Gender Differences

Can We Reduce Gender Differences in Qualitative Research?

As part of her dissertation for her PhD at Pennsylvania State University in 2011, Rebekah Young looked at “don’t know” (DK) survey responses, specifically how the incidence of DK responses varies by demographic segments.  Looking across 12 nationally-representative datasets, 354 questions, and responses from more than 23,000 respondents, Young determined that, among other things, men were less likely to give a DK response than women.

While Young’s findings are not news (i.e., they are supported by existing literature), her work left me wondering about gender differences in qualitative research.  Specifically, whether there is a propensity in men to voice informed answers to a moderator’s questions even when the simpler, more appropriate response should be, “I don’t know.”  Likewise, I wonder how often women cave with a DK rejoinder when they actually harbor knowledge or experience that could further insights from the research.

This gets more interesting when you consider the research subject matter because the likelihood of non-response in our qualitative research may depend Read Full Text