Internet Sexuality Research with Rural Men Who have Sex with Men: Can We Recruit and Retain Them? - The Journal of Sex Research

Internet Sexuality Research with Rural Men Who have Sex with Men: Can We Recruit and Retain Them?

By The Journal of Sex Research

  • Release Date: 2005-11-01
  • Book Genre: Health & Fitness
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Internet Sexuality Research with Rural Men Who have Sex with Men: Can We Recruit and Retain Them? by The Journal of Sex Research

HIV seroprevalence in rural areas has increased steadily since 1982 (Lam & Liu, 1994). In rural areas, men who have sex with men (MSM) account for a majority of the HIV/AIDs cases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001). Quantitative research studies with rural MSM are sparse, probably because traditional methods of recruiting are difficult with such highly stigmatized groups, and the travel expenses required to make face-to-face contact are high. The emergence of the internet, both as a virtual social community and as a research tool, presents an excellent opportunity for contacting rural populations. Rural people, particularly rural MSM, are rapidly increasing their use of the internet (Bell, Reddy, & Rainie, 2001), rural MSM in particular. In Wyoming (Williams, Bowen, & Horvath, 2005), MSM indicate that the internet is a primary resource for making contact with other MSM and that internet-delivered risk reduction interventions would be welcomed. The internet's accessibility, affordability, anonymity (Cooper, 1998), and acceptability (King, 1999) make it especially attractive for research with hidden and stigmatized groups. Anyone with access to a computer and a modern is a potential participant, and respondents may access the research at a time and place convenient to them (Binik, 2001; Mustanski, 2001). Internet data collection is rapid and reasonably inexpensive, and large numbers of participants can be recruited from diverse locations (Cooper, Scherer, & Mathy, 2001). Samples appear to provide more variability than face-to-face interviews (Ross, Tikkanen, & Mansson, 2000; Tikkanen & Ross, 2000). Also, surveys can be tailored to the participants' responses and branching is invisible, thus lowering the participant burden.

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