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Psychologists Turn Gay Mormons Into Study

Gaybaby Gay people have long been poked, prodded and probed by the scientific community. And, yes, that tradition continues.

Via the Daily Herald:

A Utah State University psychology professor has launched a research study aimed at better understanding the experiences of gay Mormons and their relationship with the church.

Professor Renee Galliher says she hopes the survey data will dispel myths and promote better understanding about the lives of Mormon gays.

Like many faiths, Mormonism teaches that any sexual relationship outside of traditional marriage is a sin, and in the past, the church preached that homosexual feelings, alone, were a sin. One faith leader last year even suggested gays could be cured through prayer.

Among other questions, the survey asks respondents to describe their commitment to Mormon teachings before and after accepting their sexual orientation.

Always nice to be studied and dissected, no?

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  1. Am I detecting some snark in this post? Not sure why...

    The LGBT community fought for years to get attention from studies ("Gay men's health? Why would we care about that?"), and now we're getting it.

    I am not a Mormon (nor have I ever been), but I have several friends who were raised LDS. It was a devastating experience for them to come out and deal with leaving the church and telling their families they aren't going to get married and have 10 kids.

    This sounds like important research to me.

    My two cents.

    Posted by: John | Jul 31, 2011 7:25:41 PM

  2. Are you for real? You take a very cynical/skeptical tone here, but for no apparent reason. Are you suggesting gays are singled out for this sort of study? If so, is that bad?

    You keep putting up these posts where you inject commentary into a news item, which I guess is ok if you are making some sort of point, but here there's just no basis whatsoever for trite little conclusory line and the headline. If you're going to say something, say it. Otherwise, your posts would be much stronger if you let the news speak for itself (though I hardly see how the announcement of a seemingly minor sociological study is news - there aren't any results yet, and the study seems pretty vanilla).

    Posted by: Ummmmm | Jul 31, 2011 7:29:01 PM

  3. Yeah, this sounds like positive news to me.

    Posted by: corvidae | Jul 31, 2011 7:42:55 PM

  4. Really confused by the constant need to editorialize news items. Yes, this study is important. Why the hell wouldn't we want to know more about these aspects of the community? I don't see "poking and prodding" here. If psychologists, sociologists, and scientists hadn't taken the initiative to finally take homosexuality as a serious subject, then we wouldn't have many of the research findings that we're using in the fight for our rights.

    Posted by: Err | Jul 31, 2011 7:46:16 PM

  5. Actually the report will be what ever the Mormon Church tells them it will be.

    Posted by: macmantoo | Jul 31, 2011 7:48:09 PM

  6. I agree with just about everyone else about Belonsky's writing. His cynicism is almost always unwarranted and his writing and attitude are overwhelmingly immature.

    Posted by: Bastian | Jul 31, 2011 7:56:52 PM

  7. God forbid psychologists study people!

    Posted by: HomoDM | Jul 31, 2011 7:57:41 PM

  8. Well personally, I feel the snark is warranted, after the "aversion" techniques, the waterboarding and shock therapy used on their gays that either killed them or drove them to suicide... Uggh, haven't they studied "teh ghey" enough? We all know what Mormons think of us. After Prop 8, can you even question that? What could the church and Brigham Young "University" hope to achieve by further "study"?

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jul 31, 2011 7:59:21 PM

  9. As a queer ex-Mormon, I was glad to participate in the survey. And I have a couple of things to point out.

    First, the study was not commissioned by the Mormon Church: Utah State University is a public institution. One of the study's designers is not LDS; the other, Dr. William Bradshaw, a biology professor at BYU, is himself the father of a gay son and is one of the most powerful allies LGBT people have within Mormonism (he's best known for having written and taught on the biological origins of homosexuality).

    There were 149 questions in the survey; in addition, participants were given space to write of their own personal experiences and feelings about being (or having been) Mormon and gay.

    I don't know how anyone could see this as other than helpful.

    Posted by: SLK in SF | Jul 31, 2011 8:18:21 PM

  10. sarcasm fail.

    Yes, it is nice to be studied since the scientific community studies everything lol

    Posted by: Ray | Jul 31, 2011 8:44:24 PM

  11. I think the GP is worried the study may contradict his pre-established conclusions.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 31, 2011 9:23:40 PM

  12. I, too, am sick of the snark. I prefer getting my news from grown ups. Going forward, I think I'll just avoid Towleroad on weekends and when Andy's out of the loop. It's not like every story on here can't be found in a couple of well-thought-out Google searches.

    Posted by: Chapotheother | Jul 31, 2011 9:47:56 PM

  13. @SLK in SF:

    Just watched an hour long video with Dr. Bradshaw on, if his attitude is the future Mormon, I have hope for your gay brothers and sisters in the church. Thanks for sharing more about him.

    I'll admit I have quite a bit of anger towards the Mormon church, (probably due to my own religious abuse - evangelical style) after seeing the footage from their clinics and aversion techniques where people literally had burn marks from the shock therapy in the 80s, reading about the high rates of suicide among Gay Mormons and speaking to former Mormons - the whole Prop 8 hell we all got to experience - it has definitely colored my opinion of them. I am sure I am NOT alone.

    Acknowledging my ignorance with this Dr. (not BYU, though - even the good Dr. admits the place is hell for LGBT students) I certainly hope this study will help dispel the myths this belief system holds towards LGBT people. His son sounds remarkable and the Dr. loves him very much, I can tell.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jul 31, 2011 9:48:49 PM

  14. "Gay people have long been poked, prodded and probed"

    I do like being probed

    Posted by: ravewulf | Jul 31, 2011 9:53:15 PM

  15. I did this questionnaire weeks ago. There is nothing offensive about it. Nothing.

    I'd say if the team at Towleroad can't handle people using the internet to learn about each other, it might be time to find a new line of work. Just sayin'.

    Posted by: Kyle in Madison | Jul 31, 2011 9:58:48 PM

  16. Maybe some of us have a problem with the fact that the Mormon "church" is hardly better than Scientology, is a massive cult founded on ludicrous premises, and that religion is a load of crap. I cannot believe that regular Towleroad readers would see the problem with the snark.

    And, by the way, Mormons are great at gathering their own to defend themselves. I don't recognize any of the names attacking this article as regular posters. So give us all a break.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 31, 2011 10:47:31 PM

  17. Last time I checked this isn't a journalistic website, it is a blog. You want to read the original posting go to the source. Kind of like Billy O'Reilly is not a "news show" it is meant to entertain.

    Posted by: mattman | Jul 31, 2011 11:15:23 PM

  18. I'm a fairly regular poster! And while I can't vouch for this study personally, I have to say that it seems like a worthwhile topic for a research study.

    This isn't necessarily a journalistic website, but the snark does seem like it could use a firmer basis. Is there anything we can point to that's fishy? Has this university or these doctors performed questionable studies in the past? If so, please link, towleroad!

    Posted by: AdamA | Aug 1, 2011 12:35:22 AM

  19. I am disappointed by Towleroad's take on an article that is of great benefit to gay Mormons. If the author of this post actually looked at the study and knew its background, he would not have added such ignorant commentary. Way to be judgmental.

    Posted by: Evan | Aug 1, 2011 1:03:32 AM

  20. I liked Towleroad when it tried to be a legitimate new source with very limited op/ed comments. Lately it seems that opinion needs to be injected into every news article. Wasn't Towleroad a major news source a few years back? What happened? Like any legitimate news company, there should be internal rules about the conduct that the editors should have, and the amount of opinion that can be thrown around.

    Posted by: Robert | Aug 1, 2011 3:15:37 AM

  21. Yup, sorry Belonsky, but you have got to grow up a bit and think things through a lot more before you post.

    It's gotten to the point where before seeing the name I have near-100% accuracy in knowing who wrote the post, and unfortunately that accuracy is based entirely on the quality of the writing and opinions.

    Where'd Andy find this guy? Is he a high school intern?

    Posted by: le_sacre | Aug 1, 2011 3:32:19 AM

  22. Please get rid of this antiscience, no talent assclown for all the reasons already mentioned by others Andy. He's insufferable.

    Posted by: Blake | Aug 1, 2011 6:20:22 AM

  23. I don't really see the need to study about the LGBT community. Everyone as their own identity, so do they. Why don't the psychologists study about how people are falling into great depression and mental disorders due to the falling economy?

    Posted by: dental hygienist | Aug 1, 2011 6:47:27 AM

  24. While they're at it, they should find out why the Mormons think that they have "magical" underwear!

    Just look at Mitt Romney. His "magical" underwear is full of pit stains and skid marks and he thinks he's running for President. Freaking joke!

    Posted by: TJ | Aug 1, 2011 7:51:52 AM

  25. This entire "study" sounds like something my fishmonger cooked up.
    As for Mr Belonsky the only bone I have to pick with him is that he smokes.

    Posted by: Oliver | Aug 1, 2011 8:09:07 AM

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