Center for American Progress

RELEASE: 25 U.S. States and Territories Adopt Model LGBT Demographic Questions in Major Health Survey
Press Release

RELEASE: 25 U.S. States and Territories Adopt Model LGBT Demographic Questions in Major Health Survey

Press Contacts

  • Tom Caiazza

Washington, D.C. — A new analysis by the Center for American Progress found that a growing number of U.S. states and territories are incorporating questions about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people into the world’s longest continuously conducted health survey. In 2015, a record 25 states included sexual orientation and gender identity, or SOGI, questions in their Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, or BRFSS, using a standard question module developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An additional 11 jurisdictions asked different sexual orientation and/or gender identity questions on their 2015 BRFSS.

“Despite recent advancements, LGBT people and their families still face discrimination throughout daily life,” said Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and author of the paper Kellan Baker. “By asking demographic questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on major surveys such as BRFSS, researchers, policymakers, community advocates, and service providers gain important insights into health disparities experienced by vulnerable groups such as the LGBT population. It is time for all surveys to include questions that allow for a fuller understanding of the experiences of LGBT people and their families in health, employment, criminal justice, military service, and other key areas of life.”

BRFSS is an extensive nationwide system of telephone surveys conducted by all states, the District of Columbia, and most U.S. territories. It is the premier source of health data that inform a wide range of funding decisions and activities conducted by both public and private actors at the federal, state, and local levels. The Center for American Progress analyzed the 2015 BRFSS questionnaires from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories currently conducting the survey to determine how many asked about sexual orientation and gender identity and whether they used the standard SOGI module.

Click here to read the issue brief.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.

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