As many of you know, over the last four years The Marin Foundation has been running what has turned in to the largest national scientific research study ever done in the LGBT community regarding spirituality and religion. We have over 2,000 national participants from all 50 States (51 if you include DC), and neither one of those figures has ever been achieved before in a LGBT study on faith. Our study in coming to a conclusion August 1, 2010. We need your help! This is our final push to have people participate!
Then, would you please email this post to everyone you know who fits our target audience for this study so they can participate as well. It takes about 5 minutes to complete, and all we are looking for is the dead honest truth.
Whether you are an atheist who hates everything God or religion, or you are a super Christian, Jew, Mormon, Muslim, or you believe in any faith at all (or anywhere in between), we need your experiences.
The results from this study will be published in peer-reviewed mainstream academic journals, as well as it will turn into my second book to be released next year. As for the data analysis, The Marin Foundation is working with two of the most influential reserachers in the country who are not only well known, but they are from different ends of the faith/sexuality spectrum and the two most respected researchers in the field:
Dr. Michael Bailey from Northwestern University (an atheist, his research and his provocative book) and Dr. Mark Yarhouse from Regent University (an evangelical Christian who researches on sexual identity and his books here and here and here).
Here is a quick overview of the study and its key terms:
Title: Religious Acculturation within the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community
Acculturation: A cultural modification of an individual, group or population adapting to, or merging with another culture (Berbrier, 2004; Berry, 1990; Flowers et al., 1998; Miranda et al., 2006; Seibt et al., 1995).
GLBT: People who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
Same-Sex Attraction: People who have a sexual attraction to other people of the same sex. This can include people who self-identify as GLBT, people who are sexually celibate, as well as people who self-identify as ex-gay/post-gay and yet still have a same-sex attraction.
Religion/Religious: Organized, denominational religion tied to a church/temple/mosque/etc.
Spiritual: Individual spirituality that is unassociated with a religious denomination/church.
Creator: One Creator that has created all things (e.g. God, Allah).
High Power/Spirit: Individual higher power/spirit not associated with One Creator.
In May 2006 The Marin Foundation (TMF) began to facilitate a four year research study called Religious Acculturation within the GLBT Community. To the researcher’s knowledge, it has since turned into the largest national research study ever done within the GLBT and religious communities. At the study’s projected conclusion on August 1, 2010, TMF is on pace to have achieved their goal of N = 2,000 national participants from the GLBT community, setting the standard for religious research within the GLBT community.
The goal of the study is to look at the acculturation levels of those within the GLBT community to their past, present and future spiritual and religious practices, if any exist; and how the different constructs surrounding sexuality and religion/spirituality are correlated to those practices. While there has been other research done on GLBT acculturation (Alquijay, 1997; Magana & Carrier, 1991; Seibt et al., 1995); as well as previous research regarding GLBT spirituality and religion (topics include the perceived religious conflicts experienced by the GLBT community with the Church (Clark, Brown & Hochstein, 1990; Grant & Epp, 1999; Schuck & Liddle, 2001), the GLBT community’s religious and spiritual commitment through persistence of faith (Sherkat, 2002; Yip, 2002), the role religion plays for straight family members of those in the GLBT community (Ellis & Wagemann, 1993; Lease & Shulman, 2003), and the broader attitudes of the straight, conservative religious-believing individuals and their thought processes towards the GLBT community (Cochran & Beeghley, 1991; Newman, 2002; Taylor, 2000)), TMF’s research is the first of its kind to directly look at levels of spiritual/religious acculturation in the GLBT population surrounding the following variables:
Seven main variables under the umbrella term of acculturation. For the scope of this study, the term acculturation is being defined as the interplay of how experiential cultural modifications within the GLBT community have on the following variables:
1. Acculturation of those with a same-sex attraction to the broader GLBT community
2. Religious acculturation of those within the GLBT community
3. Spiritual acculturation of those within the GLBT community
4. Religious background and practices of the GLBT community and their families
5. Why or why not the GLBT community is currently active in participating in religious functions
6. Social demographics of people with a same-sex attraction (including whether the participant is “out”, for how long, to who, age, ethnicity, orientation, current residing city and birthplace)
7. Self-identified degree of sexual orientation through the Kinsey Sexual Orientation Scale
Each variable can also be looked at in connection to location, and to each of the other (sub)variables.
You can participate anonymously here! 5 minutes will change culture.