Researching Sexuality: Methodological Complexities



It is as a matter of politics that Chapter 1 commenced with a personal reason for researching sexuality. Beginning symbolically and literally with ‘I’ represents a challenge to traditional academic ‘authority’ where there is an absence of the author’s personal voice in texts. Like other social scientists (Lather, 1991; Middleton, 1995; Jones, 1992; Hertz, 1997) I seek to locate myself within this project in recognition that research findings cannot be separated from their means of production and my own implication in this process. This narrative about young people and sexuality is not seamless, objective or in any way the whole picture of what it means to be a young and a sexual person in New Zealand. It is shaped by my own situated and partial perspective evidenced in the questions I chose to ask and the ones I missed out. Letherby (2003) explains that ‘being reflexive and open about what we do and how we do it, and the relationship between this and what is known, is crucial for academic feminists as it allows others who read our work to understand the background to the claims we are making’ (p. 6). This chapter establishes how the research was designed and the consequences of this for the knowledge produced.


Focus Group Young People Sexual Relationship Sexuality Education Research Sexuality 
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© Louisa Allen 2005

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