The question of sexual orientation Event as iCalendar

(School of Social Sciences)

08 September 2016

4 - 5pm

Venue: Room 107, Fale Pasifika Complex (273-107)

Contact info: Martin von Randow

Contact email:

Website: COMPASS

Lara Greaves, University of Auckland

Sexual orientation is an important part of many New Zealanders’ identities, yet the last time someone measured sexual orientation in a national sample was 2003/04. The research team behind the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) sought to remedy this by asking a national probability sample of 18,000 New Zealanders the open-ended question: “How would you describe your sexual orientation?”

In this talk I will discuss some of the challenges we faced in measuring sexual orientation, estimates of the proportion of New Zealanders that identify with different sexual orientations, and the amazing diversity of responses that people expressed. I will also provide an overview of a series of papers looking at the differences and similarities that we have found across sexual orientation and discuss future plans to follow longitudinal change in sexual orientation.

Lara Greaves (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāpuhi) is a PhD student in the School of Psychology working with the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS). Her PhD research investigates how different aspects of Māori identity predict political behaviour. Lara’s current research interests include sexual orientation, mental health, survey methodology (including retention and sampling), political polling, and politics more broadly. After having managed the NZAVS for four years, Lara now works as a Research Assistant at COMPASS Research Centre.


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