Frawmusl: Ha! Yes – that is probably a universal question! You are right that the topic is somewhat sensitive… that’s why I wanted to be careful about how I post it so people knew I wasn’t just some creeper trying to find out about their sexual or gender preferences in SL. There have been surveys before done on SL in regard to gender and sex but none specifically on people who gender-bend their avi for sexual purposes – at least that I have been able to locate. Thanks for providing your two cents!
Amethyst: You’re very right about the professional part. I do know the drill. If this was part of a formal research project it would require what you highlight above. Since it is not, it does not require it. It is merely an informal survey for an informal paper I’m writing. Even if I wanted to use the data from the survey for a more formal research project I would not be able to as I did not follow the formal steps to getting ethics approval, etc.
I will make that clear (re: residency). Also, you are right that it seems many mistake SL for a “game”… I even have a hard time when talking to others about SL as some list SL as an MMORPG while others just use terms like “virtual world”. Because of my residency in SL I would know better than to ask people generic “game” questions! That would certainly be a dead give away that someone has never stepped foot in-world.
The survey would be a distinct link with anonymous input and would not record any other identifying information such as IPs. I would never ask people to post responses in a forum and I can’t believe that has been done before. I feel like I should apologize on behalf of all University students!
Your suggestion of a note card is great. I was hesitant to do this as well as I don’t want to feel intrusive to anyone but I suppose just like any SL’er – if someone doesn’t want to respond to an IM – they can just ignore it!
Knowl: Awesome, thanks! Great suggestions.
Syo: I enjoy exploring the otherwise taboo! Maybe the professor logs on to SL every night to check out the adult content or indulge in some cybersex themselves! :-P Thanks for your feedback!