In , sociologist and ordained Episcopalian minister Laud Humphreys published his book The Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public. Ethics Controversies: Case Studies – Debates about the ethics of the Tearoom Trade Study Methodology. In the ‘s PhD student in sociology Laud. Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. 2. \; f! ri. ‘; i’. ~j. ~. ” I. I.j. Ij. ‘e.:~ f :’ t. lAUD HUMPHREYS. ‘”,. “,. At shortly after five o’clock on a weekday.

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He is noted for his research into sexual encounters between men in public bathrooms, published as Tearoom Trade and for the questions that emerged from what many believe to be unethical research methods. Humphreys married Nancy Wallace, a woman from a prominent Tulsa family in [3].

The couple had two children, Claire and David. Humphreys separated from his wife in and began living with Brian Miller, a graduate student at the University of Alberta. For most of the rest of his life, he was in private practice, although he and Miller co-authored articles about gay subcultures and victims of violent homophobia.

His biography, written by John F. Brekhus, and David P. Keys, was published inunder the title Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology.

Inhe entered graduate school at Washington University St. Louis, Missouri to pursue the PhD in sociology. He completed his dissertation ingraduated with his PhD He published the dissertation as Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places in Humphrets book won the C.

He was associate professor of sociology at Pitzer Collegein Claremont, CA, from ; he earned full professorship at Pitzer inwhere he worked until aboutwhen he began to focus on his psychotherapist practice.


He was a charter member of the International Academy of Sex Research. He was an invited speaker at more than a dozen symposia and other events, and was a guest on four TV shows.

Laud Humphreys and the Tearoom Sex Study

Humphreys is best known for his published Ph. Impersonal Sex in Hu,phreys Placesan ethnographic study of anonymous male-male sexual encounters in public toilets a practice known as “tea-rooming” in U. Humphreys asserted that the men participating in such activity came from diverse social backgrounds, had differing personal motives for seeking sexual partners in such venues, and variously self-perceived as “straight,” “bisexual,” or “gay. Specifically, they put on a “breastplate of righteousness” social and political conservatism in an effort to conceal their sexual behavior and prevent being exposed as deviants.

Humphreys tapped into a theme of incongruence between one’s words and deeds that has become a primary methodological and theoretical concern in sociology throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Becker at Northwestern University from”Humphreys was enormously teaeoom on graduate students and younger scholars in the field of deviance, ethnography, and what we called ‘participant observation’. True, today one could not do such research because there was no ‘informed consent’ but then again, in many cases, when doing research on deviant behavior, one will never get ‘informed consent’ so we miss out on a lot of important findings.

Research ethics materials wimba 2.doc

He was a true pioneer and a hero to all of us in these fields. ByTearoom Trade had sold more thancopies. Schacht notes that this fact “makes it one of the best selling books ever written by a sociologist. Both of these versions were published in Humphreys influenced generations of sociologists and other social and behavioral scientists in complex ways.


He is often studied in research methods classes for the ethical questions that his works raised. Humphreys developed this idea to explain the apparent contradiction of presumably straight, married men holding a public conservative stance against homosexuality, yet engaging in impersonal sex with men in public settings.

In [ citation needed ]the presidential session at the Society for the Study of Social Problems SSSP was devoted to honoring Humphrey’s pioneering work on sexuality.

Schacht, who participated in the SSSP session. The special issue contained ten articles analyzing his research and his multiple contributions as a social activist and scholar. Schacht states that an estimatedcopies of Tearoom had been sold bywhich makes it one of the best selling books ever written by a sociologist. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Tearoom Trade – Wikipedia

The psychology of human sexuality. His impact on research and thinking about men’s public sexual encounters. Impersonal sex in public places. Retrieved June 23, Retrieved June 20, Social Science and Social Policy.

Remembering the many contributions of Laud Humphreys to sociology and the study of sexuality”. Laud Humphreys’ unheralded theoretical contribution to the sociology of identity. Twenty-five years after Laud Humphrey’s Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 28 Septemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Tearoo Policy.