Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 663–665 | Cite as

Surveying “Non-Heterosexual Orientation”: The Problems of Unstratified Sampling, Non-Inclusive Categorizations, and Implied Causality: Commentary on Wells, McGee, and Beautrais (2011)

  • Gareth J. Treharne
  • Chris Brickell
  • Anna Chinn
Letter to the Editor

In their article on sexuality in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Wells, McGee, and Beautrais (2011) presented estimates of the prevalence of various forms of “non-heterosexual orientation” and examined a number of correlates in adulthood and from recall of childhood. We would like to raise three concerns regarding the methodology of the study and the aims and language of the article. The article received considerable local media attention (e.g., Hipkiss, 2010; Rudd, 2010; Todd, 2010), including expressions of concern from members of the non-heterosexual communities that were ostensibly represented in the study (e.g., Hipkiss, 2010; Todd, 2010). Our concerns reflect and expand upon some of the concerns of those communities.

Our first concern is the approach to sampling and the post-hoc nature of the analysis to address aims that were not the primary aim of the main study. Embedded in the study’s methodology is an assumption that selecting one person per household facilitates a representative...


Sexual Experience Sexual Identity World Mental Health Mental Health Study World Mental Health Survey 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gareth J. Treharne
    • 1
  • Chris Brickell
    • 2
  • Anna Chinn
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Gender Studies ProgrammeUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Otago Gaily Times CollectiveDunedinNew Zealand

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