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Information about the study “Attitudes and feelings of people who are close friends or family members of someone who is sexually attracted to children”

Aim of the study: This study will investigate the thoughts and feelings of close affiliates (family members or close friends) of people who are sexually attracted to children. Please note, that to participate you can either be a family member or close friend of someone who is sexually attracted to children. You have to be 18 years or older in order to participate.

Duration and content: You will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey that will take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. The questions will pertain to

1) your attitudes and feelings regarding your situation being affiliated with someone who is sexually attracted to children

2) how you view yourself

3) mental health

4) shame and guilt

We will also ask for your age, birth sex, gender identity, your English language proficiency, continent of residence, number of own children, level of education and whether you're sexually attracted to children yourself. Additionally, we will ask about the sex of your close affiliate, what your relation is to your close affiliate and if your close affiliate has sexually offended against children. This is necessary to explore whether different groups of individuals in the population show different patterns of responses.

Participant rights and anonymity: Your participation is voluntary and choosing not to take part will not have any consequences for you. The survey is completely anonymous. We will not ask for information that renders you personally identifiable, such as your name or your address. If you decide to take part, you are free to withdraw from the study at any time and without giving a reason. Please note that due to anonymization it is not possible to delete your data. All survey questions that you are not comfortable answering can be skipped. Please do not share information that could make you identifiable or that could lead to criminal investigations. Note that we are required to act in accordance with the Finnish law and may have to report information about undetected or planned offenses to the police.

What happens to the information: The research team will analyze the data and the results will be published in scientific outlets. The data will not be shared publicly, but may be made available to other researchers for the purpose of re- analysis upon request.

Benefits and risks of participation: The results will improve the understanding of affiliate stigma experiences of close affiliates of people who are sexually attracted to children and will help develop the first scale that measures these experiences. Some questions may cause discomfort or embarrassment because they relate to sensitive issues such as sexual interest, mental health, shame, guilt and sexual offending.

Data protection: Your privacy is protected by the server www.soscisurvey.de (no storage of IP addresses; use of SSL encryption with a signed certificate; server is secured against unauthorized access according to common standards; access to the server is SSH-encrypted; the questionnaires do not use any cookies). Should you have any further questions about data protection you may contact the Principal Investigator Sara Jahnke or Louise Salminen (affiliatestigmaresearch@abo.fi) or the Data Protection Officer of the Åbo Akademi University (dataskydd@abo.fi).

Sincerely,
The research team


M.Sc. Louise Salminen, Åbo Akademi