Demographics: Data from the Views on Sex, Sexualities and Gender Survey

By Josien Reijer

Introduction

This is the first of a series of blog posts showcasing the preliminary data from the Views on Sex, Sexualities and Gender Survey conducted amongst students and staff at the University of Johannesburg. In this first post, the demographic data collected amongst students who completed the survey will be outlined.

Sample

The survey was completed a total of 1632 times. After data cleaning, the total sample of staff and students was 1557. Of these, 1416 were students and 141 were staff members. This blog post focuses solely on the student data.

Age

The oldest student who completed the survey was born in 1960 and the youngest was born in 2004. The mean age of the students who completed the survey was 22.4 years and the median age was 21 years.

Level of education

The majority (78.4%, n=1110) of the students who completed the survey were undergraduate students and less than a quarter (21.6%, n=306) were postgraduate students.

Socio-economic status

One in ten students (10.9%, n=154) described themselves and their family as being ‘Poor’ or ‘Very poor’. 45% (n=639) say that they and their family are ‘just getting along’. Hardly any students (less than 0.5%, n=7) say they and their family are ‘wealthy’ and 43.5% (n=616) is ‘very’ or ‘reasonably comfortable’.

Population group

The majority (86.3%, n=1222) of the students who completed the survey indicated that their population group is ‘Black African’. The remaining 13.7% was divided respectively between ‘White’ (5.8%, n=82), ‘Indian/Asian’ (4.0%, n=57), ‘Coloured’ (3.5%, n=49) and ‘other’ (0.4%, n=6).

Religion

The majority of the students (80.0%, n=1132) considered themselves as religious/spiritual. Students who indicated that they considered themselves religious/spiritual were also asked how religious/spiritual they considered themselves to be on a scale ranging from 1 (Not religious/spiritual at all) to 10 (Very religious/spiritual).

The mean score given was 7.05 and the median 7.0.

Faculty

Students from all eight faculties participated. The College of Business and Economics had the largest group of students (38.6%, n=546) participating in the survey, followed by the Faculty of Humanities (16.7%, n=237). The smallest representation comes from the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (4.7%, n=48). The differences in faculty numbers are largely representative of the distribution of students in different faculties.

Sex

Nearly two thirds (62.1%, n=880) of the respondents were female. This is an overrepresentation of female students where the UJ student body is 53.8 (n=27211) female.

Gender identity

The majority (95.8%, n=1357) of the respondents identified as woman (58.7%, n=831) or man (37.1%, n=526).

Sexual identity

Nearly 3 in four (73%, n=1033) of the students who took part in the survey reported that they identified as straight (heterosexual). 8.2% (n=116) reported they identified as bisexual, 4.9% (n=69) reported they were questioning/unsure, 4.2% (n=60) identified as gay, 3.2% (n=46) identified as a-sexual, 2.4% (n=34) identified as pansexual, 2.1% (n=30) identified as lesbian, 1.6% (n=22) identified as queer and 0.4% (n=6) reported an additional sexual identity category that was not listed.

Gender expression by sex

74.4% (n=399) of the male respondents reported that they presented themselves as ‘strongly, and exclusively masculine’ or ‘mostly masculine’. In comparison, 63.1% (n=555) of the female respondents reported that they dressed ‘strongly, and exclusively feminine’ or ‘mostly feminine’. While 30% (n=264) of the female students reported they presented themselves as ‘a mixture of both masculine and feminine’, this was true for only 15.5% (n=83) of the male students.

Conclusion

This presentation was the first of a series of blog posts describing the preliminary results of the data from the Views on Sex, Sexualities and Gender Survey conducted amongst students and staff at the University of Johannesburg. The next blog post zooms in on the views of students on section 9 of the South African Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

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