Psychologists at Utah State University have launched a new study they hope will result in greater information about and understanding of LGBT people in Mormon communities and the intersection of spirituality and sexuality.
The survey covers questions about sexual identity, personal history, quality of life, and individual efforts to accept or “change” sexual orientation. It includes questions assessing what LGBTQ LDS people were taught about homosexuality in their congregations and families, and it also invites participants to share any “spiritual manifestation” communicating divine acknowledgment of their sexual orientation.
Renee Galliher, a non-Mormon associate professor of psychology at USU, Bill Bradshaw, an LDS BYU emeritus faculty member, and John Dehlin, a Mormon graduate student in psychology, are the survey authors.
Says Galliher, “We hope that our participants will represent the full range of attitudes, beliefs, and experiences with regard to sexual orientation. We think this will help us inform both the LGBTQ community and the LDS church community about ways they can best support and nurture their loved ones.”
To LGBTQ folks who feel like they have been “surveyed out,” Dehlin says: “We are hoping for this to be a landmark study, to generate enough data to have real impact in changing hearts and minds. We are also very committed to sharing and speaking publicly about the results in local communities around the state of Utah and with journalists worldwide.”
The survey can be accessed here.