Discussions of survey research often assert that characteristics of the schedule affect the data obtained, particularly when the topic is “sensitive.” This research varied three aspects of an interview schedule designed to measure sexual behavior: (1) whether behavior was assessed by interviewer questions or a self-administered questionnaire; (2) the location of questions concerning sexual experience (at the middle or at the end of the interview); and (3) the order or sequence of questions concerning current behavior, partner's characteristics, and partner's ideology. Interviews were conducted with four subsamples of young adults: single male university undergraduates (n = 432), single female undergraduates (429), single male nonstudents (220), and single female nonstudents (293). The results indicate that none of the variations had any substantial effect on reported sexual behavior. These findings are consistent with other analyses in suggesting that such methodological variations are not a major source of differential responses in surveys.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science