https://equalities.blog.gov.uk/2017/09/29/lgbtsurvey-asking-about-sexual-orientation-and-intersex/

#LGBTsurvey: asking about sexual orientation and intersex

In July, we launched a national survey for LGBT people living in the UK. The survey is your chance to tell us what it's really like living as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) person in the UK.

This is the second blog post about how we made the survey. We've already written about how we ask about your sex and gender identity. In this post, we want to tell you about how we ask questions about sexual orientation and whether someone is intersex in the survey.

If you identify as having a minority sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics, you're 16 years old or over, and you haven't completed the survey yet, it's open until 15 October 2017. Find the survey on GOV.UK.

Questions about sexual orientation and intersex

We wanted to make sure this survey was inclusive and that anyone could express their identity in a way they wanted. In addition to the gender identity and sex questions, we developed two questions that ask about your sexual orientation and your sex characteristics.

Sexual orientation question

The survey is open to anyone who has a minority sexual orientation. When we say sexual orientation, we mean how someone defines their physical and romantic attraction towards other people.

The question we ask is:

This question is about your sexual orientation. Do you identify as:

  • bisexual
  • gay/lesbian
  • heterosexual/straight
  • don't know
  • prefer not to say
  • other

We've got a lot of experience asking questions about sexual orientation. Over the last few years, we've been working on projects that look at sexual orientation monitoring. This question reflects what we learnt from those projects.

Intersex question

We know that some people with varied ‘sex characteristics’ identify as intersex, and we are using this survey to understand their experiences too. Intersex is used as an umbrella term to denote a number of different variations in a person’s bodily characteristics that do not match strict medical definitions of male or female.

The question we ask is:

Do you identify as intersex?:

  • yes
  • no
  • don’t know
  • prefer not to say

We didn’t have a standardised question to work from for this area either, so we had to create one. This is one of the first times a UK Government survey has asked a question specifically on intersex and we hope that including it will give us some new understanding of the issues faced by people who are intersex.

Why we chose these questions

As we have said, we include four questions in the survey asking about sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex. These questions mean we'll be able to understand the different experiences not only of the LGBT population as a whole, but of each part of the LGBT spectrum.

If you identify as having a minority sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics, you're 16 years old or over, and you haven't completed the survey yet, it's open until 15 October 2017. Find the survey on GOV.UK.

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