Mormonism and Female Ordination

I have a long-standing interest in Mormonism. I was raised Mormon. I’ve written on Mormonism in scholarly outlets in the past (a book chapter in 2008, a business case in 2013), and I’ve blogged about Mormonism as a personal hobby.

In early 2014, I teamed up with a group of other academics in a number of different fields (religious studies, political science, sociology, etc.) to form The Mormon Gender Issues Survey Group. The purpose of this group was to study the question of female ordination in the LDS church. I was also interested in learning about survey methodology from other group members and in familiarizing myself with R (the open-source statistical software).

We launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money. We wrote a survey. We paid Qualtrics to administer this survey to a nationally-representative sample of Mormons. We then launched a longer version of the survey online on November 16th, 2014.  More than 60,000 Mormons completed it (the final count was 91,698 survey attempts; after excluding incomplete surveys and removing duplicate submissions based on IP address, we ended up with 61,066 usable responses). We collected more than 5000 single-spaced pages of text in response to three optional open-ended questions at the end of the survey.

Here is what has come out of this project to date (that I’ve been involved with as an author):

Beal, B. D., Olson Beal, H. K., & Stearmer, S. M. 2015. An insider account of the Mormon Gender Issues Survey: Why we did it and why a vocal minority hated it. In G. Shepherd, L. F. Anderson, & G. Shepherd (Eds.), Voice for equality: Ordain Women and the resurgent Mormon feminism: 277-296. Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books. [publisher]

Cragun, R. T., Merino, S. M., Stearmer, S. M., Nielsen, M., Beal, B. D., & Jones, B. 2016. Predictors of opposition to and support for the ordination of women: Insights from the LDS church. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 19(2): 124-137.

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