This article is from the BiSexuality FAQ, by Jon Harley firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
People post surveys to soc.bi pretty regularly, so you are not likely to get a
very good response. Many of these questionnaires appear to be badly thought
out, and of little if any scientific use. So, if it looks like you just want
to use our group for your end of term project, or might be from (say) a
religious organisation trying to get evidence of promiscuity against us, you
are liable to get more flames than completed surveys.
If you undertaking a survey for some serious academic purpose, and still want
to include soc.bi, you would be well advised to follow these guidelines:
- Tell us exactly who you are, where you work, and why you are doing a
survey. In particular, what use to you is a self-selected sample? If you
have any previous publications to cite, that would go a long way to help.
- Say whether the identity of respondents will be kept confidential, and if
so, offer convincing arguments that you will keep this promise. You may
want to include details of how to reply through an anonymous server.
- Since it is often possible to guess at the identity of a respondent from
quoted text, if you wish to quote segments of confidential responses in
your results, you should obtain permission from the respondent first.
- Out of courtesy, please post some form of your results to the group.
A note on terminology: many people, including researchers studying sexual
identity, seem unclear about vocabulary relating to minority sexual
identities. In particular, remember that many bisexual-identified people do
not feel included by the terms "lesbian" and "gay". If you intend to inlcude
bisexual-identified people, enumerate "bisexual" whenever you enumerate
"lesbian" and "gay". Do not use "lesbian and gay" unless you specifically
mean "lesbian and gay but NOT bisexual".
Moreover, to describe the sex of romantic or sexual partners, use terms like
"same sex" and "mixed sex"; AVOID the term "lesbian and gay relationships" if
you mean "same sex relationships", if you wish bisexual-identified people to
feel included. If, for instance, you say "I am studying gay and lesbian
relationships and I want you to participate" many bisexuals will read this as
"I'm not willing to take the time and energy to figure out how to phrase this
to include you too".