The vast majority of research on MAPs has
relied on forensic and clinical populations. These
are not representative of MAPs more generally, and people
in forensic populations are often not in a position to be
honest, leading to inaccurate and unreliable
information. In contrast to this, B4U-ACT is
committed to promoting the collection and dissemination of
accurate information about MAPs.
Because of the inaccurate information and harmful
stereotypes that are widely circulated, many researchers
believe these stereotypes and are distrustful of MAP
communities. Because of negative ways that academics
have sometimes portrayed MAPs and because of experiences
with researchers misrepresenting themselves to MAPs in the
past, many MAPs are distrustful of researchers. This
mutual fear and distrust is counterproductive to
collecting and disseminating accurate information. To help
overcome this mutual distrust, B4U-ACT is committed to
working together with researchers and with MAP communities
to promote the collection of data from community samples
of MAPs. Our work with researchers can take a number
of forms including inviting them to our workshops, giving
feedback on surveys, contributing research ideas, and
helping them to recruit research participants.
Researchers for whom B4U-ACT helps recruit participants
shall treat MAPs with the same respect and dignity they
would ascribe to any other group of people, and they must
act in accordance with the same ethical principles
researchers are expected to follow when studying any other
group of people. The following principles are
required of all researchers for whom B4U-ACT helps recruit
participants. Therefore, when people see B4U-ACT
posting calls for participants, they can be assured that,
to the best of our knowledge, the following are true:
1) The researchers are committed to promoting the
well-being of MAPs.
2) The researchers treat MAPs with respect.
3) The researchers are committed to understanding MAPs and
have demonstrated a willingness to talk with and develop
collaborative relationships with MAPs by working together
with B4U-ACT throughout their research process and often
by attending our workshops.
4) The researchers will not ask participants about
unadjudicated illegal activities.
By helping a researcher to recruit participants, we are
not endorsing all assumptions involved in their
research. There are a number of controversial issues
in this area on which researchers and MAPs alike disagree
amongst themselves and on which B4U-ACT takes no position.
(For more information, see B4U-ACT’s position piece on issues of
agreement.) By helping to recruit participants
on a researcher’s behalf, B4U-ACT is communicating that,
to the best of our knowledge, researchers are following
the four guidelines above.