Quick Facts

Survey Measures

In response to new developments in survey research, we have compiled a brief set of recommendations for collecting information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

We adapted the items below from the measures currently used by the National Health Interview Survey and the California Health Interview Survey. For each characteristic, we provide guidance on how to ask the questions directly to respondents (interviewer-administered) and how to write the questions on a survey that respondents complete on their own (self-administered). 

Sexual Orientation Identity

Interviewer Administered

Do you think of yourself as gay or lesbian; straight, that is, not gay or lesbian; bisexual; something else; or you don’t know the answer? 

• Gay or lesbian
• Straight, that is, not gay or lesbian
• Bisexual
• Something else
• I am not sure yet
• Refused
• I don’t know what this question means

If “something else,” follow up with:
What do you mean by “something else”? [write-in response]

Self Administered

Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?  

• Gay or lesbian
• Straight, that is, not gay or lesbian
• Bisexual
• Something else
• I am not sure yet
• Refused
• I don’t know what this question means

If “something else,” follow up with:
What do you mean by “something else”? [write-in response]

Gender Identity

Interviewer Administered

On your original birth certificate, was your sex assigned as male or female? 

• Male
• Female

Do you currently describe yourself as male, female, or transgender? 

• Male
• Female
• Transgender
• None of these

If None of these:
What is your current gender identity? [write-in response]


Self Administered

What sex were you assigned at birth, on your original birth certificate? 

• Male
• Female

How do you currently describe yourself? 

• Male
• Female
• Transgender
• None of these

Confirmation question (If sex at birth and current gender not the same):
Just to confirm, you were assigned [Response] at birth and currently describe yourself as [Gender response]. Is that correct? 

• Yes, that is correct.
• No.

For more information about these recommendations, download the SOGI measures FAQs memo.