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Sawyer, J. S., Wilner, L. L., & Brewster, M. E. (2017). Ethics in Gender Research. In K. L. Nadal (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender (pp. 506–508). SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781483384269.n170


Ethical considerations are a part of the foundation of any study in psychology. The American Psychological Association (APA) has specified guidelines that must be followed in order to ensure that human participants are protected from forms of distress, such as breaches in confidentiality, deception, and undue physical or mental harm. In addition to APA guidelines, academic institutions also have an institutional review board that engages in a thorough review of a study’s data collection procedures, sample selection, and actions in which participants will be engaged. In most cases, certain participants are only excluded from a study with a justifiable scientific rationale (e.g., excluding participants not living in the U.S. when researching voting patterns of individuals in Nebraska). Despite the many safeguards in place for participants, some scholars have called for increased attention in research ethics in marginalized populations. One area that received attention is the ethics of gender research, as some studies have found to completely omit women or misrepresent findings. In this chapter, ethical issues in gender research will be presented, followed by a description of research methods that attempt to reduce bias and share power. Finally, due to recent changes in research ethics in the APA code, research issues with transgender samples will be explored.