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Participant Information Sheet

Project title: Heterosexual Men Who Challenge the Hegemony of

Traditional Masculinity: A Qualitative Study of Critical Positive
Researcher: Adam Lowe, MSc.
Project supervisors: Prof. Brendan Gough & Dr. Bridgette Rickett

You are being invited to take part in a research study.

We would like to talk to straight men, aged 18+, who are involved in activities which address
and challenge problematic masculine stereotypes such as homophobia, sexism, violence, etc.
As the specific focus of the study is straight men who challenge traditional masculinity, we will
only be recruiting men who identify as heterosexual on this occasion.
Taking part is voluntary; it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. It is important for
you to understand what the research is about and what it will involve. Please take time to read
the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. If anything is not clear
to you or you would like more information, please ask.
Whos conducting the research?

I am a PhD student at Leeds Beckett University and this study forms part of my doctoral
thesis. I hold an MSc in Psychology, I volunteer for the Samaritans and Im a mature
student, coming to my doctorate at 33. I also have a life outside of academia that
involves quite a bit of indoor climbing, bouldering, hiking and going out.

This study is being supervised by Prof. Brendan Gough and Dr Bridgette Rickett. Prof.
Gough is an expert in qualitative research methods with research interests including
masculinity and mental wellbeing. Dr. Ricketts expertise lays in gender and
occupational health, gender and work, and gender and health.

What is the project about?

Traditional Masculinity is a certain way of doing masculinity which is understood to
be the source of the more problematic behaviours associated with men; problems like
sexism, violence or homophobia. It is also understood that these behaviours are used
to maintain a sense of dominance, both over women and amongst other men. It is the
intention of this study to look into how some men choose to challenge these problems,
how they come to be this way and what being masculine is like for them.
What will you be asked to do?

I would like to carry out interviews with those who volunteer.

Basically, Ill be asking you to tell me some life stories; particularly stories that you feel
describe how you became the person you are today, the person who is capable of
identifying problematic parts of masculinity and is prepared to challenge them.

The interview will be in two parts, conducted one after another with a break as needed,
lasting up to an hour each, depending on how much you feel like saying!

If on the day you dont want to respond to the questions being asked, you are under
no obligation to do so. In fact, you can end the interview at any point during our

For accuracy, Ill be asking for your permission to make a digital audio recording of our
meeting. This is for transcription and reference purposes only and Ill be making every
effort to secure your anonymity in transcriptions and the report.

On the day, I will check that you are still happy for me to record before we start the

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking part?

There are no anticipated disadvantages to participating in this study. The potential risk
of being identified as a participant in the study are minimal (potential risks are
discussed below). All interview materials will be encrypted and your name will be
altered in all publications to protect your identity.

Your participation may contribute to knowledge in the area of masculinity and


Also, how often are you given the opportunity to just talk about yourself for a couple of

Taking part in this study is not expected to cause any discomfort or distress, but just
in case such feelings do arise as a consequence of taking part, you will be able to stop
the interview at any time.

You will also be provided with a list of contacts for a number of organisations that
specialise in supporting people in a variety of areas that can affect wellbeing.

In interviews of this nature there is potential for unexpected revelations. This

information may be particularly sensitive, distressing or potentially damaging. All care
will be taken in ensuring you are comfortable to continue.

Although the above procedures will be taken to conceal your identity it is conceivable
that anyone you tell about taking part in the study may be able to identify you from your
testimonials, if they should read the published work. This is very unlikely, as we remove
details from transcripts such as the names of streets, towns or relatives and any other
detailed demographic data etc. However, do consider this possibility before telling
others about your involvement with the study.

Also, you may have been recruited for the study through an organisation you are
involved with. As such, we recognise the potential that you may feel under pressure
from that organisation to participate in the study. If this is the case, please remember
that the anonymity procedures mentioned above allow you to withdraw from the study
without the knowledge of others.

How will your information be used?

The recordings of your interview will be transcribed into text form.

The recording of your interview will be destroyed as soon as it has been transcribed.

The text will then be analysed. Basically - I wont just be looking at the details in stories
you told, but Ill also be looking at how you told them, what order events were presented
in, what events appeared to be linked to each other and so on.

Any quotations used in the final report will be anonymized.

The only people who might hear the recording or read the transcripts are my project
supervisors and a professional external transcriber.

The final report will be read by external examiners.

Additionally, the article may be published in academic journals, presented at academic

conferences, or used for teaching purposes.

Although the information may be used for these purposes, you will not be identifiable
in any way through these activities.

Will my information be confidential?

As Ive mentioned above, steps will be taken to protect your data and identity. In fact, research
of this kind is only allowed to be carried out in the UK under strict conditions, designed to
protect everyone involved, as laid out by the British Psychological Society.
To be clear we will protect your information in the following ways:
All the information you provide will be treated in confidence. This means that your
name will not be passed on to anyone else and your information will be used solely for
the research or teaching purposes of the Leeds Beckett University.

You will be allocated an identification number and a false name. These will be used in
all transcriptions and the final report.

You may mention the names of people you know during your interview. If used, those
names will also be changed in the final report.

Transcriptions will be encrypted and recordings will be destroyed.

In exceptional cases, such as in an unexpected revelation regarding a risk of harm to

yourself or others, in accordance with the law and section 1.2 of the BPS Code of
Ethics and Conduct, we may be compelled to override the duty of confidentiality. This
decision would not be taken lightly and would only be made with the full support of the
study supervisors.

Can you change your mind?

Of course.
You can stop taking part in the study at any time or you can even ask for just part of your data
not to be used.
You can do this without any negative consequences and you do not need to provide a reason.
In particular, if you are a friend or acquaintance of myself (the researcher) or anyone
connected to me or Leeds Beckett University, please do not feel obliged to take part.
However, please be aware, beyond two weeks after completion of the interview, withdrawal
from the study and removal of materials will not be possible.
If you wish to withdraw, fully (full transcripts and recordings to be deleted and all records
expunged) or partially (partial data to be removed from transcripts and recordings), simply
email me, quoting the identification number that you will be provided with at the interview, or
even tell me before leaving the interview itself.
Who can you contact for further information?

Adam Lowe, MSc. - Adam.Lowe@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Project supervisors:

Prof. Brendan Gough 0113 8123934, B.Gough@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Dr. Bridgette Rickett - 0113 8124971, B.Rickett@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

If you wish to talk to an independent representative within the university and someone who is
outside of this research study, please contact Dr. Andrew Wilson on 0113 81 2 5581 or
What happens next?
Please think carefully about whether or not you wish to take part in the study. If you do wish
to take part, please state this clearly in your reply.
From there, we will correspond further to organise a convenient time to hold the interview.
We will properly formalize your consent to participate with a form which we will fill out together
before starting the interview.

Thank you for considering participating.

Adam Lowe, MSc