Men's Own survey

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is ARCSHS?

ARCSHS is the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society. It is one of a number of specialised centres and institutes within the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and was first established in October 1992. The aims of ARCSHS are:

  • To undertake multidisciplinary research into social and behavioural aspects of sexually transmissible diseases, their prevention and their consequences.
  • To focus resources and to provide leadership on both a state and national level in the study of sexually transmissible diseases.
  • To provide a firm foundation of knowledge, skills and resources upon which other organisations can draw to assist them in health promotion, STI prevention education and the formulation of public health policies.

ARCSHS is the sponsor and host of the Men’s Own survey, which is funded by the Department of Health and Ageing.

Why complete the survey?

The Men’s Own survey provides valuable, up-to-date information to assist a wide range of government and community organisations in providing services that improve the health and wellbeing of young Australian men.

How will my survey information be used?

Data from the Men’s Own survey will help guide the development of government and community services for various groups of young adult men, differing by age, race, sexual orientation, and so on. Your input therefore has the potential to influence how all kinds of service providers interact with men from various different communities and populations.

The information you provide will also help us understand the potentially different issues and challenges experienced by men of differing sexual orientations in Australia. For example, what are the challenges that gay and bisexual men face, and is this different from the experiences of heterosexual men? How is it different for HIV-positive men? Some of this research may be reported in journal articles or other publications or presentations, but only in aggregate form; your answers will never be singled out in any way.

All data from this survey will be kept by La Trobe University for a minimum of 7 years, after which it may be destroyed in a secure way.

What does the survey cover?

The Men’s Own survey first asks some general background questions about you, such as your age and education. It then follows with a number of sections that include such topics as health and wellbeing, sex and relationships, social support, identity, body image, and exercise.

Will my identity be known to anyone if I participate?

No. You will remain anonymous. No identifying information will be collected. The survey has been set up at a secure website address provided by our net space provider. No staff at either the provider site or at ARCSHS will have access to your IP address.

At the start of the survey, we ask for your month/year of birth and your initials. It will not be possible to identify you based on this information, and you do not have to provide this information. However, this survey may happen again in the future, so if you choose to complete the survey in future years, your month/year of birth and initials will help us to tell which surveys belong to the same person while at the same time ensuring you remain anonymous.

Confidentiality of the results will also be maintained at all times. Only staff working on the Men’s Own project at ARCSHS and Victoria University will have password access to the data.

How long will it take to complete the survey?

The survey will take around 25 minutes to complete and will involve several click-to-answer questions for you to answer. The exact number of questions varies according to what you have to tell us. Each question can be answered simply by clicking on the appropriate button with your computer mouse. You will need to set aside time to fill out the whole survey in one sitting. You will not be able to return to a partially completed survey at a later time, so we ask you to select a time of day where you can go through the survey without distraction. Your progress through the survey will be indicated via a visual indicator located at the bottom of every page.

How do I exit if I decide to end the session but haven’t got to the end of the survey?

Every page of the survey has an ‘exit the survey now’ button. Should you wish to end the survey at any time before completion, you simply click that button. The survey will take you to an exit page where you can be assured that your data will not be open to inspection by anyone. Partially completed surveys, however, cannot be used in the research.

Will I have access to the information I give about myself?

No. Because we do not have access to the identity of any of our participants, we will be unable to provide any individual with information. However, reports that describe the overall findings of the Men’s Own survey will be available for download once they have been completed.

How can I obtain information about the survey results once they are completed?

The availability of the reports will be advertised on the ARCSHS website in the future at So stay tuned.

Will there be a follow up survey?

We intend to conduct this survey again in future years. By participating in future surveys, you will help us keep track of the changing challenges and experiences of growing older as a man in Australia. Of course, you do not have to participate in follow up surveys, but if you would like to be notified about when next future surveys are available, you have the option of providing your email address at the end of this survey.

What can I do if the survey raises any concerns?

If you have any questions about this survey, you can contact Dr. Anthony Lyons at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University:

Phone: (03) 9479 8719

If you have any complaints or queries that the investigator has not been able to answer to your satisfaction, you may contact the Secretary, Human Ethics Committee, Research Services, La Trobe University, Victoria, 3086. Telephone: (03) 9479 1443, e-mail: Please quote UHEC application reference number 12-020.

If completing this survey brings up experiences that have been distressing or leads to further questions about the topics covered, you can also try discussing your concerns by contacting any of the following organisations:

  • Lifeline ( – 13 11 14
  • Gay & Lesbian Counselling & Community Services of Australia ( – 1800 18 4527
  • Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations – (02) 9557 9399
  • National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS – 1800 259 666


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