Kinsey Reporter: Free Application on Sexual Behaviour
Citizen observers around the world use free applications now available for Apple and Android mobile platforms to not only report on sexual behaviour and experiences, but also to share, explore and visualise the accumulated data.
People are natural observers. It’s part of being social, and using mobile applications is an excellent way to involve citizen scientists. New insights into sexuality and relationships today are available. Also, Information like what do people notice, what are they involved in, and what they can relate to us about their lives and their communities will be available.
Development of the citizen reporting platform is an opportunity to gather information on important issues that may have been difficult to examine in the past.
This new platform will allow to explore issues that have been challenging to study until now, such as the prevalence of unreported sexual violence in different parts of the world, or the correlation between various sexual practices like condom use, for example, and the cultural, political, religious or health contexts in particular geographical areas.
Users simply download the free app and begin contributing observed information on topics such as sexual activity, public displays of affection, flirting, unwanted experiences and birth control use. Even though no information identifying users submitting reports is collected or stored, the time and general location of the report is collected and input into the database. Users also have the option of selecting their own geographic preference for the report by choosing city/town, state/region or country.
Surveys will change over time, and users can view aggregated reports by geographic region via interactive maps, timelines or charts. All of these reporting venues can be manipulated with filters that remove or add data based on specific survey topics and questions selected by the user.
The sensitive domain — sexual relations — added an intriguing challenge in finding a way to share useful data with the community while protecting the privacy and anonymity of the reporting volunteers, they added.
The protections and anonymity provided to those responding to surveys allowed IU’s Institutional Review Board to classify the research as “exempt from review,” which allows the data to be used for research and shared without requiring informed consent from users of the apps.
Apps are available for free download at both the Apple iOS and Android app stores. Accompanying the app release are a Kinsey Reporter website, a Twitter feed and a Facebook page. The four resources also provide links to information about sexuality, such as blogs and podcasts from the Kinsey Confidential website. YouTube videos on “What Is the Kinsey Reporter App” and “Making the Kinsey Reporter App” are also available for viewing.
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