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Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on Surveys in Japan: Methods and Epistemologies
© Daiki Hiramori & Saori Kamano

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    Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on Surveys in Japan: Methods and Epistemologies

    July 21, 2021 / 1 pm (JST) / July 20, 9 pm (PDT)

    Daiki Hiramori, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle
    Saori Kamano, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo
    (in cooperation with Laura Dales, University of Western Australia)

    In recent years, issues involving sexual and gender minorities have increasingly attracted attention in Japan. Addressing the lack of data to understand social inequality based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), we developed questions to measure SOGI on population-based surveys under the research project “Demography of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Building a Foundation for Research in Japan.” This allows us to statistically compare the lives of sexual/gender minorities and the majority using representative data. In our talk, we first present findings from our preparatory studies, including focus groups and a pilot survey used to develop SOGI questions in the Japanese context. Then we report the results of the Osaka City Residents’ Survey, one of the first population-based surveys with SOGI questions completed in Japan. Third, we present findings from an experimental web survey, focusing on the response category—“don’t want to decide, haven’t decided”—to the sexual orientation question we proposed. Here we address the issue of heterosexual respondents being misclassified as non-heterosexual and the difficulty of fully separating heterosexual and non-heterosexual people in survey data. We conclude our talk by discussing two approaches to population sexuality (a demographic approach and a queer approach) to explore the possibility of a queer demography.

    Daiki Hiramori is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. His research interests include quantitative methodology, queer and feminist studies, sexuality and gender stratification, the demography of sexual orientation and gender identity, and Japanese society. In addition to an MA in Sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies from the University of Washington, he holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Mathematics from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.

    Saori Kamano obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology at Stanford University. She is currently a Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Tokyo, Japan. Her fields of interest include Family, Sexuality and Gender, and her recent research focuses on the demography of sexual orientation and gender identity, and quantitative analyses of the well-being of sexual and gender minorities as well as public attitudes toward sexual and gender minorities.