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This project will assess the views of LDS church members about gender issues in the Mormon religious community.
This project will assess the views of LDS church members about gender issues in the Mormon religious community.
107 backers pledged $4,727 to help bring this project to life.


Survey of Gender Issues in the Mormon Church



The Mormon Gender Issues Survey Group is a group of academics and other interested individuals that will design, outsource (to the degree possible, given resource constraints), oversee, and then publicize a survey of Mormons about their views on gender issues in the Mormon religious community. As part of publicizing the survey, the group intends to publish an analysis of the results in an academic peer-reviewed journal.

A full accounting of all expenditures will be made available to contributors.

One of the group's primary objectives is to capture a more nuanced view of gender issues in the Mormon church than is captured by existing (and often-cited) surveys (e.g.  This survey will capture the views of a wide range of Mormons (not just “active” Mormons), given that dissatisfaction with gender inequality in the LDS church often plays a significant role in disaffiliation.

The survey will likely be structured as follows:

1) Source Indicators
2) Demographic Indicators
3) Activity Indicators
3) Religiosity Scale
4) Questions about Different Gender Issues (Perceptions, Justifications, Reactions, etc.)
5) Questions about Different Possible Courses of Action
6) [Possible Qualitative Component]

The design and administration of the survey will be overseen by Dr. Michael Nielsen:

Michael Nielsen
Georgia Southern University, Social Psychology

Michael Nielsen is professor and chair of psychology at Georgia Southern University.  His research focuses on the psychology of religion, with many of his publications examining social psychological aspects of Mormonism. He is coeditor of The Archive for the Psychology of Religion, and he serves on the editorial or advisory boards of five other journals, including Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.  He teaches courses in social psychology and psychology of religion, and has delivered invited lectures on the subject in Ukraine and Turkey.  He was raised LDS and most recently taught his ward’s marriage and family Sunday School class.

Others involved in the survey include:

Brent D. Beal
The University of Texas at Tyler, Strategic Management

Dr. Brent D. Beal received his Ph.D. in Management from the Lowry Mays College and Graduate School of Business at Texas A&M University. He has served on the faculty of the E. J. Ourso College of Business Administration at Louisiana State University and the College of Business at McNeese State University. Dr. Beal is currently an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business and Technology at The University of Texas at Tyler where he teaches strategic management.  His vita and a description of ongoing projects can be found at

Heather K. Olson Beal
Stephen F. Austin University, Secondary Education

Heather K. Olson Beal is an associate professor of secondary education at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she teaches courses in student diversity, educational foundations, classroom management, and literacy.  Her scholarship examines the issues of school choice, second language education, and the educational experiences of immigrant students.

Jennifer Beu
Business Analytics and Data Science

Jennifer Beu graduated from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder with an MS and BS in Accounting. After two and a half years in public accounting performing financial statements audits for public and private companies, she is currently in internal audit for a cable, internet, and telephone company. She enjoys big data and data analysis and is interested in how it can improve our decision making and risk assessment.

Eric Canen
University of Wyoming, Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center

Eric Canen is a Senior Research Scientist and manager of the Center of Health and Education Studies at the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center. He has served as principal investigator on many survey and evaluation projects dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. He has overseen the data collection, analysis and reporting of a large scale biennial survey of students in Wyoming since 2006. He has also studied the effectiveness and sustainability of large scale multi-site substance abuse prevention initiatives in Wyoming and North Dakota. Mr. Canen earned his B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University and two M.S. degrees in Psychology and Statistics from the University of Wyoming. His research interests include the application of sampling and survey methodologies to study social impacts of policy change. He is also interested in the practical application of survey methods to guide decision making and inform social change.

Ryan Cragun
The University of Tampa, Sociology

Dr. Ryan T. Cragun is a husband, father, and sociologist of religion (in order of importance). Originally from Utah, he now lives in Florida and works at The University of Tampa. His research and writing focuses on religion, with an emphasis on Mormonism and the nonreligious. His research has been published in a variety of academic journals, including: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Nova Religio, Journal of Religion and Health, and Journal of Contemporary Religion. He's the author of two books, Could I Vote for a Mormon for President? and What You Don't Know About Religion (but Should). For more about his work and copies of his peer-reviewed articles you can visit his website: When he's not working, he's spending time with his wife and son, cooking, watching science fiction, hiking, playing soccer, or tinkering with computers.

Jessica Duckett Finnigan
University of Cambridge, Study of Religion

Jessica Finnigan is currently an Advanced Diploma student in the study of religion at the University of Cambridge.  Her research centers on the intersection of technology and religion focused on the impact of innovation and the internet on religious communities. She graduated from BYU in 2003 with a BS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development.  She and her husband have 4 daughters age 11-6 years old. Jessica co-authored "I'm a Mormon Feminist": How Social Media Revitalized and Enlarged a Movement, a scholarly research article that was published last year in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion

Brad Jones
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Political Science

Brad Jones is a PhD student in political science. He has worked extensively with survey data and has experience with survey analysis. He also has a general interest in “uncorrelated” Mormonism.

Stephen Merino
University of Texas-Pan American, Sociology

Stephen is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Texas-Pan American. His academic interests include religion, race and ethnicity, social psychology, and social networks. Stephen’s research focuses on the influence of religion on intergroup attitudes and social interaction. His work has appeared in major journals such as Social Science Research, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Public Opinion Quarterly, Review of Religious Research, and more.

Lindsay Nielson
UC San Diego (moving to U. of San Diego in Fall 2014), Political Science

Lindsay Nielson is currently finishing her PhD in political science.  She has experience with survey data.  She has designed some of my own surveys and has experience in doing survey work in Utah. She is personally interested in researching more about how LDS members view feminists.

Nancy Ross
Dixie State University, Art History

Nancy has experience conducting research on feminism and race issues in the Mormon community and plans to continue doing this kind of research.

Matt Stearmer
The Ohio State University, Sociology (gender, social movements, crime, networks)

Matthew Stearmer is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the Ohio State University (2014). Stearmer has served as a Principal Investigator on several grants related to social movements, gender and health. He has been the lead researcher on both qualitative and quantitative data gathering projects including both the survey design and analysis phases of the project. These projects have led to publications in the Journal of Peace Research, a book chapter, four under review articles and have been used to produce several technical reports. Stearmer's research employs various methodological techniques including regression, network, geographic and ethnographic analysis. Prior education includes an MS in Geography and Sociology from Brigham Young University.

Brian Whitney
Weber State University, History and Sociology

Brian Whitney is completing his undergraduate work at Weber State University in history and sociology. Recently completing a year-long internship with the LDS Church History Department, Brian will be spending this summer on a research fellowship in Nauvoo, IL with Community of Christ Church. His graduate school interest is in comparative-historical sociology with emphasis in religion, gender, and social movements. He is currently conducting a study on LDS women’s role rhetoric in official church discourse.

Risks and challenges

One of the primary challenges will be sampling; Another challenge will be designing and administering the survey in a way that gives it credibility across the belief and activity spectrum. We have a number of talented and experienced academics in the group that are committed to making it a success.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    All those that contribute $10 or more will be listed (if so desired) on the website as SUPPORTERS and will received a PDF (via email) of the survey report.

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    71 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    All those that contribute $50 or more will be listed (if so desired) on the website and in the survey report as SUPPORTERS and will received a PDF (via email) of the survey report.

    Estimated delivery
    18 backers
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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    All those that contribute $200 or more will be listed (if so desired) on the website and in the survey report as SPONSORS and will receive both a PDF (via email) and a bound physical copy of the survey report.

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    Limited 4 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)