Sexuality and Health Research Critique 9
Critique of Health/SocialResearch Literature
Case Review of Sexuality and Health Research byInhorn (2003)
18 December 2019
:Case Review of Sexuality and Health Research by Inhorn (2003)
The present paper constitutes a criticalevaluation of recent research on Review of sexuality and healthresearch, focusing on the empirical study conducted by Inhorn(2003). Rather than focus on the study in terms oftopic or arguments predisposed by Inhorn (2003), the presentpaper mainly concentrates on characterizing thestudy as it was conducted, the data analysis employed, the resultsgenerated, the conclusions derived therefrom, the applications of thefindings generated and the empirical essence of the researchmethodology employed by Inhorn (2003).Ultimately, the present paper focused on providing a balanced,objective and highly referenced critique of the study conducted byInhorn (2003) from a scholarly perspective.
Brief Summary of Inhorn (2003)
In the study under focus, Inhorn (2003) targeted the subject ofinfertility, which is currently a growing problem for upto 12% ofmarried couples globally. Of particularly interest to the scholarswere social contexts in which residents register a higher thanaverage infertility ration. In his words, Inhorn (2003) asserts that,“in the infertility belt of sub-Saharan Africa—as many asone-third of all couples are unable to conceive” raising thequestion of why such outcomes accrue (p. 1837). Of interest thereforeare factors that aggravate rates of tubal infertility in a region,especially in the developing world, which may include sexuallytransmitted conditions, post-partum conditions of post-abortioninfections, although male infertility causes over 50% of infertilitycases. Consequently, Inhorn (2003) reviews why new reproductivetechnologies (i.e. vitro fertilization) have traditionally beeninaccessible and unaffordable for the population in developingnations to avert male and female infertility, although suchtechnologies have in recent times started globalizing to somedeveloping societies. Inhorn (2003) links such increased need for newreproductive technologies across the globe to the desire forchildren, cultural requirements for parenthood and an anti-infertilesocial status.
Inhorn (2003) thus conducted an illustrative case study of Egypt, adeveloping nation, examining epidemiological, dialectic, healthcare,gender inequality, adoption and demographic factors positivelyinfluencing a global demand for new reproductive technologies. Asshall emerge hereunder, this approach represented an ethicalqualitative approach in health-based research, whose findings cansubsequently be generalized (Richards and Schwartz 2002, p. 135).According to Dongre et al. (2009), “qualitative research is type offormative research that includes specialized techniques for obtainingin-depth responses about what people think and how they feel” (p.1), and in the present case, Inhorn (2003) provided an in-depthanalysis of a socially sensitive subject using a case study approach.
In the study, Inhorn (2003) conducted “a detailed examination ofthe implications of the rapid global spread” of new reproductivetechnologies in the developing nations represented by Egypt (p. 2). Asample of 40 operational vitro fertilization centers was recruited todemonstrate constraints on the use of new reproductive technologiesin the developing nations. Developing nations were construed as beingon the receiving end of reproductive technology from more advancedand developed nations. In conclusion, Inhorn (2003) emphaticallystressed “the need for primary prevention of infections leading toinfertility” in developing nations, to reduce their reliance on newreproductive technologies from developed nations.
Empirical Reliability, Generalizability and Validity of Inhorn(2003)
Onwuegbuzie et al. (2009) argued that, “despite the abundance ofpublished material on conducting focus groups, scant specificinformation exists on how to analyze focus group data in socialscience research” (p. 1). In response, the four scholars andresearchers provided a qualitative framework that optimized on datacollection and analysis in case study research for health and socialsciences, optimizing on the reliability and generalizability ofresultant findings. Further, the scholars identify data typologiesfor focus groups and case studies, thus defining the “qualitativedata analysis techniques” required for a reliable empirical study(p. 4). What is most significant for the present study, however, isthat the study conducted by Inhorn (2003) duly attained and qualifiedon each of the requirements identified by Onwuegbuzie et al. (2009)in their proposed framework for ideal qualitative data analysis.
The study conducted by Inhorn (2003) was immensely detailed on howthe 40-vitro fertilization centers operating in Egypt operated invitro fertilization. Further, the study also discussed why vitrofertilization was critical and essential in Egypt, the demand and thenumber of people served, as well as the ideal result if such vitrofertilization was maintained without relying on the technologytransferred from advanced nations. Inhorn (2003) targeted datasources that were relevant and well-focused, the data generated wassufficient for the research question, the sample size was adequatelygeneralizable for Egypt, Egypt aptly represented the developingnations as a case study nation, the data generated and analyzed wasideally qualitative, and thus ideally reliable based on the frameworkproposed by Onwuegbuzie et al. (2009).
The qualitative case study approach was perhaps the best way togenerate reliable findings in an “environment” and subject thatis “socially oriented” as advocated by Krueger (2000, p. 83) andFossey and Harvey (2001, p. 91). It is also important to note that,the qualitative case study approach used in Egypt was much betterthan what a quantitative survey of different developing nations couldhave hoped to achieve particularly in getting a deeper, more detailedinsight about infertility, which is understood and expresseddifferently across cultures and jurisdictions (Sandelowski 2008, p.875). According to Devetak, Glazar and Vogrinc (2010), the bestqualitative research for science education only accrues if theresearcher “gathers data in the form of rich content-baseddescriptions of people, events, and situations by using different,especially non-structural, techniques to … analyze the gathereddata, and finally to interpret the findings in the form of a conceptor contextually dependent grounded theory” (p. 77). Inhorn (2003)provided a case study qualitative study for a people that can thus begeneralized for other contexts with respect to cultural, geographic,demographic or historical differences.
Focusing on how the study was conducted and reported, the study usesa language, bias and focus on issues that would mainly interest andbe useful to a health professional. The study focused on the healthdynamics of infertility in a developing society, an area that wouldnot interest many other areas of research. In this case however,Inhorn (2003) displayed a unique target relevance in what wasstudied, how it was studied and how it was communicated to a healthprofessional as advanced by Burnard (1996, p. 84 – 106). Further,health research is not useful until it reaches relevant findings anddraws their relevant implications. Burnard (2004) argues that thefindings generated in health-related social sciences, “is probablyonly complete once the findings have been published” (p. 176).
This means that in health research, the findings generated are onlyuseful if there are reported and their implications drawn uponresearch, as Inhorn (2003). The scholar identified theepidemiological, dialectic, healthcare, gender inequality, adoptionand demographic factors that influence infertility measures in Egypt,in a manner that can be generalized to other developing geographicalcontexts within and without Egypt (Devetak, Glazar and Vogrinc 2010,p. 77). More importantly however, the scholars focused on an emergingglobalization of new reproductive technologies, which affects alldeveloping nations, and thus a universal topic for generalization.Indeed, one of the detailed sections following the findings generatedby Inhorn (2003) is titled “globalization of new reproductivetechnologies: illustrations from Egypt”, implying that theimplications had a global relevance as exemplified by the case studynation.
In this effort therefore, Inhorn (2003) justifiably explained thesource of the implications drawn by the study, because afterpresenting the findings, the scholar drew implications for alldeveloping nations regarding new reproductive technologies. The studyargues on the relevance of religion, gender, knowledge, socialclasses and cultural beliefs in a way that implicates almost everyunique developing nation as they do in Egypt (in this caserepresenting the “ethnographic informants” as classified byJohnson (1991, p. 24)). The study thus enriches the findings with anaspect of “socialization as argued by Davidson et al. (2001, p.275), which is sometimes very critical in health research.
The research purpose, methodology, findings, discussions andimplications that define the study conducted by Inhorn (2003),perhaps has its greatest strength in defining the infertility dilemmafrom a social perspective, and thus understanding critical area ofinterests from its social background, which mostly influences theinfertile question. As argued by Kamischke and Nieschlag (1998), thequestion of infertility is overly sensitive in many societies (p.62). In accordance to this understanding, Inhorn (2003) focuses ininvestigating the Egyptian social context in which infertility iscritically influenced, including the gender and religious factors.According to Fossey et al. (1998), “qualitative research aims toaddress questions concerned with developing an understanding of themeaning and experience dimensions of humans’ lives and socialworlds” (p. 717), and in that, Inhorn (2003) was emphatically worthof esteem.
Focusing on a single cultural background unique in religion, genderbalance, culture, economic standards and geographic features, helpedidentify critical factors that could equally be significant in otherjurisdictions, in a more reliable and accurate way that aquantitative survey of different regions would. In the words ofFossey et al. (1998), “in a matter of emphasis, or degree…ethnography acknowledges that communities are comprised ofpersons, each of whom has his or her own subjective experiences, andphenomenology acknowledges that a person’s ‘life world’ is asocial, cultural and historical product, as well as a pole ofindividual subjectivity” (p. 720). A sample generated from India,China, Egypt and Morocco for instance, would incorporate numerouscultures, backgrounds and geographical factors that cannot bereliably generalized. However, by focusing on Egypt alone, Inhorn(2003) generated a reliable set of findings.
Ultimately, Inhorn (2003) does not in any way, focus on the structureof a scientific study as in the conventional journal articles(background – literature review – purpose – methodology -findings– conclusions) as advocated by Burnard (2004, p, 178). Rather, theresearcher creates a compelling flow of discussion andliterature-based argument before and after the empirical study isimplemented and reported, to create an overly convincing, applicableand relevant addition to the infertility literature. The study thusfocuses on tracing, determining, establishing and justifying thefindings that are significantly relevant in implications to thesubject of infertility in developing nations, relevant to political,management, health, social science, medicine, technology andgeographical concepts as argued by Fossey and Harvey (2001, p. 91).
As such, the findings generated by Inhorn (2003) are relevant to aperson focused on creating independence for developing nationspresently reliant on developed nations, as it is to an entrepreneurinvesting in advancing medical technology or a socialist focused onbuilding progressive social development. Nonetheless, the studyqualifies in all aspects as a reliable, valid, accurate andgeneralizable scientific study (by focus, method and findings), asadvocated by Sandelowski and Barroso (2002, p. 28), and gaining avalidity that is scientifically justified with sacrificing theessence of the study in favor of being a standard journal report(Kvale 1995, p. 19).
The foregoing critical evaluation and discussionevaluation has employed a wide range of literature backing to analyzethe study conducted by Inhorn (2003) within the confines ofhealth research. Having ccharacterized how Inhorn(2003) conducted, the data analysis he employed,the results he generated, the conclusions he derived, and finally,the applications of the findings thus generated, the discussion hasgranted Inhorn (2003) a series of positive acknowledgements asa valid, reliable, relevant and generalizable empirical study. Thediscussion thus concludes that Inhorn (2003) employed a unique casestudy qualitative research focus to generate what is a set of highlyesteemed findings and implications in contemporary health research.
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