Toward Global Comparability of Sexual Orientation Data in Official Statistics: A Conceptual Framework of Sexual Orientation for Health Data Collection in New Zealand's Official Statistics System

Published: July 12, 2013


Objective. Effectively addressing health disparities experienced by sexual minority populations requires high-quality official data on sexual orientation. We developed a conceptual framework of sexual orientation to improve the quality of sexual orientation data in New Zealand’s Official Statistics System. Methods. We reviewed conceptual and methodological literature, culminating in a draft framework. To improve the framework, we held focus groups and key-informant interviews with sexual minority stakeholders and producers and consumers of official statistics. An advisory board of experts provided additional guidance. Results. The framework proposes working definitions of the sexual orientation topic and measurement concepts, describes dimensions of the measurement concepts, discusses variables framing the measurement concepts, and outlines conceptual grey areas. Conclusion. The framework proposes standard definitions and concepts for the collection of official sexual orientation data in New Zealand. It presents a model for producers of official statistics in other countries, who wish to improve the quality of health data on their citizens.

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