Photography by:
  • Richard Ballard, Tracy Mutugi and Rholihlahla Dilata

Queering Social Survey Research

There is a growing recognition of the need to explore new approaches to understand sex, gender and sexuality in social scientific data. Quantitative queer and feminist research has been constrained by the dichotomous ‘sex’ variable, which tends to neglect the needs of sexual and gender minorities. Despite improvements in legalising the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) are two demographic dimensions that continue to receive relatively little attention in large-scale surveys and official statistics. This limits the ability to gain quantitative evidence of socio-economic and health progress of LGBTIQ+ individuals. However, scholars have turned their attention towards improving and understanding the measurement of sex, gender and sexuality in survey research.

This work brings together quantitative queer and feminist researchers, official statistic organisations and research institutes to unpack the values of using queer and feminist lenses in survey development, and to understand some of the challenges experienced when sex, gender and sexuality is measured in a social survey, with an aim of contributing to the efforts of rethinking these measurements when conducting large-scale social survey research.

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