Measuring inappropriate sexual behavior among university students: using the randomized response technique to enhance self-reporting
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sexual behaviorsocial desirabilityrandomized response techniquescomplex surveys
Rueda MM, Cobo B, López-Torrecillas F. Measuring Inappropriate Sexual Behavior Among University Students: Using the Randomized Response Technique to Enhance Self-Reporting. Sexual Abuse. 2020;32(3):320-334. doi:10.1177/1079063219825872
This article analyzes the efficacy of the randomized response technique (RRT) in achieving honest self-reporting about sexual behavior, compared with traditional survey techniques. A complex survey was conducted of 1,246 university students in Spain, who were asked sensitive quantitative questions about their sexual behavior, either via the RRT (n = 754) or by direct questioning (DQ) (n = 492). The RRT estimates of the number of times that the students were unable to restrain their inappropriate sexual behavior were significantly higher than the DQ estimates, among both male and female students. The results obtained suggest that the RRT method elicits higher values of self-stigmatizing reports of sexual experiences by increasing privacy in the data collection process. The RRT is shown to be a useful method for investigating sexual behavior.