Article Title:Calls for sexuality Census question
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:9th August 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2471
Text:There've been further calls for a sexual orientation question in the Census following overwhelming indications in the Lavender Islands survey that gays and lesbians would answer such a question honestly. 87% of the 2276 respondents to Lavender Islands said they would answer a question on sexual orientation in the Census honestly if asked. Massey University sexuality and HIV researcher Peter Saxton, who is not connected with the Lavender Islands project, said the Census question was needed as a benchmark and for research accuracy. "If the Census is useful for other groups in society, then it will also be useful for gay, lesbian and bisexual communities and those who provide services to them," he says. Statistics New Zealand decided not to include sexual orientation in next year's Census, because of concerns about the accuracy of answers and "the extent of public acceptability of this topic". "Over time the numbers should increase as confidence in the confidentiality of census increases," Saxton argues. "In the 1980s, even un-married heterosexual cohabitation was under-reported in census due to the perceived stigma at the time that question was introduced, but gradually people got over it."    
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