Thinking Anglicans

Faith and Sexuality Survey results published

The Ozanne Foundation has published the results of the 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey. There is this Press Release  which summarises the results:

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS REPORTS OF SIGNIFICANT HARM EXPERIENCED BY LGBQ+ CHILDREN OF FAITH WHO ARE SUBJECT TO “CONVERSION THERAPY”

The 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey has revealed the high level of mental health issues reported amongst people who have attempted changing their sexual orientation, with many sharing they have attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts. Over half said they first attempted to change whilst they were 18 or under with many stating they were influenced by their religious leader. 22 people said they had been forced to undergo sexual activity with someone of the opposite gender. These attempts were reported as being overwhelmingly unsuccessful, with the primary motivations given for attempting to change relating to either religious beliefs or internationalised homophobia.

The survey, the first of its kind in the UK, was designed to understand the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation. It ran during December 2018 and attracted over 4600 responses, of which a tenth (458) stated they had personal experience of attempting to change their sexual orientation. Over half of these said they had experienced mental health issues, of whom nearly a third (91 people) said they had attempted suicide while over two-thirds (193 people) said they had had suicidal thoughts. Two in five of those who reported mental health issues indicated they had self- harmed and a quarter said they had suffered from eating disorders. Few said they had sought advice from the medical profession but instead nearly half said they had sought advice from their religious leader, who was identified as being significantly more likely than parents to be the person to advise or force attempts at sexual orientation change…

…The report is being presented at a lunchtime fringe meeting at the General Synod on February 21st 2019 ahead of the Church of England’s own presentation of its proposed “Pastoral Principles” for pastoral ministry among LGBTI+ people in the Church.

The full set of results can be downloaded here.

The survey questionnaire can be downloaded here.

The full Executive Report can be downloaded here.

Media coverage is being collated over here.

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Cynthia KatsarelisIanFr AndrewAndySimon Dawson Recent comment authors
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Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

The next step is to get spiritual abuse formally recognised as one of those forms of abuse entailing mandatory reporting to the statutory authorities.

Ian
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Ian

“4,613 people responded to the survey online. Just over half identified as LGBT+. Most of the data simply shows what a relatively small number of respondents – compared to the general population – think about their situation. 458 people reported having experience of trying to change their orientation. Of these, 381 said this consisted of private prayer or prayer with a close friend. Is this really to be considered as ‘conversion therapy’?”

Cynthia Katsarelis
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“relatively small” = minority = vulnerable to the policies, attitudes, and norms of the status quo majority. I.e. it is about power, so the whole point is to hear the lived experience of the minority. “Is this really to be considered as ‘conversion therapy’?” = The status quo telling vulnerable people how we should feel instead of LISTENING. Thank you for illustrating exactly why LGBTQ+ people need to be in the rooms where discussions about our issues take place. (Jayne points out that representation should include LGBTQ+ who have been working on the issues, which is reasonable as that would… Read more »

Ian
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Ian

“relatively small” doesn’t mean they can be ignored but, simply, that broad assumptions drawn do not have support from the evidence as presented (as claimed)

What about “Of these, 381 said this consisted of private prayer or prayer with a close friend. Is this really to be considered as ‘conversion therapy’?”

Cynthia Katsarelis
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It depends on how the person felt, like if they felt coerced. We have to listen closely, and jumping on the bandwagon of discounting the stories you have heard makes it more likely that you won’t hear more. Is it so hard to have empathy for the people who feel extraordinary pain over this, pain to the point of suicide? And take a more gentle approach with their stories?

Andy
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Andy

When looking at the survey and the results claimed, my initial response was that it is not possible to draw these conclusions from the data available. It seems I am not the only on with reservations … http://archbishopcranmer.com/faith-sexuality-conversion-therapy-research/

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

Amazingly, nobody seems to jump in with this sort of methodological questioning when even flimsier conclusions are drawn to support the latest ‘missional’ report fantasy, e.g. From Anecdote to Evidence or that dreadful research with the Evangelical Alliance that led the C of E to suggest we talk to strangers more about our faith. Yes, the research is suggestive not scientific, the criticisms of methodology are valid (though not of course disproving), but I’d seriously question the motives of its critics. Less interested perhaps in issues of research procedure, more defending continuing homophobia. Massive double standards are operating here: we… Read more »

Ian
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Ian

So… You’re complaining about double standards but content with error on the side you prefer and are, oddly, not really interested in research procedures?

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

I’m not sure what this ‘error’ is that I’m content with: there is nothing in my previous post to that effect. I’m not seeking to defend the survey or make claims about it. Like almost all church surveys, the research in question is at best indicative not hard science. To be honest, the research doesn’t really need doing: LGBT people do not have to justify themselves to homophobes. Conservative homophobia is a godless moral sewer and it’s that bigotry that’s the blasphemy not LGBT people. However, I’m happy now conservatives are embracing science. Perhaps eventually they’ll actually understand the large… Read more »

Ian
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Ian

“Homophobia, moral sewer, bigotry….” There’s no engagement to be had with you. Keep shooting your own foot. I’ll leave you to it.

Cynthia Katsarelis
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Thank you, Fr. Andrew. “LGBT people do not have to justify themselves to homophobes.” That statement lightens many loads.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Archbishop Cranmer’s blog is precisely a model of the majority telling the minority that our life experience doesn’t matter. Why not? Well because it’s a small number. That’s why we’re a minority – duh, as my younger colleagues would say. The way the status quo thinks we should feel is the most valid, because… because majority and the power that comes with it. Hello. Social justice 101 involves listening to the people impacted. By the way, in many places in the US, conversion therapy is being outlawed, because here, we have more research that shows evidence of harm. And we… Read more »