Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mixed Orientation Marriage Research Announcement

I previously posted an announcement about this research, but it looks like the study has officially been approved and is now recruiting participants.  I would participate, but have only been out to my spouse for just over 2 years, maybe if more participants are still needed next year around this time! I'd definitely encourage people to participate though, as it would be great to have more research out there about how to have a successful MOM. Looks like this study is using the 3 year cut-off for being out to a spouse to ensure that the couple is more likely to stay together for the long term, or at least has been able to successfully navigate the initial rocky post-disclosure period.

Here is the latest research announcement that I received:

Hello Andy,

I am a doctoral student of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. I am doing my dissertation research on commitment in mixed-orientation relationships (non-heterosexual man partnered with a heterosexual woman). This study has been approved by the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the protection of human subjects. Please pass this along to anyone who may be interested.

Participants qualify IF:
• The male experiences same-sex attractions or behavior, regardless of self-identification.
• The female identifies as straight or heterosexual.
• The non-heterosexuality of the male has been acknowledged between the couple for at least three years.
• The couple is in a committed intimate relationship, legally recognized or not.
• Both partners are willing to be interviewed.

The couple need not be in a sexually monogamous relationship, but they should identify each other as their primary partner. Participants may come from any state within the United States.

Participants will be asked to sign an informed consent document and to complete a short demographic questionnaire. I plan to interview the couple together once and each partner individually once. Most interviews will be held by phone or by Skype. If participants live within the state of Iowa, interviews may be held in person, if possible. Interviews will last approximately 60 minutes. After I have completed my interviews, participants will be invited to review a preliminary analysis of the results and to provide feedback if they wish.

Participant identity will be kept strictly confidential. Digital transcripts will be kept in password-protected computer files. Printed transcripts and completed demographic questionnaires will be kept in a locked file cabinet in my office until the end of the study. Audio recordings will be deleted after transcription. Pseudonyms will be assigned to participants on the transcripts.

Those interested in participating in the study can contact me by email at or by phone at 515-441-9397. To ensure participant confidentiality, respondents should indicate how they wish to be contacted.

Thank you for your time!

Kevin Zimmerman
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Iowa State University

Monday, September 5, 2011


By Mister Curie

My OB/GYN rotation is half over.  I've delivered several babies, learned to do the pelvic exam, diagnosed STDs, counseled on birth control, and been privy to intensely intrusive experiences that patients grant their doctors, particularly in OB/GYN.  The rotation has its ups and downs.  I'm learning a lot and it is exciting how much we are able to do to improve the health of our patients.  On the other hand, there is a certain messiness inherent to OB/GYN work that is just nasty and I don't think I'll be seeking a career in OB/GYN.

Despite ongoing efforts to decompartmentalize my life, this rotation seems to be reinforcing a certain amount of compartmentalization.  I'm out at a rural health center where I stay in the nursing dorms during the week and then come back to the city on the weekends for classroom instruction.  When I am out at the hospital, I have essentially no family responsibilities and its like I'm a single student in undergrad again.  When I come back to the city I try to spend time with the family and I'm so busy with household responsibilities that I hardly have time to study.  It's great to have so much study time out at the hospital so I don't feel too stressed without study time over the weekends, but I have this odd feeling of compartmentalization to my life.  At the hospital I'm granted extremely intrusive access to patients (such as being part of a team of three doctors shoved between the legs of an anesthetized woman performing a vaginal hysterectomy) and then there is this entirely different life at home.  I think easing back into clinics with this away rotation has probably been the best way to get back into my clinical rotations, but there will need to be additional work at reintegrating my life during the next rotations, when I will be at the local hospital and living at home during the rotation.