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profxm

I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

15 thoughts on “new survey on gender issues in the LDS Church

  1. I didn’t really know how to answer some of the questions, as for most of them there was no option: “The church is stupid and dumb and wrong.”

  2. Took the survey and it was quite satisfying. I really doubt any of my comments will be considered with any respect or value; however, it was satisfying to write my feelings and thoughts out and submit them to someone who might possibly read them.

    I really enjoyed the open ended questions. I would love to see the results of this survey and read a cross section of the answers. Do you think the Church will post the results?

  3. Just Jill,

    The Church isn’t conducting the survey. It’s an independent group of scholars (most of whom are LDS, but some are not). The results will be published in at least a couple of book chapters (already under contract) and likely in at least one or two peer-reviewed articles. Plus, per the agreement with the Kickstarter backers, there will likely be a report written for the general public (plus, hopefully, some news articles as well).

  4. I just took the survey, and I have to agree with Daniel @1. The options all seem rest on the underlying assumption that you think the CoJCoL-dS is good/right/true on some fundamental level, even if it’s wrong on women and the priesthood.

  5. chanson,

    You’re correct. However, there are a few reasons for that.

    First, some of those questions were questions pulled from Pew in order to allow the researchers to compare responses on identical questions (honestly, some of the Pew questions are awful).

    Second, the goal of the survey is to get a sense of what the current members think, not what former members think. As a result, the researchers erred on framing questions in ways that make more sense for members than for former members.

    Third, the researchers really didn’t want to alienate devout members of the religion based on the question wording. Despite best efforts, responses from many conservative Mormons suggest that they found the wording to have a liberal, critical bias (the opposite of what you’re suggesting). So, perhaps by not perfectly pleasing either side the researchers found a happy medium?

  6. Wow, a major part of the survey is about women getting the priesthood and authority in the church. Remember, it is a non-scientific pole, interesting all the same.

  7. Third, the researchers really didn’t want to alienate devout members of the religion based on the question wording. Despite best efforts, responses from many conservative Mormons suggest that they found the wording to have a liberal, critical bias (the opposite of what you’re suggesting). So, perhaps by not perfectly pleasing either side the researchers found a happy medium?

    Ha, that’s funny — it makes me want to go back and read them to see how liberal-slanting they are.

    But my objection wasn’t to the wording of the questions so much as to the range of response options. Often none of the responses matched my opinion.

  8. Chanson, the protectors of the faith over at M* think you are way off base. They are convinced it is an evil plot by the likes of me and you to distort what the faithful really believe (“think” would ordinarily be my word of choice, but alas, it just doesn’t fit).

  9. @8: the lack of options that reflect my opinion frustrated me so that I gave up and didn’t finish the survey.

    Of course, I pretty much hate surveys and find that they frequently fail to anticipate my response, so that’s not really surprising.

    The discussions I’m seeing about TBM responses to the survey suggest that their problem is not with the wording but with the range of questions. For example: “All this talk about women and the Priesthood, and I’m over here wondering how we get” (insert basic service or accommodation, like better facilities for nursing mothers).

    The survey reflects what the questioners want to know about and the responses they can imagine to their questions, and it seems that they failed to address a lot of questions that are meaningful to the population they most want to learn about, as well as to anticipate a sufficiently broad range of responses to their questions.

    Which are significant failings.

  10. Ask and ye shall receive! I found the the Millennial Star post where they complain about the liberal slant.

    I can see their complaint about example #1, but their complaint about example #2 makes no sense:

    Differences between the roles of women and men in the Church are:

    A. Cultural
    B. A mix between culture and doctrine
    C. Doctrinal
    D. Don’t know
    E. Prefer not to respond

    This question also entrenches a false dichotomy between culture and doctrine.

    Option B clearly gives you the opportunity to reject the false dichotomy.

    To put it into terms more relevant to my experience, it reminds me of the eternal question “Is it nature or nurture?” — when the answer is almost invariably “both.”

    So, when given the opportunity to say it’s both (i.e. it’s a false dichotomy) I am satisfied.

  11. It is interesting how many commentators dismissed the entire survey because that agitator (their words) John Dehlin is listed as one of the investigators.

    I haven’t looked at the survey, but some of the items I have seen use the forced choice format. That often makes respondents uncomfortable because they are forced to make a choice between two alternative neither of which may be their precise opinion. Nevertheless, with an adequate sample it can reveal a prevailing attitude or opinion.

  12. @13: Sure. But I would have preferred that rather than provide a final option of “Prefer not to respond,” they’d given you the option to answer “other” and then explain yourself.

    But as I say I am someone who generally hates surveys and questionnaires, so I can admit I’m not a good sample to begin with. I loathe the Myers Briggs test, for instance–I find it both crude and soulless. If I’m going to apply someone else’s fairly arbitrary nomenclature to my personality, I’d much rather just be a Leo or a Libra than an NSFW or whatever the Myers Briggs quadrants are. I was thrilled to read this article explaining why the test is meaningless.

  13. Well this INTP( I’ve taken the test several times over the past 30 years and always INTP, so I guess I consistently answer the binary questions the same way) finds that article interesting.So thanks.
    As a non-psychologist, I have wondered what empirical data served as the foundation.
    As a Reed or Willow, I wonder how accurate astrology signs would be if we could choose our sign and the meaning assigned to it. I suspect that would not be completely meaningless.

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