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techniques, he did attempt to produce a heterogeneous sample by interviewing members of diverse groups ranging from church groups to prisoners to union locals. The first survey of representative samples of 18 to 23 year olds was reported by DeLamater & MacCorquodale (1979). The first survey of a representative sample of the US population, ages 18 to 59, was reported in 1994 (Laumann, et al., 1994). Between 1995 and 2005, several surveys of representative samples of subpopulations have been carried out and the results analyzed, most notably the Add Health survey of teens. The first qualitative study of sexual expression to achieve wide recognition was Humphrey’s Tearoom Trade (1970), an observational study of men who have sex in public restrooms. Ethnographic and interview studies have been conducted of a wide variety of noninstitutional forms of sexuality, including nudists, commercial sex workers, swingers, and participants in the bondage and discipline subculture, to name a few. Research combining quantitative and qualitative research, such as Laumann and colleagues’ study of four neighborhoods within the city of Chicago (2004), are beginning to appear and are especially valuable for the breadth of material they provide.
The history of the development of theory is less straightforward. Like many other disciplines, sociology relies heavily on broad conceptual frameworks as the basis for theorizing about sexuality. In doing so, sociology has made important contributions to sexual theory. Irvine points out that “sociology has an impressive history of denaturalizing sex and theorizing its social origins in a body of scholarship dating from the early twentieth-century Chicago School” (430). The Chicago school viewed noninstitutional forms of sexual expression as the result of a breakdown in informal controls such as family and neighborhood. This and subsequent conceptual developments led anthropologist Gayle Rubin to note that “the work of establishing a social science approach to sex … and challenging the privileged role of psychiatry in the study of