Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 1711–1721 | Cite as

Differences Between Landline and Mobile Phone Users in Sexual Behavior Research

  • Paul B. BadcockEmail author
  • Kent Patrick
  • Anthony M. A. Smith
  • Judy M. Simpson
  • Darren Pennay
  • Chris E. Rissel
  • Richard O. de Visser
  • Andrew E. Grulich
  • Juliet Richters
Original Paper


This study investigated differences between the demographic characteristics, participation rates (i.e., agreeing to respond to questions about sexual behavior), and sexual behaviors of landline and mobile phone samples in Australia. A nationally representative sample of Australians aged 18 years and over was recruited via random digit dialing in December 2011 to collect data via computer-assisted telephone interviews. A total of 1012 people (370 men, 642 women) completed a landline interview and 1002 (524 men, 478 women) completed a mobile phone interview. Results revealed that telephone user status was significantly related to all demographic variables: gender, age, educational attainment, area of residence, country of birth, household composition, and current ongoing relationship status. In unadjusted analyses, telephone status was also associated with women’s participation rates, participants’ number of other-sex sexual partners in the previous year, and women’s lifetime sexual experience. However, after controlling for significant demographic factors, telephone status was only independently related to women’s participation rates. Post hoc analyses showed that significant, between-group differences for all other sexual behavior outcomes could be explained by demographic covariates. Results also suggested that telephone status may be associated with participation bias in research on sexual behavior. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of sampling both landline and mobile phone users to improve the representativeness of sexual behavior data collected via telephone interviews.


Telephone surveys Demographic factors Sexual behavior 



This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Project Grant 1002174).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All study procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul B. Badcock
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kent Patrick
    • 1
    • 4
  • Anthony M. A. Smith
    • 1
  • Judy M. Simpson
    • 5
  • Darren Pennay
    • 6
  • Chris E. Rissel
    • 5
  • Richard O. de Visser
    • 7
  • Andrew E. Grulich
    • 8
  • Juliet Richters
    • 9
  1. 1.Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and SocietyLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Youth Mental HealthUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental HealthMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.School of Public HealthUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Social Research CentreMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.School of PsychologyUniversity of SussexSussexUK
  8. 8.Kirby InstituteUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  9. 9.School of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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