Thursday, December 18, 2008

Preliminary research results & new study

Below is a note received by John Clinton Bradley, Integrity's Acting Executive Director.  Posted here with permission of the author... 

Dear John:

I wanted to give you an update on the online survey regarding faith and GLBT identity development that many Integrity members responded to.  Several GLBT-friendly denominational groups, including Integrity, participated in the survey.  We collected over 500 responses across the nation, and several key themes included:

1.  Among those respondents who attend GLBT-friendly services, relationships between religious and social beliefs are almost identical for heterosexual and GLBT individuals who have more integrated sexual identities (i.e., those who may be out of the closet and understand their sexual orientation as only one of many aspects of their identity).

2.  The relationship between one’s church’s attitude regarding homosexuality and one’s religious beliefs was significant only in the GLBT group, and only related to beliefs about salvation.

3.  For individuals who self-identified as heterosexual, their attitude regarding social policies was significantly related to how "conservative" or "liberal" they considered their own religious beliefs to be, while this relationship was not significant for GLBT individuals.

4.  GLBT individuals' views on how the Bible should be interpreted was related to how "conservative" or "liberal" they considered their religious beliefs to be; whereas the relationship between these considerations was not significant for heterosexual respondents.

We also received many qualitative comments, including some excellent feedback and suggestions about the survey.  Our research team was able to present some of our results at various national poster sessions, including the American Psychological Association, and we are hoping to continue analyzing the data, with our attention now turning to the qualitative dimension of it.

Additionally, I am now beginning my dissertation on the "open secret," a phrase sometimes used to describe situations where a GLBT person's sexuality is known, but not discussed (i.e., an "elephant in the room" scenario).  I am interested in learning how the open secret may relate to one or more psychological variables, such as denial, stress, or self-esteem.  Or perhaps it works as a coping mechanism, allowing people to coexist where they might otherwise have difficulty doing so.  I am collecting my dissertation data online in two parts: (1) An initial screening survey (see link below) from which I will select a final sample of ten to twelve participants for (2) More in-depth online interviews. 

I would like to invite you to learn more about my dissertation survey by following the link below.  Then, if you feel so inclined, please consider (1) Sending an update of our prior research to the Integrity members, as many of them may have participated in our initial survey; and (2) Please consider including a link to my dissertation survey, as many Integrity members may be able to provide valuable input to this under-researched topic that I am now exploring.

I appreciate your help with my research, and I wish you and all the Integrity members a joyous holiday season.



Andrew D. Reichert, MS
PhD Counseling Psychology Student
Texas A&M University

Here’s the link to my current survey on the open secret:

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