A University of Rhode Island senior, professor and unaffiliated researcher are conducting a sexuality research project focusing on students at the university.

Elizabeth Miceli, a senior human development and family studies major with a psychology minor, is conducting the research along with the principle investigator Gretchen Blycker, a professor and clinician in the community. Shane Kraus of Veterans Affairs is also helping with analyzing the data, however he is unaffiliated with URI. This survey is all about human sexuality, a “controversial yet crucial research topic.”

“For Elizabeth’s internship we’ve been investigating the importance of people’s experience with sexuality and looking at the different relationships with mental health, and wellness and wellbeing,” said Blycker. The study has been approved by the URI Institutional Review Board, which makes sure the survey is being carried out in ways that are ethical and that will not cause harm to participants.

Miceli is a published author and her experience through writing and her major made her want to learn more about sexuality and sexual violence.

“The main point is, sexuality is so important,” she said. She believes that learning about sexuality should be a prerequisite for everyone who goes to school at URI.

“It is so important on a college campus to have information about sex, relationships and mindful sexual experience,” she said.

Miceli added that it is important to conduct research and see what the facts say as it may be able to help in the future and could affect people’s lives. She is excited to see what the research says and to make sure our campus knows how important it is to the students here.

“It’s just part of the college culture,” she said. “It’s important to dive into that and investigate how much it actually is a part of the culture.”

The survey focuses on a wide range of topics from hook up culture to mental health. The survey itself is over 200 questions and takes about an hour to complete. It is a longer survey because they wanted to make sure they cover the different factors about what affects sexuality and mental wellbeing. The survey itself has no anticipated risks and has been out since March 20.

“We are just recruiting through social media,” Miceli explained. “It’s a small…at this point.” They will be conducting the survey until they get a significant number of respondents. Their goal is to reach around 4,000 participants.

“People of all organizations, majors, backgrounds, men and women are welcome to take it,” she said. “We want a complete mix. Students are eligible if they are URI students and are 18 or older.”

There are self benefits for those who choose to participate in the survey.

“[Benefits include] self-reflection, mindful inquiry about oneself and bringing awareness to some things that might be part of habits or behaviors that people don’t always have a depth of insight or understanding to,” Blycker said.

For those interested in participating in the survey can find it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VGPVV2W