Wednesday, December 14

Four Options Survey

A friend asked me to pass this survey along. It takes about an hour to complete, and is being coordinated by a collaborative group with multiple perspectives... which is to say that some of the researchers are pro-religion and pro-celibacy, and some are deeply against.

I want to ask you, if you have ever experienced same-sex attraction, to take the time to fill out this survey. Traditionally, these types of surveys have had far more openly gay (and anti-religious) respondents than those who are quieter about their lives and faith.

One thing I noticed from the very beginning was the definition the survey uses for celibacy: 

"Celibate means committed to not acting sexually with another person."

By focusing on commitment, the survey looks at the internal, forward-facing, values-based direction of a person, and not their actions. This is a huge distinction, and hopefully one that plays out in the results.

Usually surveys look only at actions, and not at, to use the terminology I love, which way the respondents face. I can sin and then turn back to God, just as easily as I can follow the letter of the law and still be facing away from Him.

By using an internal goals-based definition, this survey makes two interesting distinctions:

1. Someone who intends to eventually be sexually active with the same gender is not celibate, even if he has never been sexually active before.  - This separates those who choose celibacy as a personal commitment, versus those who use it only as a temporary means because of circumstance.

2. Someone who has been sexually active with the same gender and has now made and holds the commitment to not be sexually active again is celibate. - This separates those who have been sexually active and now are committed to celibacy from those who have decided to remain sexually active.

I usually don't forward surveys like this. Could you take the time to fill it out?

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