This paper discusses factors needed to be considered when recruiting and engaging with gay Latino sexual assault survivors. Specifically, we describe methods used to recruit gay Latino sexual assault survivors, identify cultural considerations when engaging with gay Latino sexual assault survivors, and how best to engage with these men to inform future research in this area.
Methods: 14 in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with gay Latino sexual assault survivors from six cities in the United States. All interviews were audio-recorded and were and transcribed verbatim. Grounded theory methodology was utilized. Recruitment strategies included: gatekeepers, snowball sampling, professional contacts, newspapers, and a geosocial networking app. All participants were debriefed and provided with a resource list, upon conclusion of the interview.
Findings: The use of gatekeepers, snowball sampling and the use of personal contacts did not prove to be effective strategies to successfully recruiting gay Latino sexual assault survivors. Although sixteen agencies were contacted to assist with recruitment, no men were recruited through this method. Snowball sampling did not prove effective, as most participants did not know other gay Latino sexual assault survivors. A total of 45 professional contacts were utilized, which only resulted in one participant being recruited into the study. The geosocial network app was the most successful method of recruitment, resulting in ten men being successfully recruited. Many participants were initially hesitant to participate in the study, as they wanted to know about the researcher’s background and the extent to which they would need to speak about the sexual assault. It was found that men were re-traumatized through the sexual assault reporting process and needed to be engaged with in a trauma-informed and culturally responsive manner throughout the interviews.
Conclusion and Implications: Despite prior research with marginalized populations, gatekeepers and snowball sampling did not prove to be an effective method of recruitment. Researchers should employ various recruitment strategies, particularly when working with those belonging to multiple marginalized identities. Researchers should also be aware of their positionality, and the need for gay Latino sexual assault survivors to speak with someone of a similar background. Lastly, future research in this area should be done in a culturally and trauma informed manner. Interviews should be conducted in the language of the participants’ choosing. Gay Latino and Black male sexual assault survivors’ identities should be valued and protected throughout the research process.