Measuring Sexual Identity in the United Kingdom

Tim Vizard, U.K. Office for National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) launched its sexual identity project in 2006, which aimed to rigorously develop, test and implement a question measuring sexual identity on a large scale general household survey. The project was driven by an increasing demand for data on sexual orientation to meet UK legislative requirements. Although UK legislation refers to sexual orientation, ONS focused on collecting sexual identity, which is how people see themselves at the time the interview takes place. This paper summarises the main stages of this project, which involved the review of previous studies, user engagement, focus groups, question testing, implementation onto the Integrated Household Survey (a large scale ONS household survey) and finally the evaluation of estimates and publication of user guidance on measuring sexual identity for use by other researchers. It concludes with the future plans ONS have for the collection and dissemination of sexual identity estimates.

  See paper

Presented in Session 45: Measuring Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Same-Sex Couple Households in Population-Based Surveys