Methodological Issues in Studying Sexuality in Close Relationships
The study of sexuality within close relationships involves scholars from various disciplines, each with their own research methodological traditions and preferred approaches. Rarely do scholars receive formal training in the particular methodological issues inherent in studying sexuality, especially when examined within the context of interpersonal relationships. In this chapter the primary methodological issues in sexuality research within close relationships are addressed under three broad categories: sampling, measurement of variables, and research design and data analysis. Many of the issues discussed are relevant for behavioral research in general, but there are several issues inherent in studying sexuality within close relationships that warrant special attention because of the sensitive nature of sexuality data and particular methodological issues that arise when studying couples rather than individuals.