Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Research Study Debunks Claim Christians are Homophobic

It would appear to be true that Christians love the sinner and hate the sin according to the results of a study published in the latest issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. The researchers from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University found that people who scored high in religiousness do distinguish between same sex attraction and same sex behavior in their responses to others.

The study had 100 female participants who were scored for interest in religion. The participants were led to believe that they were working with another participant as a two person team. The participants received hand written notes from their ostensible team partners with personal disclosures. Half the notes disclosed that the writer was gay, the other notes did not disclose sexual orientation. Half the notes disclosed that the writer was engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior outside of marriage. This created four cases: gay sexually active team member, gay celibate team member, heterosexual sexually active team member and heterosexual celibate team member. The participants were then given two minutes to perform tasks that could benefit the team member or a third student.

In general the participants helped the team member more than the unknown student. Participants did not help a gay team mate less than a heterosexual. The promiscuous were helped less than the celibate. The participants did not differentiate between a gay and a straight promiscuous team mate. Participants who scored high on religiousness helped the promiscuous person less.

The researchers concluded that the participants were able to distinguish between out group status (having same sex attractions) and value violation behavior (promiscuity). Ironically it would appear that it is previous researchers who failed to distinguish between out group status and value violation in previous studies that concluded that subjects who scored hign in religiousness were prejudiced in their behavior toward gays. The previous studies failed to provide the straight promiscuous category for comparison.

Here is the abstract. The site requires a fee to see the whole article.

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