Over the past few months I’ve had a number of people ask me if they could participate in The Next Mormons survey, and I have had to tell them no. That is a survey conducted by a research firm, using socially scientific methods, and I do not have any influence over who is surveyed other than setting “quotas” for this percentage of women or men, that percentage of Millennials or Baby Boomers, etc.
But now, at least, I can refer individual Mormons who are interested in having their voices heard in an important survey to Michael Nielsen’s snowball sample of attitudes on LGBT issues. Progressive/liberal Mormons and traditional/conservative Mormons alike are needed here, so please share this link with all kinds of people:
Snowball samples depend on people spreading the word on social media and elsewhere so that the pool of respondents “snowballs” to include (hopefully) thousands of voices. The more the merrier here, because the bigger the sample is, the better the data will be.
With a snowball sample, you can never say “82% of all Mormons feel one way and 18% feel the other,” because you don’t have a nationally representative group. However, you can break the data down internally according to the way people identify themselves, like “82% of the heterosexual women in the survey agree with that statement, but only 18% of the women who identify as lesbian or bisexual.” Or “76% of the temple recommend holders feel this way.” (I just pulled these numbers out of thin air to illustrate how a snowball sample works.)
Here are some facts about the survey:
- The research is being conducted by Michael Nielsen of Georgia Southern University and David Wulff of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. The overall findings will be presented at academic conferences and in articles about Mormonism.
- You will not be identified by name, and the results are anonymous.
- The questions “will ask you such things as what you understand to be the LDS Church’s policy regarding sexual orientation, your experiences in the LDS Church, and your religious beliefs.”
- It should take 30 to 40 minutes to complete, depending on how much you want to elaborate when give the chance to answer open-ended questions.
- Again, you can access the survey online here. Thanks for adding your voice.