PARTICIPANT INFORMATION STATEMENT
Identity is used to describe who people are and can cover a wide range of behaviours, beliefs, and personal characteristics. Religious beliefs, political affiliations, career, and sexuality are some, but not all of the components of identity. The Internet provides a way for people to explore and express different aspects of their identity in ways different to how they would offline. This research is about looking at the different ways that people explore and express their sexual identity, both online and offline, and how this changes over time.
Approximately 400 Australian residents over the age of 18 will be recruited for this study and asked to take part in two 15-25 minute questionnaires. The questionnaires will involve answering questions about sexual activities both online and offline.
This project is being conducted by Jessica Sipes, Associate Professor Lynne Roberts, and Associate Professor Barbara Mullan, all of the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. The results of this research project will be used by Jessica Sipes to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy at Curtin University and is funded by the University. There will be no costs to you and you will be offered the chance to enter a prize draw for one of three $50 gift cards.
You have been asked to take part because you are an Australian resident over the age of 18. Participation will involve taking part in two 15-25 minute online questionnaires. You will be asked to complete the second questionnaire approximately six months after completing the first one. At the end of the first questionnaire you will be asked for your email address and to provide a four digit number that will be used to link the data from the two questionnaires. The email address will be used to send you the link to the second questionnaire. When you access the link you will be asked to enter your four digit number to access the questionnaire. This number will not be connected to your email address or any other identifying information. You will need to have access to a private computer with internet, located in a quiet space, for the duration of the questionnaires.
There are no direct benefits to you from participating in this research. This research will have a future benefit in adding to existing knowledge about how the internet is being used for participation in sexual activities.
There are no foreseeable risks from this research project and we have been careful to make sure that the questions do not cause you any distress. But, if you feel anxious about any of the questions you do not need to answer them. If the questions cause any concerns or upset you, please refer to one of the resources below.
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line -1800 737 732
The information collected in this research will be made non-identifiable (anonymous). While email addresses will be collected in order to send out a link to the second questionnaire this information will not be linked to your responses. Once the data collection is complete your email address will be deleted. No one, not even the research team will be able to identify your information. Any information we collect and use during this research will be treated as confidential. The only people who will have access to your data are the research team and the Curtin University Ethics Committee, who may access the data for auditing purposes.
The electronic data collected in this research will be password-protected and hard copy data (including external storage) will be kept in locked storage. The information we collect in this study will be kept for 7 years under secure conditions at Curtin University. The results of this research may be presented at conferences or published in professional journals. You will not be identified in any results that are published or presented.
We are not able to send you any results from this research as we do not keep any personal information to be able to contact you. However, if you are interested in the results of this study you may contact the researchers and the results can be provided to you once completed.
Taking part in a research project is voluntary. It is your choice to take part or not. You do not have to agree if you do not want to. If you decide to take part and then change your mind, that is okay, you can withdraw from the project. You do not have to give us a reason; just tell us that you want to stop. Please let us know you want to stop so we can make sure you are aware of anything that needs to be done so you can withdraw safely. If you chose not to take part or start and then stop the study, it will not affect your relationship with the University, staff or colleagues. If you choose to leave the study we will use any information collected unless you tell us not to. We will be unable to destroy your information because it has been collected in an anonymous way.
If you decide to take part in this research we will ask you to provide consent. At the start of the questionnaire, available via the link provided, there is a checkbox to indicate you have understood the information provided here in the information sheet. Providing consent indicates that you agree to be in the research project and have your responses used as described. Please take your time and ask any questions you have before you decide what to do. You will be given a copy of this information to keep.
If you have any other questions you can contact Jessica Sipes at firstname.lastname@example.org or Associate Professor Lynne Roberts at email@example.com or Associate Professor Barbara Mullan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HREC number RDHS-64-16). Should you wish to discuss the study with someone not directly involved, in particular, any matters concerning the conduct of the study or your rights as a participant, or you wish to make a confidential complaint, you may contact the Ethics Officer on (08) 9266 9223 or the Manager, Research Integrity on (08) 9266 7093 or email email@example.com.