By in Science

Research or...Voyeurism?

In Canada, a research team has developed a study that aims to learn how people with back pain can engage in sex. Despite the fact that there is no back-up study indicating how pervasive an issue back pain is in relation to reduced sexual activity, these scientists have rounded up funding to study the issue -- perhaps prophylactically.

To date, the research team rounded up 10 male/female couples in their 20s and 30s, healthy individuals all, and watched them copulate in five predetermined positions. Reportedly, a computer analyzed the movements of the male spine in each of these positions. Later, a comparison was done to compare movements during intercourse with movements already known to cause or increase lower back pain.

The research team now plans to do further studies for women with low back pain and those who have had hip surgery.

I found it interesting that the study's senior author, Stuart McGill explained, " “You’ve got to tune the technique for the individual and sometimes that tuning is quite subtle,” in this article .

Somehow, couldn't that tuning take place on a individual basis without this research?

Image Credit » Devensters CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

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LarrySells wrote on September 20, 2014, 11:01 PM

It depends did the scientists have their people who they were studying permission and was it in writing. Then it would be research if the scientists has written consent. It would be by couple or individual based.

bestwriter wrote on September 20, 2014, 11:37 PM

Should this post come under 'science' or 'Voyeurism' ? emoticon :grin: I had suggested that we have a 'sex' category.
I wonder if those videos have not found a place in the 'porno' sites on the Internet and perhaps made quite a buck in the bargain?

For a change Feisty I did not 'spook' this time emoticon :grin:

BarbRad wrote on September 21, 2014, 2:53 AM

If these subjects are voluntary, they are doing no more than those seeing sex therapists. I would not participate in these experiments but I don't deny the rights of others who want to.

GemOfAGirl wrote on September 22, 2014, 1:16 AM

It sounds to me like some scientists have figured out how to get paid to watch porn. I'd be curious to know how much grant money they're receiving for this.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 25, 2014, 6:20 PM

In order to gain their funding, a research project has to first have the permission of the institution's ethics committee. They also have to have a signed document from every subject that outlines the methodology, as well as the benefits and risks of participating in the research. Unless one of the researchers was Andrew Wakefield, I'm pretty sure all these participants understood what they were getting into :)

Ruby3881 wrote on September 25, 2014, 7:04 PM

My understanding is the research was prompted by the large number of patient requests for help addressing lower back pain during or after sex. While it was a very small-scale study with healthy participants, the researchers did discover that the position most often recommended by doctors could actually aggravate back pain. I honestly can't even relate to the charge of voyeurism, particularly since they discovered doctors may have unwittingly been giving bad advice to people in pain.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 25, 2014, 7:05 PM

I think you're right Grace: a category for something like sex or sexual health would be good!

Ruby3881 wrote on September 25, 2014, 7:27 PM

Not wanting to monopolize the discussion, but I just looked at the actual publication ( and they did NOT receive any funding specifically for the study. Their ongoing NSERC funding is for the laboratory in the university kinesiology department.

LarrySells wrote on September 25, 2014, 8:51 PM

My question would be did get relief for their back pain, Otherwise we could be looking at a fraud case.

Feisty56 wrote on September 25, 2014, 8:52 PM

Thanks for this, Kyla. I didn't find the original write-up when I wrote this post -- it's not like me, but there you go. The title here was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek than an actual question, but one more time I learn the hard way that humor or wryness doesn't always successfully translate in one dimension.

Feisty56 wrote on September 25, 2014, 8:53 PM

Lol, no spooking this time. You've been awfully quiet the last couple of days. I hope everything is okay.

bestwriter wrote on September 25, 2014, 8:56 PM

Blame it on my server :) Playing hide and seek has become a way with it.

Feisty56 wrote on September 25, 2014, 8:56 PM

I apologize as my intent was not to question the ethics of the research. When I first read about it, it just struck me as a bit strange. The research is intended to help physicians and physical therapists to provide better advice to their patients with low back pain.

Feisty56 wrote on September 25, 2014, 8:57 PM

Ah, there you are! Naughty server.

LarrySells wrote on September 28, 2014, 5:31 PM

Did they get their back pain addressed which was one of the key elements of the study.

Feisty56 wrote on September 28, 2014, 10:24 PM

The people who participated in the study itself were not lower back pain sufferers. They were health couples in their 20s and 30s who participated so the doctors could see which of the positions for sex put the least and most strain on the lower back. This way they could advice physicians and physical therapists whose patients have low back pain.