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Codes and Frequencies

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SEX indicates whether the person was male or female.


This variable is comparable over time.

For 1968 forward, SEX, for most persons, was inferred from the individual's first name or reported relationship to the head of the household. If there was any doubt (e.g., when the respondent gave a name for a household member--such as Marion or Lynn--that is used for both males and females), interviewers were to ask the person's sex (i.e., "Is [FULLNAME] male or female?").

Beginning in 1998, the survey instrument explicitly directed interviewers to "enter your best guess" when the respondent either did not know or refused to answer the direct question about the person's sex that was asked in ambiguous cases. Beginning in 1998, a check item related to SEX was included in the Basic Module, Family Core questionnaire that asked respondents to verify whether their reported sex was correct.

Because explicit questions about the individual's sex were only asked in ambiguous cases, it is unlikely that the presence or absence of these additional directions to fieldworkers compromises the comparability of the SEX variable over time.


  • 1963-2018: All persons.


  • 1963-2018