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The article’s title was generally informative of the nature of the study and it was attention-grabbing too. As for the Abstract, the author clearly articulated the issue being investigated and covered all the parts required briefly. The main challenge with the abstract was that some important information had to be omitted as it needs to be short. On the other hand, the introduction contained adequate literature review to enable the audience understand sex differences in the flexibility of sexual orientation, a clear purpose and hypothesis. In the methodology section, in-depth interviews was the qualitative technique that the research adopted and it was also significant that variations in sex based on the flexibility of sexual orientation was the core concept being explored. The sample size of the study was 762 participants whose demographic information was included. Moreover, data was analyzed using cumulative change scores for the three dimensions of sexual alignments by adding the variances between ratings over the 5-year time spans. Discussion section included inferences that the researchers made based on the data analyzed and affirmation of the already-existing theories.
Keywords: title, abstract, introduction, in-depth interviews, participants’ demographic information, cumulative change scores, results, findings.
Article Review and Critique
After reading the article, it seems that the title describes the study comprehensively. The reading’s heading is “Sex Differences in the Flexibility of Sexual Orientation: A Multidimensional Retrospective Assessment.” As such, based on the heading, the reader understands the nature and the type of the study. In this case, it is a surveying assessment that considered many aspects. Moreover, the title equips one with the knowledge of what the study was based on or rather, the main subject. The research was centered on the variances of sex in the flexibility of sexual orientations. The title of the text grabs one’s attention, making them have the desire to read it. It contains words such as “sex” and “sexual orientation” which are not often spoken about in public. Besides, people find topics on sex as generally fascinating.
The abstract contains clear information about the issue that was being investigated. It indicates that sexual orientation flexibility among men and women was scrutinized by assessing self-reported transformation over a set period of time for sexual fantasy, sexual behavior, and romantic attraction which were the three scopes of sexual orientation. The abstract also indicates that these dimensions were assessed across the three categories of the current sexual orientation which include bisexual, gay, and heterosexual. Most importantly, the author did not forget to include information about the participants. 762 men and women aged 36-60 years who identified as bisexual, heterosexual, and gay took part in the study. However, the methodology was also partially covered in the articles abstract. The author gave small details about how a self-report questionnaire was used to gather information which was later analyzed by deriving cumulative change scores.
Moreover, the abstract reveals the study’s observations or rather the results. A large percent but not all of the classification groups exhibited sex differences. It is also indicated that women had greater changes in orientation compared to men. Even though the abstract contains most of the recommended content, it does not have a conclusion. Summarizing a long paper in 150-250 words is a difficult task as one has to omit a lot of information which is equally as important. For instance, if the research examined one issue which had multiple results, it can be challenging to determine which one should be included in the abstract since all of them are vital.
The main reason why the author conducted the study and wrote the article was to evaluate dependability and adaptability in sexual orientation over the grown-up life expectancy, as shown by modification in introduction over time, and to assess sex contrasts in this adaptability. To be more specific, the author asserts that: “of greatest interest in the present study was change in sexual orientation over time” (Kinnish, Strassberg & Turner, 2005) One of the audiences that may be interested in this study are students who intend to carry out research in the field of sexual behaviors. This reading might help them to understand better the sex variances in the flexibility of sexual orientation. Social scientists such as social psychologists are also another type of audience that would pay attention to this study as they are concerned with knowing more about human characteristics and how they change as well as coming up with theories that explain those behaviors.
In my view, the problem assessed in the study is not important enough to warrant a journal article. The main reason behind this argument is that sexual orientation, for most people is an unalterable trait across the life span. Rarely have I come across individuals who were gay when they were children and changed into heterosexual beings over time unless they are forced by their parents or the society. If sexual orientation is subject to change, then one may wonder whether there are any measures that can be taken to make it stable or why determining its differences would be important. I think that the research was accepted for publication as currently, there are multiple studies which contend that sexual orientation is fixed. As such, this study was publicized as a tool to inform the public that it could be true that sexual orientation is not fixed since its results indicated so.
The study’s introductory section contains an extensive literature review which enables one to understand the issue deeply. It cites the findings of other surveys by other scholars that examined the stability of sexual orientation. For instance, the author gives examples of researchers who support the scientific position that sexual orientation is a trait determined in the early stages of life and that it is highly resilient to transformation. The writer further names some research areas whose findings support the claim that sexual orientation is firm. On the other hand, the study’s literature review informs the reader about the various theoretical perspectives such as social constructionism and evolutionary psychology oppose the argument that sexual alignment is fixed. The inclusion of opposing views on the changeability and stability of sexual orientation enables the reader to know that there is a problem since there are different findings from diverse studies which contradict each other. As such, the reader can recognize the need to carry out the study to determine what assumptions are true and which are false.
The literature review in this article does not mention whether the research was different or similar to the previous studies. Previous research mentioned in the literature review section is only given as examples of the diverse views regarding the flexibility of sexual orientation. Transformation in sexual orientation was the main area that the article intended to add knowledge about. The researchers hypothesized that women would exhibit greater sexual orientation change in life compared to men in all the three categories of present sexual alignments that include heterosexual, gay, and bisexual. Nevertheless, the study made no guesses regarding which of the three sexual dimensions (sexual fantasy, romantic attraction, and sexual behavior) would best showcase the sex variance.
The study utilized in-depth interviews as one of the qualitative methods. The answers were obtained through a questionnaire containing the questions that needed to be answered and distributed to each participant. Given that the study’s hypothesis was that women are more likely to exhibit sexual orientation changes than men over time, the research design corresponds with the supposition in the sense that the participants were expected to share their demographics and their current sexual orientation. Also, they were to give an account of their sexual history which enables the researcher to determine whether the hypothesis was wrong or correct. In-depth interviews were appropriate but a phenomenological approach which allows the participants to share their experiences and views about a problem would have been more useful in this study. The design also has a low capability of answering the research questions. This is because the questionnaire used did not contain a question about what the participants think about the flexibility of sexual orientation in both sexes.
The main concept explored in the study was the variations in sex based on the flexibility of sexual orientation. In addition, some of the measures utilized in the research included; demographics such as age, sex, education, race, education, and occupation; current sexual orientation; sexual history; and dimensional ratings. The methods that were used to collect data in the research are adequately clear in the way they are described and can allow replication. For instance, the respondents were required to enter their demographic data on the questionnaire. If one was a female, that is what they would indicate in the data collection tool even if the proves was repeated multiple times. The study managed bias by including participants from both sexes who had diverse sexual alignments. It did not favor participants from a particular social group either as the announcements for recruitment were availed to multiple communities.
The researcher did not give information about the trustworthiness of the measures. However, to establish credibility, the researchers kept the names of the participants anonymous. The study had no evidence of audit trail or peer consultation.
To obtain the study sample, the researchers utilized various strategies including advertisements, announcements, and recruitment on the internet through web pages announcement and e-mail postings. 1229 people completed but some were eliminated from participating in the study because their age range was outside that of the survey while others were removed due to failure to self-identify as either gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. The final sample had 762 respondents (420 men and 342) women. The writers indicate that they wanted a large sample as possible. As for me, the information provided about the sample is satisfactory.
The demographics of the participants in the study include their age, gender, race, education level, occupation, and residence. As such, they have described adequately. The information on demographics is helpful in evaluating the research in many ways. For instance, one can know which gender had the most bisexual or gay people, which race has the largest number of gay people, and the education level of gay people, among others. From this, one can be able to draw inferences.
The sample was not a representative of the population it was drawn. This is because it only required the participation of adults between 36 and 60 years. Representativeness is important in this research as it aims to determine the existence of sex differences in sexual orientation flexibility over time, which means that the inferences made will not be just about the population where the sample was obtained from but the general population. The fact that the study recruited the participants online is an ethical concern since data can easily be stolen.
Data was analyzed using cumulative change scores for the three dimensions of sexual alignments by adding the variances between ratings over the 5-year time spans. The descriptions supporting the results were extensive and reasonable. For instance, the researchers found out that most of the respondents experienced a change in one or mode sexual orientation dimensions. The authors further elaborate that this would suggest that sexual alignment is a feature that can be easily changed. The researchers corroborated their findings using thick descriptions. The trustworthiness of the findings can be based on the methodology, and specifically, the measures used. For instance, the fact that the participants gave an account of their sexual life increases the believability that most of them have experienced a change in sexual orientation in their lifetime.
My main concern with the reporting of the results was the use of SDs and Means on explaining the total lifespan scores for sexual orientation. I would like to know why the results utilized Means to determine variances in sex differences on sexual orientation. The findings were not relevant to my social work and human services sector as many people who attend the facilities are the vulnerable people in society. However, the results of this study can be used by social work practitioners and managers to determine sexual behavioral changes exhibited by their clients.
In the discussion section, the authors utilized the data in the research to make inferences and affirm some of the already existing perspectives. For instance, the findings affirmed that women’s sexual orientation variances are higher than in men. This conclusion is reasonable in the sense that it is consistent with the study’s findings. The authors wrote that there is a need for replication and further search regarding the specific pattern of sex differences that the study identified. The authors did not describe the limitations of the study. They, however, emphasized the need to address the association between the dimensions of sexual alignment as comprehended by a single person in the future research.
Kinnish, K. K., Strassberg, D. S., & Turner, C. W. (2005). Sex differences in the flexibility of sexual orientation: A multidimensional retrospective assessment. Archives of sexual behavior34(2), 173-183.