The Palm Center released a research memo today in response to Senator John McCain’s expressed concerns about the 28 percent response rate of a new Pentagon survey on gays in the military whose results will be released this week. The research memo was delivered today to the Senate Armed Services Committee offices of Chairman Carl Levin and ranking member Senator McCain.
The Palm Center’s memo shows that the 28 percent response rate is consistent with other military surveys as well as web-based civilian surveys. The memo cites two analyses of 60 different web-based surveys that found that the median response rate to those 60 surveys was between 27 to 29 percent. As well, response rates to military surveys often fall within the same range. In 2006, the military’s Workplace and Gender Relations Survey yielded a response rate of 30% for Active Duty Members. Finally, the memo notes that sampling strategy, not sample size, largely determines whether or not a survey’s results are biased.
The memorandum was written by Dr. Bonnie Moradi, a professor who has published peer-reviewed scholarship in the prestigious journal, Military Psychology, and who has done previous research for the Palm Center.
You can read the research memo online here.