Sex surveys and their methodological problems

Interviewers can explain the rationale and format of a survey directly, and they may have a motivating effect on the respondent, by providing full, clear definitions, probing ambiguous responses, or querying inconsistent answers. Des Jarlais et al 90 assessed audio-CASI as a method of reducing underreporting of HIV risk behaviour among injecting drug users and noted significantly increased reporting of HIV risk and sensitive behaviours, such as borrowing or renting used injecting equipment, in audio-CASI than in face to face interviews. This may be particularly useful given that recall of sexual partners is more likely to be cited as a difficulty by the most sexually active respondents, and that infrequent practices are easier to remember than frequent ones. This is especially likely for questions about finances or behavior that is stigmatized, illegal, or potentially embarrassing. Hepatitis-B surface antigen and antibody in black and white patients with venereal diseases. Conclusion The worth of data from a survey study hinges on whether or not people give true and accurate answers. Validity and reliability in reporting sexual partners and condom use in a Swiss population survey.

Sex surveys and their methodological problems


This is especially likely for questions about finances or behavior that is stigmatized, illegal, or potentially embarrassing. Interviewer characteristics and training, and the perceived public health importance of the survey topic may also influence response rates. Suppose that someone purposely gave untrue responses with the mischievous intention of portraying himself as an individual who routinely engages in what might be considered outrageous sexual behavior. Journal of Sex Research ; While colloquial or street language has been found suitable for specific populations, such as bar attending homosexual men, drug users, and prostitutes, general population surveys have tended towards the formal. They often become careless in their responses or skip questions entirely in their hurry to finish. Whether such problems led to underreporting or overreporting of various experiences cannot be known from the Cameron group's data. Self-report measures are necessarily based on the assumption that respondents do their best to provide truthful answers. These methods are well suited to complex questionnaires since skips and routing can be automatically programmed without respondents having to follow complex instructions on paper. In Britain, although two successive national surveys of sexual attitudes and lifestyles NATSAL 3 , 10 have been carried out a decade apart, there are few robust data for the interim period. Seroprevalence of hepatitis C in a sample of middle class substance abusers. Such samples tend to exclude respondents who provide dispassionate, honest answers that would offset the influence of individuals who purposely provide false data. The Cameron group did not report any systematic checks for the internal consistency of questionnaire responses, although in one paper they noted discrepancies between responses to some of the survey items about early sexual experiences. The interviewers may have been biased and may not have followed uniform procedures. In many countries, no sampling frames of households, addresses, or individuals exist. External validation of reports may be achieved by using independent data sources as external references. Blackwell Scientific Press, Commun Dis Public Health. It then focuses on potential sources of measurement error in survey research and strategies for assessing and limiting them. Such surveillance programmes would not obviate the need for targeted or in-depth studies of sexual behaviours but would, in concert, continue to increase our understanding of disease epidemiology and strategies to promote sexual health. In common with other surveys, response rates were lower among men than women, and those least likely to respond were in the oldest age group. The reliability of self-reported sexual behaviour. Probability samples from the general population can also be followed up to provide repeated behavioural measurements over time. A comparison between two modes of investigation: Another item asked respondents why they thought they had developed their sexual orientation, and gave a checklist of 44 reasons, including I was seduced by a homosexual adult, I had childhood homosexual experiences with an adult, and I failed at heterosexuality. A key challenge for all sex survey research is to generate unbiased and precise measures of individual and population behaviour patterns.

Sex surveys and their methodological problems


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