Attitudes Toward Sexual Relationships

Later this week Ryan Cragun and I will present a paper about people's attitudes toward marriage and polygamy, titled, Attitudes Toward Sexual Relationships: Comparisons of LDS and Never-LDS Churchgoers. This paper, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Portland, Oregon, continues my analyses of data from the online questionnaire began last year. A large number of people (2433) compared polygamy with other types of relationships, including serial monogamy, same-sex marriage, an affair while married, and sex with multiple partners. People rated how acceptable each type of relationship was, using a 1 (Very Unacceptable) to 5 (Very Acceptable) scale. Because of the study's focus on polygamy, and because of the LDS church's history with polygamy, a little more than half of the respondents were current or former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Here are a few highlights from the data analyses:
  1. except for the case of polygamy, LDS attitudes of these types of relationships were more conservative than were Never-LDS attitudes;
  2. among both LDS and Never-LDS respondents, more conservative attitudes were associated with being female and with frequent church attendance;
  3. among the LDS respondents, opposition to same-sex marriage and to polygamy decline somewhat with age, leveling off at about the 40s;
  4. being a former Mormon was associated with more liberal attitudes regarding relationships.

There are more details, of course, so if you are dying with curiosity send me an email for a copy of the paper. Thanks again to all of you who helped contribute to this study.

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