How to participate

Are you interested in joining this study and contributing to groundbreaking research? Participants will be paid $50 per couple. We are currently seeking gay male (cisgender) couples between the ages of 21 and 60 and who:

  • Do not have children
  • Have biological children
  • Have adopted children
  • Have foster children
  • Have stepchildren

The following circumstances will preclude you from participating:

  • If you are taking any testosterone, DHEAS/DHEA, or “andro” supplements or products. This includes gels, patches, injections, or oral supplements.
  • If you are currently on any other hormonal therapy
  • If you are currently taking any medication that may alter hormone levels (eg., Propecia)
  • If you have any metabolic disorders (eg., diabetes, thyroid deficiency, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, etc.)
  • If you have a bloodborne infection (HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis)
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen

If you fit these criteria and are interested in participating, please contact primary investigator Erin Burke at You do not have to be in New Haven to participate. We are happy to discuss traveling to you to collect samples!


Participation in this study will involve providing us with a small blood sample so that we can measure your peptide hormones. Blood sample collection requires the pricking your finger with a sterile lancet that is the same as that used by diabetics when monitoring blood glucose. This will be done by the principal investigator (Burke) and only a few drops will be collected. Participation also involves providing us with six samples of saliva over three consecutive days (enough to fill about nine spoons) so that we can measure your steroid hormone levels. Collection of these samples can be done in the privacy of your home with collection supplies that will be provided by the researcher.

We also will ask you basic questions about your household (such as occupation, income and partner status), your children and their ages (if you have any), your participation in childcare activities (if applicable) and ask you to assign yourself a Kinsey Homosexual-Heterosexual Rating Scale score. We will also need to record your height, weight, and how much fat is on your body (body fat percentage and body mass index). Weight and body fat percentage will be measured using a portable Tanita scale and bioelectric impedance device similar to what is found in home appliance stores (e.g., Bed, Bath, & Beyond). We anticipate that your involvement will require no more than one hour to collect blood spots, height, weight and fat data and no more than one hour for in-home sample collection over the three days. You will receive $50 per couple for participation in the study.

Risks and Benefits:

On rare occasions, subjects have reported mild dry mouth when providing saliva samples. Dry mouth is easily remedied by sips of water. Blood spot collection is minimally painless and noninvasive; as such, is used when collecting samples from newborns and the elderly. The risks of taking blood spots include minimal pain, potentially bruising at the point where the blood is taken, redness and possible infection. Although this study will not benefit you personally, we hope that our results will increase the public awareness of parenting in the homosexual/gay community and create a more inclusive approach to biological studies of the effects of childcare in humans.


All of your responses will be held in confidence. Only the researcher involved in this study and those responsible for research oversight will have access to the information you provide. Your responses to the questionnaire and the results of the hormone measurements will be numbered and the code linking your number with your name will be stored in a locked computer file.

Voluntary Participation:

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You are free to decline to participate, to end participation at any time for any reason, or to refuse to answer any individual question without penalty or loss of compensation.