Investigation of transactional sex among tertiary level students : a comparison of self-report data collection methodologies.
Transactional sex is associated with high-risk HIV transmission behaviours. Published prevalence rates of this behaviour are varying and the sensitive nature of this behaviour may inhibit self-report disclosure. A two-phase study, involving qualitative analysis of focus group discussions on transactional sex, and a subsequent survey employing different self-report methods amongst a population of female tertiary education level students (N=305) was undertaken. The Unmatched Count Technique (UCT) and the Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) in both computer and paper modes were compared in terms of disclosure levels yielded and socially desirable response scores. Base rates of transactional sex as yielded by the UCT were comparable to those of published research. No statistically significant results were obtained for differences in disclosure levels of transactional sex between the UCT and the SAQ. Performance of the UCT was mixed, demonstrating that the reliability and validity of findings obtained by the UCT are contingent on many factors, and further research regarding this is required.