Gender interactions between interviewer and survey respondents: Issues of pornography and community standards
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Several sociological perspectives, including social distance and social acquiescence theories, suggest that survey responses to threatening or sensitive questions may be influenced by interviewer gender. Most of the empirical work bearing on this issue has been conducted using face-to-face interviews. Research presented here examines interviewer gender effects in a telephone survey concerned with a sexually sensitive topic — the sale and consumption of pornographic materials. Subjects were mostly white middle-class adults living in a medium-sized metropolitan community. Approximately equal numbers of males (n=230) and females (n=219) were interviewed. Findings suggest that, although a weak trend indicative of an acquiescence effect was observed, interviewer gender effects may not in general be a serious source of nonsampling errors in telephone surveys.
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