In , sociologist and ordained Episcopalian minister Laud Humphreys published his book The Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public. Ethics Controversies: Case Studies – Debates about the ethics of the Tearoom Trade Study Methodology. In the ‘s PhD student in sociology Laud. Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. 2. \; f! ri. ‘; i’. ~j. ~. ” I. I.j. Ij. ‘e.:~ f :’ t. lAUD HUMPHREYS. ‘”,. “,. At shortly after five o’clock on a weekday.

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He found certain patterns relating to marital status, employment, and behavior. He recorded their licence plates as they returned to their cars, and then found out their addresses.

Loneliness emerged as a prominent characteristic in many of the subjects he surveyed. Humphreys’ findings destroy many stereotypes.

The watchqueen took on a voyeuristic role, receiving pleasure and arousal from observing the sexual interaction. The special issue contained ten articles analyzing his research and his multiple contributions as a social activist and scholar. If conducted appropriately, research studies provide the foundation of new and insightful sources of knowledge. He is noted for his research into sexual encounters between men in public bathrooms, published lzud Tearoom Trade and for the questions that emerged from what many believe to be unethical research methods.

Under the guise humphrdys a social health surveyor, Humphreys interviewed the subjects about their lives without disclosing that he had already met them before. Social Science and Social Policy. Views Read Edit View history.

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Laud Humphreys, a sociologist, recognized that the public and the law-enforcement authorities hold highly simplistic stereotyped beliefs about men who commit impersonal sexual acts with one another in public restrooms. Police officers were aware of several tearoom locations. hmphreys

Laud Humphreys and the Tearoom Sex Study

The University of Wisconsin. Schacht, who participated in the SSSP session. Yet, despite the benefits of this research, The Tearoom Trade raises ethical questions about sociology research: After spending some time in this harsh environment, Humphreys admitted that tearopm questioned his own ability to resist if the authorities had questioned him. Schacht notes that this fact “makes it one of the best selling books ever written by a sociologist.

Humphreys separated from his wife in and began living with Brian Miller, a graduate student at the University of Alberta. himphreys

Laud Humphreys – Wikipedia

Humphreys argued his deception was justified as the acts were so stigmatised he would not have got the information otherwise. He was a charter member of the International Academy of Sex Research.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

These roles included an insertor, an insertee, and a lookout referred to as a watchqueen. Laud Humphreys’ unheralded theoretical contribution to the sociology of identity. At the time of this study, anti- sodomy laws were enforced nationwide. Publicly identifying oneself as a social researcher while observing the interaction between men who prize their anonymity in a tearoom would produce drastically different results than presenting oneself as a trusted watchqueen.


Becker at Northwestern University from”Humphreys was enormously influential on graduate students and younger scholars in the field of deviance, ethnography, and what we called ‘participant observation’.

Schacht states that an estimatedcopies of Tearoom had been sold bywhich makes it one of the best selling books ever written by a sociologist. The research occurred in the middle s before institutional review boards were in existence. The men involved did not know he was a researcher. Humphreys was also one of the first sociologists who openly self-identified as gay. In addition to recording the sex acts of over men Humphreys had a small subset who knew he was a researcher and spoke to him about sex in public places and homosexuality which was in the s criminalised in the United States.

Sociology Lens, 5 Feb. Inhe entered graduate school at Washington University St. Impersonal Sex in Public Placesone of the most famous and controversial studies in sexology. Impersonal Sex in Public Placesan ethnographic study of anonymous male-male sexual encounters in public toilets a practice known as “tea-rooming” in U. Views Read Edit View history. Typically, tearooms were located in public parks.