Researchers often shy away from asking sexuality and gender survey questions during their research.
You don’t want to sound insensitive or offend anyone by using the wrong term. Gender and sexuality are intimate matters, and you don’t want to overstep your boundaries.
These are reasonable concerns. However, this does not mean that you entirely omit such questions from your survey.
Now, that would be offending!
Surveying people about their gender and sexuality is strongly encouraged, given that you do it optimally.
So, what’s the optimal way to get people to share their sexual orientation and gender identity?
This blog will explore just that!
Here, we’ll be sharing some tips regarding gender survey questions. So, put your thinking hats on, and let’s get started!
What are Gender Survey Questions?
Gender survey questions are asked of survey respondents to determine their gender or sexual identity.
Such questions are used in various types of surveys such as research, business, social sciences, etc. Understanding the gender of the respondents serves as a parameter. This, in turn, allows researchers to evaluate how gender influences decision-making and allows them to deduce patterns.
When asking gender-related questions, you shouldn’t come off as offensive. You should appropriately frame the questions and create a sense of kinship with people of all genders.
In the past, surveys only provided binary gender options of male and female. However, as society becomes more inclusive and accepting of diverse gender and sexual identities, surveys now offer a broader range of options.
You should understand the context of such questions as they will help you create precise and thoughtful surveys.
Let’s take a look at some terms you should consider before assigning gender choices on your forms:
The biological makeup consists of hormones, chromosomes, and primary and secondary sex characteristics. This identity is decided at the time of birth.
When asking sex-related questions, make sure you use options like male, female, and intersex.
This refers to an individual’s internal perception of themselves. This can differ from the sex that the individual was assigned at birth.
When asking gender-related questions, make sure you include options like man, woman, transgender, non-binary, etc.
This refers to an individual’s emotional, physical, and sexual attraction toward other people. This term is affiliated with gender but does not fall under it.
When asking about sexual orientation, use options like gay/lesbian, bisexual/pansexual, heterosexual, etc.
Note: Avoid using the term ‘homosexual’ as it is often considered derogatory.
ALSO Read: The Right Gender Options For Surveys To Include In 2023
Importance of Gender Survey Questions
A good survey will achieve two things: accuracy and inclusiveness.
The results of a good survey will also let people know that their opinions matter and they are heard. This is why the age-old method of providing binary gender survey options isn’t going to cut.
This method assumes that everyone falls into the category of either male or female. Thus, discriminating against transgender and other non-conforming respondents.
Any results achieved via this method will be inaccurate and biased.
However, you can improve upon this method by providing respondents with multiple answer categories or with the option to write open-ended responses. This method can also provide you with much more accurate data whilst making the respondents feel appreciated.
Furthermore, it will also drive up your survey’s response rate because the respondents are not forced to limit themselves to certain options.
Asking such questions will provide you with insights into the lives of different genders. This is how you’ll also be able to determine how gender impacts individual choices and how these choices impact your survey.
By conducting appropriate gender surveys, you can tailor your services to provide a sense of inclusivity to all genders. You can also gain an edge over your competitors by creating an environment that encourages diversity.
When done right, gender surveys can do wonders for your business or organization.
ALSO READ: A Complete Guide on Types of Survey Questions
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages Of Gender-Specific Survey Questions?
There are a lot of challenges associated with capturing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) information. However, just because it is risky and requires lots of effort does not mean it isn’t beneficial.
Pros of Asking Gender Survey Questions
- Targeting The Appropriate Audience
Based on your survey and its topic, knowing the gender identity of your target audience can be immensely beneficial.
For example: If you’re a manufacturer of beard care products, you can use gender-based demographic questions at the start of your survey. This way, you can screen out the female respondents and ensure only the male respondents can complete your survey.
- Improving Your Targeting And Marketing Efforts
Continuing with the scenario above. With no more irrelevant respondents, you can increase your targeting and marketing efforts knowing that the remaining audience is most likely interested in your brand or the survey and will help you answer your questions.
- Improving Your Surveys
Once you’re conscious and careful of your respondents’ private issues, you’ll gain their trust and approval. Which in turn will lead to them being more receptive and honest to your questions.
This will massively impact your survey as you’ll receive accurate and valuable data right from the source.
- Makes Your Business Authentic
If your business promotes diversity, equality, and fair treatment, it means that you’re aware of the social issues.
This can attract and impress potential customers, employees, or investors and will thus immensely benefit your business.
ALSO READ: 35+ Diversity Equality and Inclusion Survey Question
Cons of Asking Gender Survey Questions
And as there is light, so is darkness. Here are the drawbacks you can experience if you fail to properly frame your questions:
- You risk offending someone
It’s inevitable that some people will find your questions impolite, unnecessary, or insulting no matter how hard you try.
- You might miss out on valuable insights
If your questionnaire is poorly designed, it will result in people not participating in your survey. This might prove problematic as you potentially stand to lose valuable data and insights.
The privacy of individuals must be respected.
Your words should be carefully chosen and consciously chosen to ensure that your respondents are comfortable and feel safe sharing their information with you.
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