Category 2 Exemptions

Sensitive survey research is not exempt.  A sensitive survey is one that deals with sensitive or highly personal aspects of the subject's behavior, life experiences or attitudes.  Examples include chemical substance abuse, sexual activity or attitudes, sexual abuse, criminal behavior, sensitive demographic data, detailed health history, etc.  The principal determination of sensitivity is whether or not the survey research presents a potential risk to the subject in terms of possible precipitation of a negative emotional reaction. An additional risk consideration is, of course, whether or not there is risk associated with a breach of confidentiality should one occur. With respect to potential psychological risk associated with a survey, the presence or absence of subject identifiers is not necessarily a consideration since the risk may be primarily associated with the sensitive nature of the survey as opposed to being dependent upon confidentiality.  Subject identifiers do, however, become a factor when confidentiality is an issue.

NOTE: This exemption applies to research with children or individuals with mental handicaps as follows:

a. research involving the use of educational tests is exempt;
b. research involving survey or interview procedures is not exempt;
c. research involving observations of public behavior is exempt only when the investigator does not participate in the observed activities.