Are Sexual Minorities Hard-to-Survey? Insights from the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study (CBAMS) Survey

Open access

Abstract

As a stigmatized and vulnerable population, sexual minorities are often assumed to also be a hard-to-survey population. Despite this implicit assumption, there is little empirical evidence on the topic. Using a nationally representative survey that included sexual orientation (the Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Survey), we examine level of effort, the Census Bureau’s Low Response Score (LRS), and stated intent to respond to the 2020 Census as proxy measures to explore this assumption. We found no evidence that sexual minorities required higher levels of effort to secure participation in the survey. Additionally, we found that compared to straight respondents, lesbians, gays, and bisexuals had a higher intent to respond to the 2020 Census. We surmise the current social climate in the United States may be a contributing factor to these findings.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • AAPOR. 2016. Standard Definitions Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys. 9th edition. Available at: https://www.aapor.org/AAPOR_Main/media/publications/Standard-Definitions20169theditionfinal.pdf (accessed October 2019).

  • Ajzen I. 1991. “The Theory of Planned Behavior.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50(2): 179–211. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T.

  • Allen S. 2018. “These Five Court Cases Could Change the Future of LGBT Rights.” The Daily Beast July 7 2018. Available at: https://www.thedailybeast.com/these-five-court-cases-could-change-the-future-of-lgbt-rights (accessed September 2019).

  • Atrostic B.K. N. Bates G. Burt and A. Silberstein. 2001. “Nonresponse in US Government Household Surveys: Consistent Measures Recent Trends and New Insights.” Journal of Official Statistics 17(2): 209–226.

  • Bates N. and T.J. DeMaio. 2013. “Measuring Same-Sex Relationship.” Contexts 12(1): 66–69. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1536504213476251.

  • Bates N. and M. Mulry. 2012. “Did the 2010 Census Social Marketing Campaign Shift Public Mindsets?” In proceedings of the annual conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research May 17 2012. Orlando FL: American Association for Public Opinion Research. Available at: http://www.aapor.org/AAPOR_Main/media/AnnualMeetingProceedings/2012/02_Bates-and-Mulry_A6-presentation.pdf (accessed September 2019).

  • Berg N. and D. Lien. 2006. “Same-Sex Sexual Behaviour: US Frequency Estimates from Survey Data with Simultaneous Misreporting and Non-Response.” Applied Economics 38(7): 757–769. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840500427114.

  • Berg N. and D. Lien. 2008. “Sexual Orientation and Self-Reported Lying.” Review of Economics of the Household 7(1): 83–104. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11150-008-9038-1.

  • Berry S.H. and P.P. Gunn. 2014. “Conducting research on vulnerable and stigmatized populations.” In Hard-to-Survey Populations edited by R. Tourangeau B. Edwards T.P. Johnson K.M. Wolter and N. Bates. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Beullens K. G. Loosveldt C. Vandenplas and I. Stoop. 2018. “Response rates in The European Social Survey: Increasing decreasing or a matter of fieldwork efforts?” Survey Methods: Insights from the Field. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13094/SMIF-2018-00003.

  • Conron K.J. S.K. Goldberg and C.T. Halpern. 2018. “Socioeconomic Status of Sexual Minorities.” Los Angeles: The Williams Institute. UCLA School of Law. Available at: https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/ses-sexual-minorities/ (accessed September 2018).

  • Dajani A.N. A.D. Lauger P.E. Singer D. Kifer J.P. Reiter A.M. S L. Garfinkel S.A. Dahl M. Graham V. Karwas H. Kim P. Leclerc I.M. Schmutte W.N. Sexton L. Vilhuber and J.M. Abowd. 2017. “The modernization of statistical disclosure limitation at the U.S. Census Bureau.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau. Available at: https://www2.census.gov/cac/sac/meetings/2017-09/statistical-disclosure-limitation.pdf?# (accessed September 2019).

  • Datta A.R. T. Yan D. Evans S. Pedlow B. Spencer and R. Bautista. 2012. “2010 Census Integrated Communications Program Evaluation (CICPE).” 2010 Census Planning Memoranda Series. Suitland MD: U.S. Census Bureau and NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: https://census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2012/dec/2010_cpex_167.pdf (accessed September 2019).

  • De Leeuw E. J. Hox and A. Luiten. 2018. “International Nonresponse Trends across Countries and Years: An analysis of 36 years of Labour Force Survey data.” Survey Insights: Methods from the Field. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13094/SMIF-2018-00008.

  • DeMaio T.J. N. Bates and M. O’Connell. 2013. “Exploring Measurement Error Issues in Reporting Same-Sex Couples.” Public Opinion Quarterly 77(S1): 145–158. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfs066.

  • Dewaele A. M. Caen and A. Buysse. 2014. “Comparing Survey and Sampling Methods for Reaching Sexual Minority Individuals in Flanders.” Journal of Official Statistics 30(2): 251–275. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0016.

  • Durkin E. 2018. “US Begins Denying Visas for Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Diplomats.” The Guardian October 2 2018. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/02/us-visas-same-sex-domestic-partners-diplomats-un-staff-denied (accessed September 2019).

  • Dwork C. F. McSherry K. Nissim and A. Smith. 2006. “Calibrating noise to sensitivity in private data analysis.” In Theory of Cryptography. TCC 2006. Lecture Notes in Computer Science edited by S. Halevi and T. Rabin 265–284. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/11681878_14.

  • Ellis R. M. Virgile J. Holzberg D.V. Nelson J. Edgar P. Phipps and R. Kaplan. 2017. “Assessing the Feasibility of Asking about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Current Population Survary: Results from Cognitive Interviews.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/osmr/research-papers/2017/html/st170210.htm (accessed September 2019).

  • Erdman C. and N. Bates. 2017. “The Low Response Score (LRS) A Metric to Locate Predict and Manage Hard-to-Survey Populations.” Public Opinion Quarterly 81(1): 144–156. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfw040.

  • FBI. 2017. “2017 Hate Crime Statistics Released. Report Shows More Departments Reporting Hate Crime Statistics.” News November 13 2018. Available at: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2017-hate-crime-statistics-released-111318 (accessed September 2019).

  • Fredriksen-Goldsen K.I. and H. Kim. 2014. “Count Me in: Response to Sexual Orientation Measures among Older Adults.” Research on Aging 37(5): 464–480. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0164027514542109.

  • Fredriksen-Goldsen K.I. H. Kim C. Shiu J. Goldsen and C.A. Emlet. 2015. “Successful Aging among LGBT Older Adults: Physical and Mental Health-Related Quality of Life by Age Group.” The Gerontologist 55(1): 154–168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnu081.

  • Glasser I. E. Hirsch and A. Chan. 2014. “Reaching and enumerating homeless populations.” In Hard-to-Survey Populations edited by R. Tourangeau B. Edwards T.P. Johnson K.M. Wolter and N. Bates 180–200. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Groves R.M. and M.P. Couper. 1998. Nonresponse in Household Surveys. New York: Wiley.

  • Harkness J. M. Stange K.L. Cibelli P. Mohler and B. Pennell. 2014. “Surveying cultural and linguistic minorities.” In Hard-to-Survey Populations edited by R. Tourangeau B. Edwards T.P. Johnson K.M. Wolter and N. Bates 245–269. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Hatzenbuehler M.L. A.R. Flores and G.J. Gates. 2017. “Social Attitudes Regarding Same-sex Marriage and LGBT Health Disparities: Results from a National Probability Sample.” Journal of Social Issues 73(3): 508–528. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12229.

  • Holzberg J. R. Ellis M. Virgile D. Nelson J. Edgar P. Phipps and R. Kaplan. 2017. “Assessing the Feasibility of Asking about Gender Identity in the Current Population Survey. Results from Focus Groups with members of the Transgender Population.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/osmr/research-papers/2017/pdf/st170200.pdf (accessed September 2019).

  • Human Rights Campaign. 2018. “Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2018.” Human Rights Campaign. Available at: http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2018/ (accessed May 2019).

  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities. 2011. The Health of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/13128.

  • Kreuter F. and K. Olson. 2013. “Paradata for Nonresponse Error Investigation.” In Improving Surveys with Paradata: Analytic Uses of Process Information edited by F. Kreuter 11–42. New York: Wiley and Sons.

  • Law T. 2019. “Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Permit Employment Discrimination Against Transgender Workers.” Time Magazine August 17 2019. Available at: https://time.com/5654844/title-vii-trump-transgender-department-of-justice-supreme-court/ (accessed September 2019).

  • Lee S. K.I. Fredriksen-Golden and C. McClain. 2018. “Are Sexual Minorities Less Likely to Participate in Surveys? An Examination of Proxy Nonresponse Measures and Associated Biases with Sexual Orientation in the Population-based Health Survey.” Field Methods 30(3): 208–224. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1525822X18777736.

  • Lin I. and N.C. Schaeffer. 1995. “Using Survey Participants to Estimate the Impact of Nonparticipation.” The Public Opinion Quarterly 59(2): 236–258. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/269471.

  • Masci D. A. Brown and J. Kiley. 2017. “5 Facts about Same-Sex Marriage.” Pew Research Center. Available at: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/26/same-sex-marriage/ (accessed September 2019).

  • Massey D.S. 2014. “Challenges to surveying immigrants.” In Hard-to-Survey Populations edited by R. Tourangeau B. Edwards T.P. Johnson K.M. Wolter and N. Bates 270–292. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. versus Colorado Civil Rights Commission. 2018. 584 U.S. Available at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-111_j4el.pdf (accessed September 2019).

  • McGeeney K. B. Kriz S. Mullenax L. Kail G. Walejko M. Vines N. Bates and Y. García. 2019. “2020 Census Barriers Attitudes and Motivators Study Survey Report.” Suitland MD: U.S. Census Bureau. Available at: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/planning-management/final-analysis/2020-report-cbams-study-survey.html (accessed May 2019).

  • Meiklejohn J. J. Connor and K. Kypri. 2012. “The Effect of Low Survey Response Rates on Estimates of Alcohol Consumption in a General Population Survey.” PloS One 7(4): e35527. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035527.

  • Moohn B. 2012. “2010 Census Integrated Communications Program Regional Partnership Assessment Report. 2010 Census Planning Memorandum Series No. 217.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau. Available at: https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial/2010/program-management/5-review/cpex/2010-memo-217.pdf?# (accessed September 2019).

  • NHIS (National Health Interview Survey). 2015. “Sexual Orientation and Health among U.S. Adults: National Health Intervuew Survey.” Hyatsville MD: CDC/National Center for Health Statistics. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/sexual_orientation/statistics.htm (accessed September 2019).

  • NORC. 2014. “Same-Sex Marriage and Gay Rights: A Shift in Americans’ Attitudes.” The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Available at: http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/same-sex-marriage-and-gay-rights-a-shift-in-americans-attitudes0305-8272.aspx (accessed May 2019).

  • OECD. 2019. “Society at a Glance 2019: OECD Social Indicators”. Paris France: OECD Publishing. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1787/soc_glance-2019-en.

  • Rossi P.H. J.D. Wright G.A. Fisher and G. Willis. 1987. “The urban homeless: estimating composition and size.” Science 235(4794): 1336–1341. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.2950592.

  • Saewyc E.M. 2011. “Research on Adolescent Sexual Orientation: Development Health Disparities Stigma and Resilience.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 21(1): 256–272. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00727.x.

  • Schwede L. R. Terry and J.H. Childs. 2014. “Ethnographic evaluations on coverage of hard-to-count minorities in the US decennial census.” In Hard-to-Survey Populations edited by R. Tourangeau B. Edwards T.P. Johnson K.M. Wolter and N. Bates 293–315. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Stoop I.A.L. 2005. The Hunt for the Last Respondent. The Hague the Netherlands: Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP).

  • U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. “U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Quality Standards.” Suitland MD.: U.S. Census Bureau. Available at: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/about/about-the-bureau/policies_and_notices/quality/statistical-quality-standards/Quality_Standards.pdf (accessed September 2019).

  • U.S. Census Bureau. 2016. National Advisory Committee on Race Ethnic and Other Populations. “Administrative Records Internet and Hard to Count Population Working Group: Final Report.” Suitland MD.: U.S. Census Bureau. Available at: https://www2.census.gov/cac/nac/reports/2016-07-admin_internet-wg-report.pdf (accessed September 2019).

  • Williams D. and M. Brick. 2018. “Trends in US Face-to-Face Household Survey Nonresponse and Level of Effort.” Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology 6(2): 186–211. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jssam/smx019.

  • Zauzmer J. and T. McCoy. 2019. “D.C. Hate Crimes Nearly Double since 2016 with LGBTQ Community the Biggest Target.” Washington Post February 2 2019. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/hate-crimes-in-dc-have-nearly-doubled-since-2016-according-to-city-data-and-incidents-based-on-sexual-orientation-top-the-list/2019/02/02/967aa46a-2651-11e9-90cd-dedb0c92dc17_story.html (accessed September 2019).

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.837
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.934

CiteScore 2018: 1.04

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.963
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.020

Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 547 547 113
PDF Downloads 606 606 119