Methods and Measurement in Sexual & Gender Minority Health Research

Examples of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Questions

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This page contains questions that can be used for creating surveys to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) information. The survey questions highlighted below are from work done by the Federal Interagency Working Group on Improving Measurement of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Federal Surveys. The Working Group publication, Evaluations of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Survey Measures: What Have We Learned? was published in 2016 and highlights items used in published work. The table below is adapted from work compiled by NORC@University of Chicago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.

 

Surveys Measuring Sexual Identity, Sexual Attraction, Sexual Behavior, and Gender Identity

Citations

Author(s)

Survey/method

Austin, Conron, et al., 2007

30 cognitive interviews of adolescents

Cahill et al., 2014

Survey of 301 English-speaking patients randomly selected from 4
CHARN-affiliated Community Health Centers (CHCs)

Case et al., 2006

Pilot study using Nurses’ Health Study II

Clark et al., 2005

Cancer Screening Project for Women – Cognitive Test

Coffman et al., 2013

Experiment via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

Dahlhamer et al., 2014

National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2013

Fisher et al., 2001

Needs assessment with LBT women in Washington, DC, metro area

Grant and Jans, n.d.

California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

Gruskin et al., 2001

Health survey of Kaiser Permanente Mental Care program members in
Northern California

Ingraham et al., 2015

Community Health Center Case Study

Jans et al., 2015

CHIS, 2003-2011

Joloza et al., 2010

UK Integrated Household Survey (IHS)

Kim and Fredriksen-Goldsen, 2013

Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Martinez, Henderson, and Luck, 2016

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) – cognitive interviews

McCabe, Hughes, Bostwick, Morales,
and Boyd, 2012

Simple random sample of 19,370 undergraduates at large, Midwestern
university

Miller, 2001

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) cognitive testing/evaluation
study

Miller and Ryan, 2011

NCHS cognitive testing/evaluation study

Mohr and Kendra, 2011

Sample of university students in which the majority identified as
lesbian/gay

National Center for Education
Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, forthcoming

High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09)

Poston and Chang, 2015

NSFG, 2006-2008

Ridolfo and Schoua-Glusberg, 2009

NCHS cognitive testing/evaluation study

Ridolfo et al., 2010

NCHS cognitive testing/evaluation study

NCHS cognitive testing/evaluation study

National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), 2002

NSFG, 2006-2008

2001-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

Saewyc et al., 2004

Eight student surveys, 7th-12th grades, ages 12 to 20

Stern et al., 2016

Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) – cognitive interviews

VanKim et al., 2010

2007-2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

VanKim et al., 2010

2003 New Mexico Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS)

Vrangalova and Savin-Williams, 2012

Online survey via Facebook focused on sexual morality

View full citation list

Measuring Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity by Domain, Research Study, and Question Text

Measuring Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity by Domain, Research Study, and Question Text
Domain Study Question Verbatim
Sexual Behavior

Add Health

Wave IV/ Section 15/ Suicide, Sexual Experiences, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases/ H4SE. Considering all types of sexual activity, with how many male/female partners have you ever had sex?

BRFSS

(Varies): The last time you had sex, was your partner male or female?

BRFSS

(Varies): During the past 12 months, have you had sex with only males, only females, or with both males and females?

GSS

SEXSEX/SEXSEX5/SEXSEX18. Have your sex partners in the last 12 months/last 5 years/since the age of 18 been...
(Varies): [Exclusively male, Both male and female, Exclusively female, Don’t know, Refused]

GSS

NUMMEN/NUMWOMEN. Now thinking about the time since your 18th birthday (including the past 12 months) how many male/female partners have you had sex

NESARC

Section 14/ Medical conditions and practices. In your entire life, have you had sex with only males, only females, both males and females, or have you never had sex? 1) Only males, 2) Only females, 3) Both males and females, 4) Never had sex.

NHANES

Sexual Behavior/SXQ: In the past 12 months, with how many women/men have you had any kind of sex?

NHANES

Sexual Behavior/SXQ: In your lifetime, with how many women/men have you had any kind of sex?

NSDUH

XYRWTHMF. Had sex with males, females, or both in PST 12 MOS

NSFG

Section J-JG/ Section K-KJ. Thinking about the last 12 months, how many female/male sex partners have you had in the 12 months since (CMLSTYR_FILL: MO/YR fill for 12 MOS before interview)? Please
count every partner, even those you had sex with only once in those 12 months.

NSFG

Section J-JG/ K-KJ. Thinking about your entire life, how many female/male sex partners have you had?

NSFG

Section J-JG. The next question asks about sexual experience you may have had with another female. Have you ever had any sexual experience of any kind with another female? (Yes, No) / Section K-KH. The next questions ask about sexual experiences you may have had with another male. Have you ever done any of the following with another male? (Receptive/ Insertive Oral & Anal Sex)

NSHAP

SAQ. In your entire life so far, about how many men/women have you had sex with, even if only one time?

YRBSS

(Varies): During your life, with whom have you had sexual contact?: I have never had sexual contact; females; males; females & males

Sexual Identity

Add Health

Wave IV/Section 15/ Suicide, Sexual Experiences, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases/ H4SE. Please choose the description that best fits how you think about yourself

BRFSS

Module 16/ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. (Varies): Do you consider yourself to be: heterosexual or straight, homosexual or (if respondent is male read “gay”; else if female, read “lesbian”), bisexual or other?

GSS

SEXORNT. Which of the following best describes you?

NESARC

Section 14/ Medical conditions and practices. Which of the categories on the card best describes you?
1) Heterosexual (straight), 2) Gay or lesbian, 3) Bisexual, 4) Not sure.

NHANES

Sexual Behavior/SXQ: Do you think of yourself as… [Verbal Instructions to Respondent: Heterosexual or straight (that is, sexually attracted only to men); homosexual or gay (that is, sexually attracted only to women); bisexual (that is, sexually attracted to men and women); something else; or you’re not sure?] Heterosexual or straight (attracted to men), homosexual or lesbian (attracted to women), bisexual (attracted to men and women), something else, or not sure?

NHIS

ASI/Sample Adult: Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?
(Gay; Straight, that is, not gay; Bisexual; Something else; I don’t know the answer; Refused)

NSFG

Section J-JH/ K-KK. Do you think of yourself as: (Heterosexual or straight, Homosexual or gay, Bisexual?)

YRBSS

(Varies): Which of the following best describes you?: heterosexual (straight); gay or lesbian; bisexual; not sure

Gender Identity

BRFSS

Module 16/ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. (Varies): Do you consider yourself to be transgender?

Sexual Attraction

Add Health

Wave IV/ Section 15/ Suicide, Sexual Experiences, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases/ H4SE. Are you romantically attracted to females/males?

GSS

ATTRACTD. At about what age were you first sexually attracted to someone of the same sex?

NESARC

Section 14/ Medical conditions and practices. People are different in their sexual attraction to other people. Which category on the card best describes your feelings? 1) only attracted to females, 2) mostly attracted to females, 3) equally attracted to females and males, 4) mostly attracted to males, 5) only attracted to males

NSFG

Section J-JH/ K-KK. People are different in their sexual attraction to other people. Which best describes your feelings? Are you...(Only attracted to males, Mostly attracted to males, Equally attracted to males and females, Mostly attracted to females, Only attracted to females, Not sure)

Same-Sex Partner Household

Add Health

Wave IV/ Section 8/ Household Roster and Residence History/H4HR. Is {INITIALS} male or female?
Follow-Up Question(s): H4HR. What is {INITIAL’S} relationship to you?

ACS

ACS Form: What is Person 1’s sex? Mark (X) ONE box.
Follow-Up Question(s): How is this person related to Person 1? Mark (X) ONE box; What is Person 2’s sex? Mark (X) ONE box

CPS

Demographic Items/ S_RRP. How (are / is) (name/you) related to (reference person’s name/you)?
Follow-Up Question(s): SEX. What is (name of person talking about)’s sex? Male/ Female

GSS

SEXUNION. What is the sex of your (spouse/civil union partner/domestic partner)?

NHIS

AIDSEX/ADULT. [Are/Is] [you person] male or female?
Follow-Up Question(s): PROX2. What is [person’s/your] relationship to [person/you}?

NSHAP

Wave 2/ Social Context/ Roster. Do you currently have a romantic, intimate, or sexual partner?
Follow-Up Question(s): Is (NAME) male or female?

US CENSUS

Form: How is this person related to Person 1?
Follow-Up Question(s): What is this person’s sex?

Source: NORC@University of Chicago, CMS Office of Minority Health, SAMHSA Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality

This page last reviewed on December 7, 2018