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By John F. Galliher

Laud Humphreys (1930–1988) was once a pioneering and fearless sociologist, an Episcopal priest, and a civil rights, homosexual, and antiwar activist. In graduate university throughout the overdue Sixties, he performed wide fieldwork in public restrooms in a St. Louis urban park to find styles of impersonal intercourse between males. He released the implications in Tearoom exchange. 3 many years later the ebook nonetheless triggers many debates in regards to the ethics of his study tools. In 1974, he used to be the 1st sociologist to return out as homosexual. Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology examines the groundbreaking paintings during the lifetime of a fancy guy and the lifetime of the guy via his debatable paintings. it really is a useful contribution to sociology and a desirable list of a brave existence.

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Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology

Laud Humphreys (1930–1988) was once a pioneering and fearless sociologist, an Episcopal priest, and a civil rights, homosexual, and antiwar activist. In graduate university throughout the overdue Sixties, he performed vast fieldwork in public restrooms in a St. Louis urban park to find styles of impersonal intercourse between males.

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Later accounts have not confirmed any evidence of such a role due to these difficulties of watching for intruders while simultaneously observing action within the restroom (Desroches 1990). The primary remaining explanation for the richness of the data from his fieldwork is that he was a participant observer. Fine (1993) has argued that ethnographers are often confronted with a conflict between institutional values and the realities of what it takes to conduct field research. While Humphreys certainly had to present himself to the discipline as a neutral observer, his involvement may have been more than he was able to report.

Laud also describes an incident where he was arrested during the course of his research for merely hanging around a restroom. Chapter 6 describes the various types of tearoom participants and is stereotype-busting in showing that many tearoom participants are conservative heterosexually married men. The largest percentage of Laud’s respondents was “trade” (heterosexually married or divorced workingclass men such as truck drivers and machine operators). ” Whereas those in the “trade” category seek out tearooms for furtive sexual relief, “ambisexuals” seek them out for adventure and excitement (Humphreys 1970a, 120).

Laud reported that he imagined that Gouldner wanted to shake hands and make up. Instead, Gouldner hit him in the face, knocking him down and then kicking him (Henslin 2001b). ” Henslin recalled that soon afterward he “saw Laud leaving McMillan Hall, crying. I could see footprints on his pants. ” A copy of one of these posters was found in Laud’s private files (see Appendix C). The copy of the poster has a handwritten note indicating that it had been obtained from the files of Professor Lee 19 20 f Becoming an Instant Icon Rainwater, who was Laud’s adviser, leaving some doubt about Laud’s authorship.

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