New Survey Gauges Churchgoers’ Perceptions of Sexual Misconduct

The Gospel Coalition | 5/25/2019 | Staff
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The Story: A new survey explores the perceptions and experiences of sexual misconduct among Protestant churchgoers.

The Background: Lifeway Research recently released the results of a national survey of Protestants on their perception of sexual misconduct. Respondents were screened to include only adults whose religious preference is Protestant and who attend services once a month or more. The survey asked a variety of questions to gauge what sort of experience those who attend Protestant churches have with sexual abuse, harassment, safety, and accountability within their local churches.

Report - Churchgoers - Harassment - Abuse - Something

The general report from churchgoers is that sexual harassment and abuse is not something that the majority has experienced—and fewer than one-in-five know of someone in their churches who has experienced sexual assault or rape.

Almost one in three (28 percent) said that as a child or teen they received compliments that implied the adult viewed them sexually or were subjected as adults to unwanted joking remarks of a sexual nature (33 percent). Even fewer (19 percent) say they have received unwanted sexual comments/pictures/sexual advances texted or direct messaged to them. About a third (34 percent) said someone had made unwanted compliments that implied the person speaking viewed them sexually.

Percent - Percent - Behaviors - Someone - Church

Between 7 percent and 17 percent say that any of those behaviors was from someone they knew from church. When it comes to sexually inappropriate comments only 2 percent say church is a worse environment while two-thirds (75 percent) say church is better. A mere 4 percent say they have stopped attending or attended less frequently because of sexual advances from other attendees, while 5 percent say they have stopped attending a church because sexual misconduct was not taken seriously.

Similarly, relatively few say they know someone at their church who has experienced sexual assault (14 percent) or experienced rape/attempted rape as an adult (12 percent).


This report might...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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