An Examination of Women's Sexuality and Spirituality : the Effects of Conversion Therapy : A Mixed Study
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
The purpose of this study is to explore women's experiences with same- sex attraction and conversion therapy. A third construct, spiritual maturity, is included because one of the primary motivating factors in seeking change in sexual orientation appears to be a value conflict with religious beliefs. Because of the qualitative nature of this study, it is an exploratory design. The development of this study was guided by an interpretivist/constructivist paradigm with postmodern influences from critical, feminist, and queer theories as well as cultural studies. Methodology included narrative inquiry, ethnography,and a quantitative component, the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid. Twenty-one women participated in this study. Their personal stories of their conversion therapy experience, and its effects on their sexuality and spirituality are summarized and analyzed. Emerging themes from their stories included how they named their conversion therapy experience, their opinions of conversion therapy, their beliefs about the origins of their same-sex attraction, and their processes of sexual and spiritual identity development. In all cases, the women's answers on the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid were similar to their verbal stories and the levels of conflict discussed in their stories. Finally, my immersion experience in the culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reported and reflected upon.