Drawing on LGB Identity to Encourage Participation and Disclosure of Sexual Orientation in Surveys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper reports an experiment that tested how three survey cover designs–images of traditional families and individuals displaying themselves in typical gender ways; images of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual individuals and families; and no cover images–affected LGB people’s participation and disclosure of LGB identity and non-LGB people’s participation. Analyses showed the LGB-inclusive cover led to significantly more LGB respondents than the other designs, without significantly affecting the demographic, political, and religious makeup of the completed sample. We discuss what these findings mean for addressing two challenges: getting LGB people to respond to surveys and to disclose their LGB identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-188
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2019



  • Lesbian
  • bisexual
  • gay
  • images
  • mail surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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