You may well have questions about participating in this research – and that is totally normal! There is no question too small – or too embarrassing –  to ask, and we have tried to anticipate some of these questions and have provided the answers here. If these FAQs don’t answer your question, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the lead researcher, Sharif Mowlabocus.


Q: What kinds of questions are you going to be asking us?

A: The questions vary but touch upon the following themes: – Your reasons for getting married – The planning of your wedding and the decisions you made. – What married life is like. – Whether anything has changed since you’ve been married.


Q: Will you ask us about our sex life?

A: The interview touches upon issues of intimacy and sexual partners. These include: –

  • Questions that explore public displays of affection (such as holding hands or kissing) –
  • Questions regarding sexual relationship status – open, monogamous, polyamorous.
  • Questions regarding changes in sexual relationship status since marriage.

You will not be asked about how often you have sex, what kinds of sex you have or anything to do with specific sexual activities.


Q: I’m worried my information might be shared with other people, perhaps even people I know.

A: This is an important issue. You are discussing your personal life with a researcher and you have every right to raise this question. Sharif is an experienced researcher who must comply with a very strict code of ethics. He is trained to perform research in a confidential and sensitive manner. When Sharif is interviewing you, anything you say will be kept in strict confidence and will never be shared with anyone. This is a priority and a condition of the University of Sussex granting permission for this research. Even if you know Sharif on a personal basis, he is bound by institutional research rules not to discuss the contents of your interview outside of the interview itself, or even whether you have participated in this research.


Q: What if I say something that I later want to take out of the interview?

A: You have the opportunity to redact or remove your interview from the research up to one month after the date of your interview. It is very easy to do this. Email Sharif at: s.j.mowlabocus@sussex.ac.uk. You must give your full name when asking for the redaction (deleting of a specific piece of information) or removal (deleting of the entire interview). You will not face any penalty for asking for this redaction or removal but you must let Sharif know within a month of your interview. You can also contact Sharif if you have any concerns about the contents of the interview. 


Q: What will you do with my interview? How will it be used? 

A: Sharif has been commissioned to write a book about gay life in the UK and your interview will form part of the research for a chapter on marriage. Sharif will also be presenting research at conferences and will publish journal articles too. Your ideas and opinions will help shape the contents of these outputs. 

After your interview, Sharif will transfer the interview recording to a secure hard drive. The recording will also be passed to a transcription service that specialises in handling confidential information. This service is used by medical researchers and uses military grade security software. 

Once the recording has been transcribed (typed out), Sharif will read through and analyse it, alongside many other recordings. He may extract quotations that are particularly important or interesting. These quotations will not include your name, location or any other identifying data. Where necessary, Sharif will change details to ensure complete confidentiality. 

Finally, after this project is completed, Sharif will securely wipe the external hard drive and write over the drive to ensure full deletion of contents. The transcripts of your interviews (which will not feature your name) will be stored in a cabinet. 

Q: I still have questions!

A: No problem! You can contact Sharif via email at: s.j.mowlabocus@sussex.ac.uk. He is always happy to chat to you about any concerns or queries that you have.