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Focusing On Sex: Using Focus Groups In Sex Research

Hannah Frith

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Recent commentators have advocated the greater use of qualitative methods in sex research. Drawing on the growing body of sex-related focus group research (including the author's own research on sexual refusals), this article highlights some key benefits of the focus group method. In particular, the collective discussion and interaction between research participants enables the exploration of under-researched topics, insight into the language commonly used by respondents to describe sexual activities, and provides the conditions under which people feel comfortable discussing sexual experiences.