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Marriage and Sexual Health


This project represents one of the first steps in the development of a new direction in The Kinsey Institute¹s research program and signifies an unprecedented opportunity to integrate the literatures on marriage and sexuality, two conceptually related yet empirically disconnected areas.

The project consists of two studies.

In a first study, recently married couples answer, for a 30-day period, questions about their daily activities, mood, sexuality, and marital satisfaction. Instead of using paper and pencil questionnaires, couples answer the questions using digital devices (smartphones). The use of digital 'daily diaries' represent a technological innovation that allows researchers to address limitations of other methods. For example, missing entries are more easily avoided using digital devices, and it is easier to present questions in a hierarchical or nested fashion. Also, especially when used in couples, paper-and-pencil diaries pose concerns related to privacy and confidentiality. Digital devices allow for the entry of data that can be transmitted and deleted from the device instantaneously. There is growing evidence that people may more accurately report behaviors in sensitive areas such as sexuality using electronic interfaces than on paper-and-pencil measures.

In a second study, newlywed couples are videotaped when talking about sexual and nonsexual issues in order to determine if these interactions could predict marital satisfaction.

Dr. Erick Janssen, Ph.D., The Kinsey Institute
Julia R. Heiman, Ph.D., The Kinsey Institute
Stephanie Sanders, Ph.D., The Kinsey Institute
Sarah Hahn, B.A., The Kinsey Institute
Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, Ph.D., Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, IUB
Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., Department of Adolescent Medicine, IU School of Medicine
Eshkol Rafaeli, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Barnard College, Columbia University
Uzma Rehman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo

Indiana University FRSP grant

Kinsey Today newsletter articles:Two New Studies Use Digital Daily Diaries in Sexual Health Research and When Couples Talk About Sexual Matters.

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