Title: Sexual Behavior
Contact Number: 1-866-441-NCHS
Years of Content: 2003
First Published: January, 2006
Access Constraints: None
Use Constraints: None
Geographic Coverage: National
Subject:Personal interview data for persons 14-59 years of age on sexual behavior, included age at first sexual intercourse, number of sexual partners, and history of sexually transmitted diseases
Record Source: NHANES 2003
Survey Methodology: NHANES 2003
is a stratified multistage probability sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the U.S.
Medium: NHANES Web site; SAS transport files
The ACASI section on sexual behavior (SXQ) provides information lifetime and current sexual behavior for both men and women. Major items in this section include age at first sexual intercourse, number of sexual partners, sexual orientation, circumcision status (men) and history of sexually transmitted diseases.
Sample person aged 14-59 years were eligible. Several questions in this section are age and gender specific. Mentally impaired individuals or participants who were unable to understand English or Spanish were bit asked these questions. Only data from participants aged 20-59 years are included in this release. Special use data files for participants 14-19 years are available through the NCHS Research Data Center.
Interview Setting and Mode of Administration
Private room in the mobile examination center.
The NHANES Audio Computer Assisted Self Interview (ACASI) was conducted in either English or Spanish. The ACASI enables respondents both to hear questions through earphones and read questions on the computer screen. Respondents move at their own speed and touch the screen to indicate their response. No proxy respondents or translators were used in situations when the respondents could not self-report.
Quality Assurance & Quality Control
For details on the QA/QC process for this component, please refer to the MEC Interview Manual on the NHANES website.
Data Processing and Editing
Responses to SXD030 (age at first sexual intercourse) that were 9 years or less were grouped and coded as “9 years or younger.”
Users are cautioned about the use of SXQ292 and SXQ294 in analyses, especially in analyses that classify respondents by their responses to these questions to describe or compare subgroup characteristics. The sample size for the non-heterosexual subgroups is limited and do not meet the minimum sample size requirements for statistical reliability as noted in the NHANES analytic guidelines1. Even after combining multiple years of data, which is often recommended to estimate rarer conditions within a subgroup, the non-heterosexual subgroups do not meet the minimum sample size. Additionally, there is a high rate of not selecting a specific answer to the questions. That is, selecting ‘don’t know’, ‘refused’, ‘not sure’ or ‘something else’ as a response. This issue has been examined at length at the NCHS Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory (QDRL) recently. Individuals select these answers for a variety of reasons that are well summarized in the report Design, Development and Testing of the NHIS Sexual Identity Question2, specifically in Table 2. For example, respondents from the LGBT community select “something else’ when they use a different sexual identity label than those presented in the response options. However, those who aren’t part of the LGBT community select this answer because they are not familiar with what the response options mean.
Please refer to the Analytic Guidelines for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues on the NHANES website.