What is the SMILE study?

The purpose of the SMILE study is to learn about the lives and experiences of sexual and gender minorities who are living in three countries: Brazil, Kenya, and Vietnam. The goal of the research study is to understand more about the lives and any challenges that sexual and gender minorities and peers in their communities may have encountered. 

The SMILE study is a research study to learn about the lives and experiences of people who identify as sexual and/or gender minorities (SGM) in three countries: Brazil, Kenya, and Vietnam.  By “sexual or gender minority”, we mean people whose attractions include people of the same gender/sex, or people who feel they are not the sex/gender they were determined to be at birth, or people who do not feel themselves to be male or female.  The goal of the research study is to understand more about the lives of people who identify as SGM and any challenges that they and other sexual and gender minorities in their communities may have encountered.

The study is centered around an online survey that asks participants questions about their health and emotional wellbeing, their romantic and sexual attractions, their gender identity, their employment and housing, their experiences with discrimination and trauma, and how national and local policies regarding sexual and gender minorities affect their lives. 

Study participation consists of responding to a 60 to 90 minute-long online survey.  Participants will not receive any direct benefit from participating in this research study; however, some participants will be selected for further participation and an opportunity to refer others to participate, and will receive small payments in return.

Protecting the confidentiality and privacy of study participants is very important to us.  To help protect their confidentiality, we will never ask for participants’ names; however, in order to contact them for follow-up surveys we will ask for a phone number and email address, which will be stored separately from their survey responses. The answers provided in the survey will only be used for research purposes, and in ways that will not reveal who the participant is. Contact information will be kept private and will not be shared with anyone outside of the project, and no individual’s contact information will be directly linked to any responses to the survey.