Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sure Mark . . . why not? (Survey on "Family Purity")

I received this email earlier today, which I am quoting in full:

"My name is Mark Guterman. I am a Clinical Psychology PhD student working with Orit Avishai of the University of California at Berkeley. We are doing an internet survey of Jews of all denominations. The survey is for both singles and married couples. The survey is online at:

"I was wondering if you could post a link on your site for our research? I ask you, because your blog draws readers of a type that we may not be able to reach through any other means. Please help us out. We are not making any money on this; we are simply trying to learn more about our community. Your cooperation in this would be greatly appreciated, and you would be doing a service to the Jewish community at large.

"More info on the survey: The study looks at issues regarding Negiah (premarital touching) and Niddah / Taharat HaMishpachah (family purity). Niddah and Negiah play an important role in the every day lives of Jewish men and women. The collection of handbooks on this topic grows from year to year, yet we know very little about how Jewish couples, men, and women experience and observe Niddah and Negiah. Anecdotal evidence and our previous research have led us to conclude that many couples and individuals are experiencing difficulties with this aspect of the Halachah.

"We are inviting the Jewish community at large to participate in this important survey to shed light on these difficulties and explore some ways to address them. Given the intimate nature of these matters, this brief, online survey is totally anonymous, and no identifiable information is collected."

Follow this link to take the survey. You must be 18 years or older to participate, and all information is provided anonymously. I took the survey (it takes about 10 minutes): You may find that your responses do not easily correspond to the choices provided in the drop-down menus. However, I was amused to see that kashrut and shabbat observance is rated on a scale from "flexible" to "strict."

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