Robert Allen "Laud" Humphreys, (October 16, 1930–August 23, 1988) was an American sociologist and author. Humphreys is best known for his published Ph.D. dissertation, Tearoom Trade (1970), an ethnographic study of anonymous male-male sexual encounters in public toilets (a practice known as "tea-rooming" in U.S. gay slang). Because Humphreys was able to confirm that over 50% of his subjects were outwardly heterosexual men with unsuspecting wives at home, a primary thesis of Tearoom Trade is the incongruence between the private self and the social self for many of the men engaging in this form of homosexual activity. Because the researcher misrepresented his identity and intent and because the privacy of the subjects was infringed during the study, "Tearoom Trade" has caused a major debate on privacy for research participants and is now often used as an example of highly controversial social research. He earned his Ph.D from Washington University in St. Louis in 1968. Due to the perceived dishonesty of his research methods, there was a failed attempt by some faculty members at Washington University to rescind his PhD.