Sex research is viewed as being particularly susceptible to volunteer bias, especially those studies that involve genital response measurement. Willingness to participate in sex research may be affected by study procedures, including the intrusiveness of devices measuring genital response, but this topic is seldom examined empirically. A community sample of 364 women and 117 men completed an online survey assessing willingness to participate in 15 sex research scenarios as well as measures of sexual attitudes, behaviours, and personality. As hypothesized, the presence versus absence of genital exposure, rather than the degree or type, impacted willingness ratings, such that participants were more willing to partake in studies in which they remained clothed versus studies that involved getting undressed. Erotophilic attitudes were associated with willingness to participate in unclothed and clothed research procedures for women and men, and sexual orientation impacted women's willingness ratings for both types of research. Although some personality factors were correlated with willingness ratings, they generally did not explain additional variance in willingness beyond the associations of other correlates. This study provides a critical update on volunteer bias in sex research and demonstrates that self-selection biases may impact the generalizability of sex research assessing community samples of women and men.


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pp. 26-37
Launched on MUSE
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