The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Anti-Gay Sentiment are Substantially Underestimated
Measuring sexual orientation, behavior, and related opinions is difficult because responses are biased towards socially acceptable answers. We test whether measurements are biased even when responses are private and anonymous and use our results to identify sexuality-related norms and how they vary. We run an experiment on 2,516 U.S. participants. Participants were randomly assigned to either a "best practices method" that was computer-based and provides privacy and anonymity, or to a "veiled elicitation method" that further conceals individual responses. Answers in the veiled method preclude inference about any particular individual, but can be used to accurately estimate statistics about the population. Comparing the two methods shows sexuality-related questions receive biased responses even under current best practices, and, for many questions, the bias is substantial. The veiled method increased self-reports of non-heterosexual identity by 65% (p
|Date of creation:||Oct 2013|
|Note:||HC LS PE POL|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001.
"Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377.
- Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
- John Horton & David Rand & Richard Zeckhauser, 2011. "The online laboratory: conducting experiments in a real labor market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 399-425, September.
- John J. Horton & David G. Rand & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2010. "The Online Laboratory: Conducting Experiments in a Real Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 15961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Horton, John Joseph & Rand, David Gertler & Zeckhauser, Richard Jay, 2010. "The Online Laboratory: Conducting Experiments in a Real Labor Market," Scholarly Articles 4448876, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
- Horton, John J. & Rand, David G. & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "The Online Laboratory: Conducting Experiments in a Real Labor Market," Working Paper Series rwp10-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Elisabeth Coutts & Ben Jann, 2011. "Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: Experimental Results for the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and the Unmatched Count Technique (UCT)," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 40(1), pages 169-193, February.
- Gabriele Paolacci & Jesse Chandler & Panagiotis G. Ipeirotis, 2010. "Running experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(5), pages 411-419, August.
- Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2006. "Same-sex sexual behaviour: US frequency estimates from survey data with simultaneous misreporting and non-response," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 757-769.
- Marianne Bertrand & Dolly Chugh & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2005. "Implicit Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 94-98, May.
- Fisher, Robert J, 1993. " Social Desirability Bias and the Validity of Indirect Questioning," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 303-315, September.
- Black, Dan & Gates, Gary & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2002. "Why Do Gay Men Live in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 54-76, January.
- Bloom, David E. & Glied, Sherry, 1992. "Projecting the number of new AIDS cases in the United States," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 339-365, November.
- Elisabeth Coutts & Ben Jann, 2008. "Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: Experimental Results for the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and the Unmatched Count Technique (UCT)," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 3, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology.
- Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-321, June.
- Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2001. "An investigation into sexual orientation discrimination as an explanation for wage differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47.
- Ori Heffetz & Katrina Ligett, 2014. "Privacy and Data-Based Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
- Ori Heffetz & Katrina Ligett, 2013. "Privacy and Data-Based Research," NBER Working Papers 19433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dan A. Black & Hoda R. Makar & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2003. "The Earnings Effects of Sexual Orientation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 449-469, April.
- Dan A. Black & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "The Economics of Lesbian and Gay Families," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 53-70, Spring.
- Feng Li & Venky Nagar, 2013. "Diversity and Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(3), pages 529-544, September.
- Lisa Jepsen & Christopher Jepsen, 2002. "An empirical analysis of the matching patterns of same-sex and opposite-sex couples," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 435-453, August.
- Wasserman, Larry & Zhou, Shuheng, 2010. "A Statistical Framework for Differential Privacy," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(489), pages 375-389.
- Ali Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2010. "Sexual orientation and earnings: a register data-based approach to identify homosexuals," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 835-849, June.
- Carpenter, Christopher S., 2009. "Sexual orientation and outcomes in college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 693-703, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)