Comparisons of reported sexual behaviors from a retrospective survey versus a prospective diary in the Botswana Defence Force

Tran, B.Robin.; Thomas, A.Goldzier.; Vaida, F.; Ditsela, M.; Phetogo, R.; Kelapile, D.; Chambers, C.; Haubrich, R.; Shaffer, R.

Aids Education and Prevention Official Publication of the International Society for Aids Education 25(6): 495-507


ISSN/ISBN: 0899-9546
PMID: 24245596
DOI: 10.1521/aeap.2013.25.6.495
Document Number: 579196
This study compares self-reported sexual behaviors from a retrospective survey and a prospective diary among Botswana Defence Force (BDF) personnel. One hundred sixty-one male participants, aged 18-30, completed two weekly prospective diaries and a retrospective survey querying them about behaviors reported during the same time frame as the diaries. Most reported behaviors were similar between the two data collection methods. However, there was low agreement for reporting sex with a spouse and exchanging material goods for sex with a casual partner; frequency of sex and condom use rates (CURs) among married participants also differed. When comparing survey condom use frequencies to diary CURs, the level of agreement diminished from the always to occasionally condom use categories. Inconsistencies in reporting may be due to the frequency of the sexual behavior, question sensitivity, the data collection setting, and the interpretation of response categories. Further research is needed to improve accurate reporting of sexual behaviors.

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