This article examines whether academic representations of LGBTQ Iranians have increased over time and whether they have had harmful or beneficial ethical impacts. The article defines measures of “harm” and “benefit” by drawing on and adding to Canada’s Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. Such measures are then used to survey scholarship produced about LGBTQ Iranians. Results show that scholarly interest in “LGBTQ Iran” has increased from 2001 on. The article demonstrates the complexity of balancing ethical measures in research and argues that the benefits of representing marginalized groups may not always outweigh their related harms. Ultimately, a methodology of “productive disengagement” is advanced for researchers who seek to forego representation rather than pursue it.

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