I am currently a PhD student in psychology at Northwestern University, and I am conducting part of my dissertation research on the sexuality, identity, gender, and personality of AB/DLs. I am especially interested in better understanding how sexuality and identity/personality intersect among AB/DLs and how these aspects of AB/DLs’ lives are expressed. My hope is that better understanding of AB/DLs will lead to greater acceptance and support among the community at large, including the families/friends of AB/DLs and medical professionals.
To provide some background, I became interested in this topic while conducting research on other understudied, misunderstood communities with respect to sexuality, such as furries. I would like to approach the study of this sensitive, often controversial subject in a more open and nuanced way among AB/DLs. The work by Hawkinson and Zamboni (2014, 2017), along with some past dissertation theses and BitterGrey’s website and survey results (Understanding Infantilism), have been instrumental and valuable in paving the way for my work and helping me with potential hypotheses and survey design. My survey will be relatively exploratory and thus includes a number of open-ended questions. It runs about 30-45 minutes, depending on how much time a participant wants to devote to elaborating on open-ended responses. I am writing to request your generous help with participating in this survey. I believe members of ABDL Story Forum would be able to provide an important and diverse set of responses.
If you are interested in participating, please see below my signature for a link to the survey and to more information.
Kevin Hsu, MS
Department of Psychology, Northwestern University
Northwestern University’s Human Sexuality Lab is seeking anyone who identifies as an adult baby/diaper lover, aged 18 years and older, for an anonymous research study of sexuality, gender, identity, and personality. Participation involves an anonymous online questionnaire. Please follow this link for more information and to take the survey: https://weinberg.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bqHAOuh0nLloyzz
Thank you very much for your time and interest!
Principal Investigator: J. Michael Bailey, Department: Psychology, IRB#STU00205746
I gave it a shot to see what’s being asked. I love taking surveys. I’m probably the only person on earth who likes getting a long-form census.
This one was longer than I expected. This was supposed to be my early night.
Some things to note:
When asked what we identify as I noticed a lack of care-taker roles. You have Littles but no Mommies/Daddies/Caretakers/Doms, or anything like that. This is a bit odd as Dom options do show up later when rating things you find attractive to do/see/have done to you.
On a less related note, you have choices for “amputee pretender” and “amputee wannabe” but nothing for “devotee”. I haven’t interacted much with those communities, but I was under the impression that devotees were very prominent amongst them. This seems like an odd oversight.
Cannot choose to have no sexual feelings towards men or women. A strange oversight considering asexual is an option in the next question. A version of this option is merged with equal preference to males and females, which I would consider to need different categories to get more accurate results.
No polyamory option in the relationship question. Perhaps it’s not needed when asking about sexuality, but it would be interesting data to collect.
Odd choice to use “she-males” as a term. You point out that it’s only there for clarity despite the offense it brings but it’s odd that’s the term you use instead of “pre-op”, which while offensive in younger circles it is more clear what it means at first glance than “she-males”.
Chubby, fat, and obese are in the same category. To me, they sound like different levels of overweight. When measuring sexual attraction, it would probably bring clearer results if you broke up slightly overweight, noticeably overweight, and very overweight into separate categories.
“People of a certain race” gets one, fill-in-the-blank category. Do you ask for our preferred race? Do we have to choose a race besides our own? Wouldn’t listing out the major races as their categories (and an ‘Other’ category) cause less confusion and get more results?
It feels like some questions (especially the “picture yourself as a baby” questions) repeat themselves. Maybe they don’t if you look closely at the exact wording of each but it feels like you ask for multiple choice answers right after giving the same questions on a (more precise) rating scale.
I find it funny that you ask us for a period where we wore diapers and baby clothes the most often without stipulating that we couldn’t have been actual babies at the time. It’s an obvious enough condition that I don’t think anyone will try it, but still, it gave me a laugh.
I gave it a shot as well, even though I did research on the investigators. I feel as if the survey was mainly about ‘sexual’ feelings rather than nonsexual which was a bit uncomfortable answering the questions as someone who does not like to associate ABDL in a sexual manner. I feel like 10 to 15% of the survey was based upon nonsexual desires and the other 80 to 85% was questions related to sex. I feel like it’s close to impossible to grasp a clear understanding of ABDL’s by asking a majority of questions relating to sex, rather than the lifestyle itself.
I’m going to stay optimistic and hope that it’s not going to result like the other articles he’s posted in the past.
Yes, that is an issue. Focusing on one part of a very diverse umbrella community won’t get the best results when studying them.
As someone who does see this as sexual, the main thing I noticed was a lack of caregiver/dom questions. If I recall correctly, they only appear in one or two sections on a rating scale mixed with non-caregiver questions. It’s mostly about what you like to have done to you, and very little asking about what you want to do to others.
I’m sorry you did not feel that the survey captured your feelings and was uncomfortable. Your answers will hopefully contribute to our understanding of how sexuality plays a role in AB/DL - in your case, it seems not at all. Thanks again for completing the survey
Thank you for completing the survey, despite its length. I also appreciate your detailed feedback about aspects of the survey, which I address more carefully below:
Regarding the lack of care-taker roles: Good idea. I think this might have been an oversight in the later parts of constructing the survey. Many respondents have included this identity/role in the “Other” category. But you are right that this information would be useful to include from the get-go.
Yes, devotees are prominent among those communities. Very nice observation. We wanted to focus on identities that focus on fantasies involving oneself rather than others (or the list would be quite long!).
I think you might have missed the option “Sexual feelings toward neither females nor males.” I checked after you wrote that, and it is there.
Polyamory would be interesting, but it is outside the scope of our research questions for this first foray.
Some transgender women with the presentation designated by “shemale” are not interested in having complete reassignment surgery, and therefore we do not believe “pre-op” is an accurate term. Moreover, unfortunately, many people are only familiar with the type of individual we are asking about through pornography, which commonly uses this term.
Re: chubby, fat, and obese. Other people have pointed out the usefulness of making further distinctions. We will definitely be considering this in future work.
The race question was relatively exploratory. We will be retooling this in the future.
It is good research practice to ask the same questions in different ways, to look for consistency in response and to better measure the reliability of the construct assessed. This is especially true of constructs central to our research questions.
Good call on the diapers/baby clothing question. Oops!
Anyway, thanks for the very useful and thoughtful feedback!
Thank you for your comments on this matter. I will not speak for Professor Bailey about his past work or his book, but I will say that we strongly stand against discrimination against sexual and gender minorities. Our intention with this research is not to increase the stigmatization and oppression of sexual and gender minorities (AB/DLs included), but rather, to decrease stigmatization and oppression through greater understanding and acceptance. I sincerely believe that continued research in understudied areas of sexuality will help with this cause.
Bailey is going to love this theory. I won’t ever meet him, so this is probably my best chance to get anyone to pay attention. There are at least two types of ABDLs. One is the AB type – these are the ones that Bailey wants to be misdirected pedophiles. There’s another type, tho, that’s more excited by the medical aspect. These are the ones who will wear casts or neck braces, and never dress up as babies. That’s why they sell the plain white abdl diapers. That’s why you see diapers in bracedlife, or neck braces in messydiaperpunishment.
Your survey is posted here, and this is mostly where the AB types hang out. So your responses will be skewed towards that group.
Well, you’ve actually stirred the mud up a bit with that. :: Giggle ::
Try this on - there are AB’s who are into the whole baby play, but some are sexual and some are not. There are littles, who are into being little, but not necessarily still in diapers and being babies. There are sissies, who are into being forced into frilly dresses and very little girl things … usually with them it is some sort of punishment or a secret thing, and they are boys who are dressed as girls. They are frankly a bit insulting to those of us who are, as me, little girls … the difference is that we ARE girls, where they are boys being dressed as girls (and the insulting part is that they would have to be forced or that it would be punishment to dress as a girl!) There are those into a medical fetish, many of whom have nothing to do with diapers but some who do. There are those who are DL - Diaper Lover - who just like the diapers aspect and are not babyish at all. There are middles, who are generally age-players a bit older than children … preteens and teens.
The reason they sell plain white ABDL diapers is because that is what some of us remember wearing and it is nostalgic. Just like more ABs who were born before the late 1960s would rather wear cloth diapers, and those born before the late 1980s abhor those “cloth-like outer covers” and want plastic backed diapers.
Lol and there are those of us that fit into multiple categories. I like the age play and being babied and baby stuff. I’m into the lg part to some degree. I’m also in the medical part a bit as that fascinates me too. I have a high degree of curiosity.