How do you feel about participating in studies on asexuality?
Some other related questions you can answer: do you participate whenever you see a study? Are you concerned about who the author is? Do you feel differently about studies made by academics versus informal studies done by members of the ace community? What would you change about the studies on asexuality you participated in? Or what would make you want to participate?
I personally jump at the chance to participate in studies on asexuality. I want to support research on asexuality in general, but I also worry if I don’t show up how I experience asexuality won’t be accounted for. Sex-favourable aces are a minority, or maybe there are a bunch of people like me that haven’t found the ace community yet or already left it. If I wasn’t hanging around I wouldn’t know about studies and I couldn’t tell people I exist. I still miss a lot of studies.
One thing I’d like to see more in studies on asexuality, and in academic studies in general, is giving participants more agency or control over the finished product. I thought about this a lot when I was doing my Masters and we practiced interviewing our peers; knowing my participants made me want to ensure they were comfortable with how I portrayed them. Even if you’re quoting someone directly the research is adding context and shifting things around. Participants may not like the conclusions the researcher came to because of things they said. Maybe they would say things differently if they knew where the researcher was going. I’m filling out the ethics forms for my PhD research now and this is on my mind a lot. I’ve included that all my participants will have the opportunity to read my work before I submit it and can have anything removed and request changes. I think it can be really powerful to share space with participants and let them okay how they are portrayed, even if it takes longer or may change what researchers can say. I’d like to see that in how researchers treat our community.