The Guardian reports that young people believe churches are out of touch with issues of sexuality from interviews with Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Sikhs as well as those of mixed faith.:
Sex and religion are subjects traditionally avoided at dinner parties, especially in the same sentence. But the supposedly conflicting pulls of sexuality and religion have fascinated writers from the Book of Genesis onwards.
So it is perhaps surprising that there has been little in the way of academic research on the subject until now, says Dr Andrew Yip, lead author of a new report, Religion, Youth and Sexuality, a multi-faith exploration, by sociologists from Nottingham and Nottingham Trent universities.
Aware of what Yip calls "the increasingly sexualised culture in British society today", the researchers set out to look at the challenges faced by young adults of religious faith. "We wanted to explore how they understand their sexuality and their faith, and the significant factors that inform such understandings," Yip says. "Also the strategies they have developed to manage their sexual, religious, youth and gender identities."
What they found was that, although most of the young people felt their religion was a positive force in their lives, there was a strong feeling that religious leaders are out of touch with issues of sexuality.
Nearly 700 people were interviewed, aged between 18 and 25. More than 72% were students, from further and higher education, and they came from six different traditions: Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism as well as those of mixed faith. "There were, for instance, a few Christians that we interviewed who are now exploring Buddhism," Yip says before confirming that, yes, Buddhists are more liberal on issues of homosexuality and sexual diversity. "Broadly speaking, our Muslim and Christian respondents tended to hold more conservative views."
Do you think this holds true for young people and religious groups in the US?