by a female researcher and some participants will be asked to provide saliva samples for hormone analysis. Some volunteers will also be provided with a kit of urine hormone testing strips to use at home, as instructed by the researchers. The hormone testing strips will take less than 5 minutes a day for about 5 days.

Your participation is voluntary and you may withdraw from, or refuse to participate in any part of, the study at any time without explanation or penalty. You may decline to answer any question. The information obtained for the study will be securely stored by Dr. Oinonen for 5 years. All records of your participation will be kept in strict confidence, and there will be absolutely no way to identify you as a participant in any subsequent reports. Once you have completed the study, your contact information will be removed from your questionnaires and your information will remain both anonymous and confidential.

There are no known physical or psychological risks associated with participation in this study. Some people may experience discomfort when answering personal questions and thus, a list of mental health resources is provided at the end of this letter. The possible benefits of participation include: a better understanding of oneself, learning about the research process, and contribution to research that will provide a better understanding of health and sexual relationships.
Psychology students at Lakehead University may be eligible to receive up to 4 bonus points: 1 point for Stage 1 (i.e., the Online Screening Questionnaire) and 1 for each of two Online Phase Questionnaires OR 1.5 for each of two Lab Sessions. Other Thunder Bay residents (i.e., those not eligible for bonus points) who complete lab sessions will be offered nominal remuneration of up to $15 (i.e., $5 for Stage 2 and $10 for Stage 3). All participants will be entered into a separate draw for a $50 VISA gift card for each of Stages 1, 2, and 3 (the Screening Questionnaire and two Phase Questionnaires), whether completed online or in the lab. All participants who complete 80% or more of the Daily Questionnaires will be entered into a draw for a $50 VISA gift card. Draws will be held periodically until the end of data collection (approximately January 2014). Funding is provided by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR).

If you would a summary of the research results, please send a request to Ms. Teatero at the end of the study. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Teatero or Dr. Oinonen. This study has been approved by Lakehead University’s Research Ethics Board (807-776-7289). Please keep the Cover Letter for your records.

Thank you for your time. We very much appreciate your contribution to our research.


Missy Teatero, M.A. and Kirsten Oinonen, Ph.D., C. Psych.;
807-343-8943; 807-343-8096

Health, Hormones, and Behaviour Lab
Department of Psychology
Lakehead University
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 5E1
Mental Health Resources
Your physician, a counselor, a walk-in clinic, or a sexual health clinic
The 24-hour Thunder Bay Crisis Response Service at 807-346-8282
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Walk-in Clinic at 807-768-1333
The Thunder Bay Counseling Centre at 807-684-1880
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (sexual health clinic) at 807-625-5900
The Student Health and Counseling Centre, Lakehead University at 807-343-8361