The increase of research focusing on sex work and health is not without its ethical concerns. Researchers have sometimes struggled with challenges related to consent, inclusion, privacy and confidentiality, especially working with marginalized populations.
While many have chosen to tread carefully within the framework existing of research ethics, Scott Comber, assistant professor at the Rowe School of Business, has chosen to challenge the status quo.
Prof. Comber was a co-applicant on a recently awarded a $300,000 operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a project titled, “Research ethics, sex work and health: A qualitative study to improve health and advance ethical research engagement.”
“The ethics review process in research works up to a point, and then it starts to fall apart in some cases around what the real practices are when we’re working with more marginalized populations,” explains Prof. Comber. ‘We just think it’s time to look at the ethical research practices and methods around this type of research. More specifically, we will look at the interrelationships between research ethics research methodology, and health and sex.”
The project will add to the research ethics body of knowledge, provide evidence-informed guidelines and increase understanding of what confidentiality, inclusion and consent means within these populations.