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Project Title:FReDA-W2b - Questions on the topics of women's fertility, affective touching behavior, sexual orientation, and transnational families (English Version)
  1. Introduction: Please look at this picture.
  2. Question Text: How often have you and your partner touched each other in this way in the last week?
  3. Answer Categories Not at all

    1 time

    2 to 5 times

    6 to 10 times

    11 to 20 times

    More than 20 times

    1. Recommendations: Picture: No changes recommended
      Question 4: No changes recommended
  1. Cognitive Techniques:Information image/link to cognitive pretesting Specific Probing, Recall Probing
  2. Findings for Question: Aim of the pretest:
    Questions 4 and 5 were designed to assess how often the respondents and their partners had touched each other in this way in the past week and whether this frequency corresponded to their wishes. Cognitive follow-up questions were used to examine how the test persons interpreted the picture, how they determined their answers to question 4, and whether both questions were correctly related to each other.

    Table 10 shows the frequency distributions of questions 4 and 5. There was no item nonresponse for either question, i.e., all 240 test persons answered both questions. The respondents used the full range of scales for both questions. The frequency distributions of both questions are left-skewed, i.e., the majority of respondents selected response categories at the high end of the response scale. About one-third of respondents received open-ended follow-up questions on questions 4 and 5 (n = 79).

    How do respondents interpret the picture?
    The majority of respondents (n = 54) interpreted the content of the picture as an unspecified kiss in terms of the picture's intention (e.g., "A kiss", TP124, "Kissing", TP133, "Kissing", TP320). Eleven test persons specified that it was a kiss on the cheek ("An affectionate kiss on the cheek, for example, as a greeting", TP342), nine that it represented a kiss on the mouth ("A kiss on the lips", TP692), and four subjects thought that the kiss could be either on the mouth or the cheek ("A kiss, perhaps on the cheek, perhaps fleetingly on the mouth", TP274). Two respondents indicated that it was "nibbling earlobes" (TP312) or remained vague that "intimacies" would be exchanged (TP188). Interpretation did not affect response behavior.

    How do respondents determine their answer to question 4?
    Respondents used a variety of strategies to estimate how often they had kissed their partner in the pastweek. By far the most common response strategy was a rough estimate (49.4%):
    • "I estimated." (TP133)
    • "Generally, I don't count how often I am close to my partner, but it is very often. Therefore, I chose 'More than 20 times'." (TP248)
    Fifteen respondents based this on their daily routine and explained the occasions on which they routinely kiss:
    • "Since it can be a greeting or goodbye kiss, I thought of every day of the week. In the morning when I say goodbye, in the afternoon when I get home, and in the evening before I go to bed. Once in a while in between, too." (TP240)
    Four test persons also made an exact calculation: "One kiss for saying goodbye one for greeting 7 x 2 = 14" (TP293). Finally, five respondents stated that they had not seen or kissed their partner in the past week (e.g., due to illness).

    Do respondents relate their answers to questions 4 and 5 in a meaningful way?
    Of the 240 respondents, 67.1% (n = 161) chose the same answer category to both questions, 30.0% (n = 72) gave a higher value for question 5 than for question 4, that is, that they would have preferred to kiss their partner more often, and 2.9% (n = 7) gave a lower value for question 5, expressing that they would have preferred to touch each other in this way less often.
    Those who answered both questions the same way mostly justified this by saying that their relationship met their expectations and needs in this regard:
    • "It's just right the way it is." (TP124)
    • "Because simply the need matches the reality." (TP230)
    However, five test persons who had answered both questions with "More than 20 times" stated that they would have liked to kiss their partner more often:
    • "We already touch each other a lot in this way, but affection and tenderness can never be enough." (TP240)
    • "Because we touched each other about this often, but more touching would be nice too." (TP241)
    The respondents who gave a higher value in question 5 than in question 4 all justified their answers by saying that they would have liked more frequent touches of this kind. Various reasons were given for this discrepancy between the actual and desired state, including general displeasure about a lack of physical intimacy, emotional distance, lack of time in everyday life due to work or small children, business trips or a partner's vacation:
    • "More often would be nicer but was not possible due to business travel." (TP161)
    • "I wish we could see each other more often." (TP294)
    • "Most of the time in our relationship I am the one who wants more physical contact, but my partner has rather less need for it. As a result, I feel such situations are too rare and I wish for them." (TP324)
    • "Because overall intimacy is too little for me. However, due to my professional life and daily schedule, it is not possible to do otherwise at the moment." (TP328)
    The few respondents who stated that they would have preferred to kiss their partner less frequently did not provide evaluable responses when asked why they had given this combination of answers. Thus, it remained unclear whether the test persons’ response behavior reflected their real situation or whether they selected incorrect answers by mistake or due to a lack of motivation to answer the question correctly.
    In summary, the majority of respondents understood the picture as a kiss and a sign of affection. The selection of answers did not seem to cause any problems for the test persons, but most of the test persons estimated the number of kisses in the partnership in the past week (instead of systematically remembering their daily routines, for example). The respondents' reasons for choosing their respective combination of answers were consistent with their answers (an exception might be the few respondents who stated that they would have preferred to kiss their partner less often and left the question unanswered). However, several respondents answered both questions with the highest response category of "More than 20 times" and stated that they would have liked more displays of affection than took place. This existing discrepancy between the real state and the respondent's desire is not made visible by the current format of the response categories.
  1. Question Topic: Society & social affairs/ Relationships
  2. Construct: Affective touching behavior (kiss)