Nonresponse to a question on self-identified sexual orientation in a public health survey and its relationship to race and ethnicity

Am J Public Health. 2013 Jan;103(1):67-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300835. Epub 2012 Nov 15.


We examined whether nonresponse to the survey question on self-identified sexual orientation was associated with race and ethnicity, utilizing Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. The results of adjusted multinomial logistic regression indicated that the nonresponse rates of Asian Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans are higher than those of non-Hispanic Whites. Innovative ways of measuring sexual orientation to reduce racially and ethnically driven bias need to be developed and integrated into public health surveys.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Sexual Behavior / ethnology*
  • Washington