AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Feb/11

18

LGBT Week: John Daws on Submitting a Conference Proposal to the LGBT TIG for Evaluation 2011

Hi. I’m John Daws, a Senior Research Specialist in the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. I’m here to ask you to consider submitting a conference proposal to the LGBT Issues Topical Interest Group for the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference.

Have you worked on an evaluation recently in which you asked the participants about their sexual orientation or sexual identity? Have you worked on an evaluation in which you wanted to ask, but didn’t? Or couldn’t? Please share this work with us by submitting a proposal between now and March 18 for Evaluation 2011, to be held the first week in November in Anaheim, California.

We plan to have a mix of presentations and roundtables. One roundtable may be designed for evaluators who have not previously included LGBT questions in their work, but would like to discuss how to do so, why it matters, and what value can be added.

As a TIG, we want to raise awareness of the complexity of inquiring about gender and sexual identity, without overwhelming the evaluator. It is routine to include a simple two-point question about the sex of the person participating in an evaluation: “Are you Male or Female?” That simple question might be adequate sometimes, but a good evaluator should realize when it isn’t. The simple question is ambiguous: are we asking how the person identifies currently, or how they were identified at birth? The simple question is incomplete: it precludes responses such as Intersex or Transgender. The simple question also does nothing to find out the respondent’s sexual orientation (straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, etc.) or sexual behavior.

Hot tip: The recording of Joe Heimlich’s AEA Coffee Break Webinar on “Adding the LGBT Response Option on Questionnaires” will be added to the AEA webinar archive next week.

Rad resources: Fraser, J. & Heimlich, J.E. (Eds) (2008) Where is Queer? Themed issue: Museums & Social Issues. 3(1).

Valdes, F. (1995) Queers, sissies, dykes, and tomboys: Deconstructing the conflation of “sex,” ”gender,” and “sexual orientation” in Euro-American law and society. California Law Review. 83(1) 1-198.

Hot Tip: Go to  http://www.eval.org/eval2011/default.asp , click on “Submit a Conference Proposal,” and request the LBGT TIG as the reviewing group right on the proposal form. WAY cool. See you in Anaheim!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT Evaluation Week with our colleagues in the LGBT AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT members and you may wish to consider subscribing to our weekly headlines and resources list where we’ll be highlighting LGBT resources. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice.

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