The Chilling Effect: How Do Researchers React to Controversy ? Joanna Kempner*

19/12/2008 at 04:50 Leave a comment

“Most often, researchers tried to ”game” the system by continuing to do their research as before while employing practices specifically designed to disguise the most controversial aspects of their research. Half (51%), for example, said that they removed potential ”red flag” words from titles and abstracts of their subsequent NIH grant submissions.  Deleted words included: gay; lesbian; bisexual; sexual intercourse; anal sex; homosexual; homophobia; AIDS; bare backing; bath-houses; sex workers; needle-exchange; and harm-reduction. As one interviewee put it: ”I do not study sex workers, I study ‘women at risk”’…

Research topics avoided as a result of the controversy included: the sexual health and/or orientation of adolescents; abortion; emergency contraception; condom use; anal sex; childhood sexual abuse; homosexuality; and the use of various harm reduction strategies.”

Se the full text at

<medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050222&ct=1> plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050222&ct=1

 * Rutgers University, Department of Sociology and Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America

 

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