Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Questions about Sexual Orientation

It's not easy to ask people about their sexual orientation. In fact, the federal government spent 11 years studying the best way to phrase the question for the 2013 National Health Interview Survey, using in-depth interviews to determine the right words. One finding from this research was that the terms "gay," "lesbian," and "straight" are less confusing to the public than the terms "homosexual" and "heterosexual."

Overall, 97 percent of men and women aged 18 or older identified themselves as "straight" in the 2013 survey, and 2 percent said they were gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Some (0.6 percent) refused to answer the question and the same small percentage said they were "something else" or "don't know."

When the few who said they were "something else" were further questioned by interviewers, the 39 percent plurality said they didn't use labels to identify themselves. When the few who answered "don't know" were questioned further, the 30 percent plurality said they were in the process of figuring out their sexuality.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Sexual Orientation in the 2013 National Health Interview Survey: A Quality Assessment (PDF)

No comments: