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  • Titill er á ensku How To Ask The Gender Question: Question Wording and Response Options
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Inclusive gender measures refer to the number and wording of response options following an inquiry about the respondent’s gender. Binary response options (i.e., male/female) have long been maintained in scientific literature. However, researchers have now come to question traditional means of gender measures. Various solutions have been proposed including numerous categorical response options and open comment fields. However, in small populations these methods of capturing gender diversity increase the risk of accidental exposure of individual participants, jeopardizing research confidentiality and anonymity. The aim of the current research was to find optimal wording of an inclusive gender question and its response options suited for gathering anonymous survey data in small populations. In Study I, a focus group was recruited to evaluate various wordings of the gender question and response options that had previously been used in surveys. A survey was subsequently developed and sent out to a sample of university students as a web survey. In Study II a cognitive interview was conducted. Results indicate that response options should include a third option that gives respondents the ability to define themselves outside the gender binary. Additionally, the wording deemed most suitable for the third response option pertained to defined gender. Similarly, the wording of the question inquiring about gender that was deemed most suitable pertained to defined gender as well. In order to protect respondents’ anonymity, we suggest the use of a third response option that captures gender diversity without allowing for detailed gender identification. Implications and limitations are discussed.

  • 14.6.2021

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