Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.8, No.3, 1992. pp. 309–325
A Methodological Analysis of the Sexual Behavior Questions on the General Social Surveys
Tom W. Smith
Abstract:The accurate measurement of sexual behavior is an important but difficult task. This paper assesses the sexual behavior data collected on the 1988–1990 General Social Surveys of the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago. This assessment reveals both reasons for confidence and concern. For example, while there is little evidence of non-response bias, men and women report substantially different and unreconcilable numbers of sex partners. Much detailed, methodological work is needed to ascertain the error structure of sexual behavior data and to develop procedures to minimize error.
Keywords:Sexual behavior; non-response bias; response effects; sensitive questions.
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