In reviewing research, the three basic tenets IRBs are expected to abide by are beneficence, justice and respect for persons. The IRB was challenged in meeting these tenets during the course of a recent review. Given the highly controversial participant population of sex offenders and the methodology initially proposed, there were a multitude of ethical challenges uncovered that required unique solutions. The protocol presented to the IRB was developed to investigate the use of networked technologies and communications for the purpose of human trafficking. To do so the researchers proposed recruiting “Johns” or individuals convicted of soliciting sex and interviewing them to discover how they use the internet and networked technologies to find victims online. Ultimately, the research intends to provide technology-based tools for combatting trafficking of minors. So the question for the IRB was how to go about protecting “Johns” while protecting the potential victims and meet the criteria for approval?
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Berger, Hila; Krenzer, Amy; and Bryan, Nicole, "Ethical Challenges and Solutions Involved in Reviewing a Protocol with Sex Offenders as Participants: The Concerns and Solutions Identified for Protecting a Highly Controversial Population" (2013). Presentations and Proceedings. 2.