Kinsey Reporter, currently in public beta release, is a global mobile platform for the reporting, visualization, and analysis of anonymous data about sexual and other intimate behaviors. It works on Android™ and iOS (iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®) devices and communicates securely with a central database server. The anonymous data collected with Kinsey Reporter is aggregated and shared openly with the community via an API at KinseyReporter.org.
With this citizen science project, we are exploring new ways to record and describe people’s sexual experiences worldwide. We hope to reach people with all kinds of different ideas, beliefs, and experiences, and who might be willing to report on sexual behaviors, regardless of who is involved and where it is observed. By using Kinsey Reporter, people contribute to research on human sexual behavior.
From a data science prospective, the project presents interesting challenges regarding how to collect, aggregate, visualize, and openly share crowdsourced data about sensitive topics, in a way that guarantees the anonymity of the data and the privacy of the volunteer citizen scientists. Our current protocol has been approved by the IU IRB for “non-human subjects research” thanks to the way we (1) aggregate geographic locations, (2) disallow uncontrolled input, and (3) completely disassociate the reported data from the identity of reporters, rather than attempting to anonymize personal identifiers.
- Fil Menczer, concept and team leader
- Clayton Davis, system architect
Kinsey Reporter is a joint project with the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. The KI team includes:
Special thanks to Tracey Theriault, Martina Deplano, Jennifer Bass, Lynn Luckow, Giancarlo Ruffo, Emilio Ferrara, Karissa McKelvey, and beta-testers (NaN, KI staff, friends & family). Finally, we gratefully acknowledge general support from the School of Informatics and Computing, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the Lilly Endowment, Google, and Special donors to The Kinsey Institute.