Talk About Your Feelings For Science!


Sometimes, just sometimes, Autostraddle exists to make the world a better place in ways besides just letting you know what’s up with Claire this week and where to buy boyshorts. Sometimes we help science happen! Like right now, when we point you towards this study on intimate relationships being conducted at Whittier College. It’s super simple and just takes 30 minutes and only involves talking about yourself/your feelings, which you love doing anyway, and just has to be in bubble format as opposed to gchat or comments or whatever. The study organizers want to have a variety of identities represented, which means you, queermos!

There are various ways that relationships can be intimate, such as spending time together, sharing personal information, expressing feelings, being physically affectionate, or engaging in sexual behaviors.  This study focuses primarily on intimate relationships that can be considered romantic or sexual.  That includes dating, hooking up, seeing someone, having a girlfriend or boyfriend, courtship, marriage, and other casual or committed relationships.

How similar or different are intimate relationships across cultures?  How are they influenced by social background, attitudes, and values?  How do intimate relationships affect happiness and other aspects of well-being? This study will help researchers explore these issues.  It will also provide a way for participants to evaluate their own intimate relationships and well-being. How satisfied are you with your intimate relationships? How happy are you with your life?
In order to participate you must be at least 18 years of age, so that you can legally consent. It should take about 30 minutes or longer to answer the questions, so begin when you have enough time to complete them. The questions are in four sections:  Cultural and Social Background, Attitudes and Values, Intimate Relationships, and Well-Being.
Your answers will be entirely anonymous. No IP addresses are collected. You may terminate your participation at any time without penalty. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact Ann M. Kakaliouras, Ph.D., Chair of the Whittier College Human Subjects Protection Committee, at
Go forth and represent us well. Just don’t discuss your answers with anyone! Seriously that’s part of the study. But also do it! Thank you!

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intern veronica

no lies, just love

veronica has written 12 articles for us.


    • I did go through with it…It is asking for your CHOSEN gender identity. It later asks what sex you were born as. Granted, you still have to pick one of the binary. I wasn’t amused with the pronouns either. Why couldn’t they just say “You”?

      So Trans* people are included, Andro’s, not so much. Ah well, they are getting closer.

          • At the end of the survey there’s a comment box where you can share whatever you want with the researchers – I think letting them know your concerns would be a great idea, as unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot that we as Autostraddle can do. One of the research assistants on the study asked us to post about it so that she could be sure there were queer voices included, and I’m sure that your thoughts on this would be helpful so they can understand who their survey is representing and why.

  1. I felt weird about this question:

    How often have you engaged in sexual activities with [the person you are in a current relationship] even though you did not want to?

    Isn’t that, “How many times have you been raped?”

    Finished it though. Took forever~

    • Mmm, not necessarily. Haven’t there ever been times when you didn’t really feel like it, but consented anyway, either for the benefit of your partner or because you figured you’d get into it once you got going? I’m not talking about being coerced or pressured by your partner, because that’s clearly a different story – I mean making, in your own mind, the decision not to reveal to them that you’re not really feeling it in that moment, and doing it anyway. That’s how I took the question.

      • If I don’t want to or she doesn’t want to, then it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t say, “if you were reluctant at first.” Just, “if you didn’t want to.”

        I think if you don’t want to and it happens, it’s necessarily rape.

    • YES that weirded me out. Also, I thought it was odd that they wanted you to skip it if there was no “CP.” Couldn’t they have used “most recent relationship” or “longest lasting relationship?” I don’t know, that might have been more interesting, but maybe harder to get data from? But like, what if someone was in a long term relationship for five years, but is now dating casually and “CP” is really, “as of last week?” (hypothetical). Wouldn’t a study on intimacy be more interesting if it was about the actually intimate relationship as opposed to whatever people happen to be doing (or whomever, for that matter) at the moment? eh.

  2. Ok even though I’ve previously read this article, when I saw “talk about your feelings for science” I was like “I have a lot of feelings about science!” and got really excited to share them.

    But then I realized that’s not what this is about. So I’m going to go make a powerpoint about my research so I can talk to people about my feelings for science tomorrow.

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