Chinese attitudes slammed as survey on homosexuality panned

A Government survey to ‘measure Hong Kong’s attitudes towards homosexuality’ has been described as insulting and prejudiced, as well as being methodologically unsound. Among questions put to respondents are “Is homosexuality a psychological disorder?” and “Should homosexual sex be regarded as a criminal act?” The latter in particular has mystified academics, market research professionals and rights groups alike, as homosexuality was decriminalised locally in 1991.

The Govt felt the survey was necessary in advance of a planned sexual orientation discrimination ordinance.

Wow, methodologically unsound is right. Loaded questions anyone?

That’s right up there with, “Have you stopped beating your wife?”.

I don’t get it. If you’re organizing a survey about people’s attitute regarding homosexuality, wouldn’t asking such questions be quite logical? :confused:

The questions are leading. See Mr. Blue sky’s for a much better example.

A better question would be(not by much mind you)

Do you think Homosexuality _______
A) Acceptable
B) should be a criminal act
C) None of your concern
D) a psychological disorder
E) normal

The best questions are of course open-ended short answer, but those are hard to quanitfy.

Could you give an example of this for the topic in hand?

What are your thoughts on Homosexuality?

I haven’t taken stats/psychology in a while but I believe the best questions are unassuming, open ended and not leading.

I don’t get it - if something is legal, then it’s “mysifying” to ask people whether it should be regarded a criminal act? Sounds like a perfectly legitimate survey question to me.

But isn’t it like asking should black people work as slaves? It’s (ancient) history; all it can do is stir up ill feeling.

When you ask questions in such a way that it looks like you want a particular answer, people are more likely to give you that answer.

Not if they’re considering recriminalizing it.

Yes… to a half-wit or a three year old. Any person with full cognitive abilites isn’t going to be tricked by a simple yes or no question like that.

Those question’s aren’t loaded.

“Have you stopped bating your wife” is loaded because to answer it with a yes immediately admit that you did beat your wife at some point or that no, you have not stopped beating her.

“Is homosexuality a pychological disorder?” isn’t loaded. It’s yes or no. It doesn’t imply anything or say anything about the person answering.

“Have you stopped beating your wife?” is not a loaded question, it’s a trick question, because it is phrased as a yes or no question, but by answering yes or no you admit to beating your wife.

“Is homosexuality a pychological disorder?” is a loaded question, because it leads one to consider whether or not homosexuality is a psychological disorder, whereas if the pollster had never mentioned the phrase “psychological disorder”, the pollee may never have considered it. A better analogy of a loaded question might be “Do you consider blacks to be inferior to whites?”, particularly if taken in a poll in the 1940’s.

… Leading (in about the most passive way possible) is loading?
I don’t buy it. It reeks of mountains out of mole hills. If the question was “The government believes homosexuality is a mental disorder, do you?” then I could see there being a problem.

But polling people by asking them SIMPLE yes or no questions, what is the problem?

You ask me “Is homosexuality a mental disorder?”… I am not all of a sudden going to say “Hey, maybe it is! Never thought of thatl YES!”

People do studies and the way questions are worded is statistically significant. I will look for a cite later.

It’s not a question of people being tricked. It’s about introducing bias into your survey, which makes it worthless.

Indeed. The trick is to get your bias into the survey without people noticing it.

Maybe, but if you want to know whether people think black people should work as slaves or not, this also seems to me a perfectly sensible question.

It doesn’t look like you want a particular answer. It’s a yes/no question.

There are similar question in essentially all pools.

But in both cases, homosexuals now or black in the 40’s, people have likely to have been exposed to such ideas. It’s not like they’re asking : “do you think homosexuals are actually aliens coming from Sirius?”