This consent form will give you the information you will need to understand why this research study is being done and why you are being invited to participate. It will also describe what you will need to do to participate as well as any known risks, inconveniences or discomforts that you may have while participating. We encourage you to ask questions at any time or stop completing the survey at any time. If you decide to participate, clicking the “I Agree” button on this screen will serve as your electronic signature. You may request a paper copy of this form by contacting the Principal Investigator.

Purpose and background

This study will look at sexual communication between GLBTQ-identified intimate partners, looking specifically at sexual communication within GLBTQ relationships. The two goals for the study are to 1) further existing research on sexual communication by using non-heterosexual relationships, and 2) to provide a more complete understanding of this communication behavior in an inclusive way surrounding interpersonal communication research.
To qualify for this study, participants need to meet the following criteria:
1. Be between the ages of 19 and 30
2. Self-identify as GLBTQ+
3. Be in some type of intimate partnership for at least 3 but no more than 36 months. Intimate partnerships may include any type of on-going relationship (E.g., romantic and/or sexual) with at least one consistent partner. Individuals who identify as asexual or demisexual and heteroromantic, individuals who are unsure of their sexual identity, identify as pan- or polysexual, people who are polyamorous, and individuals who fall under the trans* umbrella and identify as straight are invited to participate as well as people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Procedures

This is a one-time survey. It should take no more than 30-minutes to complete, although your time may vary.
The survey is divided into four parts. Part one will ask non-personally identifying background information. This will not include your name or address, but it will ask you your age, assigned sex, gender identity, sexual and/or romantic orientation, and the region you live in among other demographic information. Additionally, this section will ask background questions about your relationship, including the type of relationship you have (E.g. monogamous, open, polyamorous, etc.), length of relationship, the gender of your partner(s), and how frequently you engage in certain sexual and affectionate behaviors.
Part two will ask you to consider how costly and/or rewarding you find certain aspects of your sexual relationship.
Part three will ask a series questions about sexual communication within your relationship. For these questions, you will be asked to choose your answer from a series of choices, as well as to write in several open-ended answers.
Part four will ask you to consider how satisfied you are with your overall relationship(s), sexual relationship(s), and communication about sexual topics within your relationship(s).

Risks
There are no known risks, but we are asking questions that may be considered sensitive in nature. If you are uncomfortable answering any of these questions, you may skip the question. You may withdraw from this study at any time.

For Emerson Students:

Should you feel discomfort due to participation in this research and you are an Emerson College
student, you may contact the Center for Health and Wellness for counseling services at (617)824-
8666. They are located at 216 Tremont Street, Third Floor, Room 303.

For Non-Emerson Students:

Should you feel discomfort due to participation in this research you should contact your health care provider.


Benefits

You will not be paid for your participation in this study. But your participation and insight is valuable as it will highlight less normative sexual and gender identities that are dramatically under-represented in interpersonal communication research. Participating in this study will contribute to a more complete understanding of this communication behavior and relationship types.

Extent of Confidentiality

This survey is completely anonymous. No personal identification will be requested. The researchers will not be able to identify you. If you request a copy of this informed consent form, or ask further questions, your identity will not be recorded or connected to your responses.
The results of this study may be published and/or presented at national or regional conferences. Your identity will not and cannot be used in published format. Participant responses may be directly quoted with background identifiers. The background information listed in publication will not be listed thoroughly enough to identify you as a participant. For example, a quote might be attributed to a 24-year old pansexual woman from Michigan. The researchers will not use every piece of background information you are asked to provide.

Participation is Voluntary

Your participation in this study is voluntary. You may also refuse to answer any questions you do not want to answer at any time. If you volunteer to be in this study, you may withdraw from it at any time without consequences of any kind or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.


Questions

If you have any questions or concerns about your participation in this study, you should contact the principal investigator, Valerie Rubinsky, by emailing valerie_rubinsky@emerson.edu or calling 617-824-3497. Questions for faculty advisor Dr. Angela M. Hosek may be sent to angela_hosek@emerson.edu.
If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the Emerson College Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is concerned with the protection of volunteers in research projects. You may reach the board office between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, by calling (617) 824-3075 or by writing: Institutional Review Board, Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, Emerson College, 120 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116 or by emailing humansubjects@Emerson.edu.
*
I have read this form and decided that I will participate in the project described above by clicking the “I Agree” button below. Its general purposes, the particulars of involvement and possible risks have been explained to my satisfaction. I understand I can withdraw at any time.
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