LDS Young Women Survey Results (1300 responses)

These are the results so far of a totally anonymous survey about women’s experience in the LDS YW program.  The aim of this survey is to assist leaders in understanding the experience of women in the LDS YW program.

Women were asked to complete the survey if they had experience of participating in the LDS Young Women program, regardless of their current standing in the church.  They were asked to state how true these following statements are according what they were taught.

Participants under 16 years of age were asked to have their parent or adult guardian to read through the questions first.

For your information, the statements that form the survey questions have been collected from people who have experienced and/or served in YW.

You can contact the compilers of the survey here.

About us and why we decided to conduct this survey:  A lot of people have asked us who we are and why we decided to do this survey.  We do not represent the church leadership in any capacity and we have not been asked by anyone to do this survey.  We are active church members in the United Kingdom.  John serves as the ward seminary teacher, and Louise is the ward Relief Society President.  We have five daughters, and in discussion with them about their experience in two different wards in two countries, we found that while they cherished their experience in many ways, they did not feel they had a voice to express concern about some teachings and practices that made them feel uncomfortable.  They had also been taught some things as fact that were personal views of the teacher or local leadership.  One of the marvels of the church is that it is run largely by volunteers who devote hours of service.  This survey is not intended as a criticism of them or their efforts — we have served ourselves in youth callings.  But it seemed to us that no one had any firm data on what the young women of the church experience and are taught.  We hope this survey will help leaders understand the experience and impression made on the young women through their involvement in the church program.

Please take the survey if you haven’t already: CLICK HERE

The results of the survey so far (1300 completed surveys):

 

1) I was/am taught in YW that my main objective in life is to live the gospel.

  • True 859 (67.3%)
  • Sometimes true 368 (28.8%)
  • Not true 50 (3.9%)

2) I was/am taught in YW that my main objective in life is to marry in the temple.

  • True 965 (76.0%)
  • Sometimes true 238 (18.8%)
  • Not true 66 (5.2%)

3) I was/am taught in YW that my main objective in life is to get a good education.

  • True 119 (9.4%)
  • Sometimes true 387 (30.4%)
  • Not true 765 (60.2%)

4) I was/am taught that my main objective in life is to have a testimony of my Saviour and a relationship with my Heavenly Father.True742 (58.5%)

  • Sometimes true 448 (35.3%)
  • Not true 78 (6.2%)

5) I was/am taught that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father.

  • True 1194 (97.1%)
  • Sometimes true 28 (2.3%)
  • Not true 8 (0.7%)

6) I was/am taught that I am a daughter of Heavenly Mother.

  • True 241 (19.6%)
  • Sometimes true 366 (29.8%)
  • Not true 620 (50.5%)

7) I was/am taught to feel that my value as a person is dependent on marrying in the temple.

  • True 601 (48.9%)
  • Sometimes true 377 (30.7%)
  • Not true 251 (20.4%)

8) I was/am taught to feel that my value as a person is dependent on finding a temple-worthy husband.

  • True 655 (53.2%)
  • Sometimes true 326 (26.5%)
  • Not true 251 (20.4%)

9) Heavenly Father is like an all powerful king sitting on a throne.

  • True 417 (34.4%)
  • Sometimes true 363 (30.0%)
  • Not true 432 (35.6%)

10) Heavenly Father is like a strict judge.

  • True 350 (28.9%)
  • Sometimes true 482 (39.8%)
  • Not true 380 (31.4%)

11) Heavenly Father is like a close, personal friend.

  • True 539 (44.4%)
  • Sometimes true 492 (40.6%)
  • Not true 182 (15.0%)

12) Heavenly Mother should never be spoken about.

  • True 585 (48.5%)
  • Sometimes true 328 (27.2%)
  • Not true 293 (24.3%)

13) Sexual transgression is serious but most people do it and it is easy to overcome.

  • True 21 (1.8%)
  • Sometimes true 125 (10.4%)
  • Not true 1054 (87.8%)

14) Sexual transgression is serious and although I can repent, there will always be consequences.

  • True 973 (80.9%)
  • Sometimes true 186 (15.5%)
  • Not true 43 (3.6%)

15) One of the consequences of sexual sin is that I am of less value as a person.

  • True 565 (47.0%)
  • Sometimes true 305 (25.4%)
  • Not true 332 (27.6%)

16) A person belongs at church no matter what mistakes they make.

  • True 503 (42.0%)
  • Sometimes true 438 (36.6%)
  • Not true 256 (21.4%)

17) I was not taught anything about gay or lesbian issues in YW.

  • True (continue to next page, although you may respond to the questions below if you feel your experience in YW left you feeling strongly about this issue.) 765 (74.1%)
  • False (please answer below) 268 (25.9%)

18) Attraction to the same sex means you are gay or lesbian.

  • True 390 (53.4%)
  • Sometimes true 197 (26.9%)
  • Not true 144 (19.7%)

19) Gay or lesbian feelings are sinful.


  • True 528 (67.7%)
  • Sometimes true 103 (13.2%)
  • Not true 149 (19.1%)

20) Gay or lesbian tendencies can be changed through gospel living and prayer.

  • True 451 (59.5%)
  • Sometimes true 209 (27.6%)
  • Not true 98 (12.9%)

21) Being gay or lesbian is a lifestyle choice.

  • True 524 (67.8%)
  • Sometimes true 154 (19.9%)
  • Not true 95 (12.3%)

22) Gay and lesbian people are welcome at church.

  • True 192 (24.7%)
  • Sometimes true 258 (33.2%)
  • Not true 328 (42.2%)

23) If you are gay or lesbian you should choose celibacy

  • True 622 (80.7%)
  • Sometimes true 77 (10.0%)
  • Not true 72 (9.3%)

24) If you are gay or lesbian you should not serve a mission.

  • True 321 (43.7%)
  • Sometimes true 195 (26.5%)
  • Not true 219 (29.8%)

25) People are born gay.

  • True 67 (8.8%)
  • Sometimes true 196 (25.8%)
  • Not true 498 (65.4%)

26) My experience in YW has shown me that young men have more of a voice in important decisions in the youth program.

  • True 611 (52.8%)
  • Sometimes true 216 (18.7%)
  • Not true 331 (28.6%)

27) Young Women’s activities reflect as equal an interest in adventure and sport as young men.

  • True 65 (5.6%)
  • Sometimes true 189 (16.3%)
  • Not true 909 (78.2%)

28) Men and women have an equal say in what happens at church.

  • True 132 (11.4%)
  • Sometimes true 237 (20.6%)
  • Not true 784 (68.0%)

29) Men have the final say at church.

  • True 910 (79.1%)
  • Sometimes true 146 (12.7%)
  • Not true 95 (8.3%)

30) Men and women have an equal say in marriage

  • True 398 (34.5%)
  • Sometimes true 454 (39.3%)
  • Not true 302 (26.2%)

31) Men have the final say in marriage.

  • True 511 (44.6%)
  • Sometimes true 303 (26.4%)
  • Not true 332 (29.0%)

32) Women are more spiritual than men.

  • True 595 (51.6%)
  • Sometimes true 374 (32.4%)
  • Not true 185 (16.0%)

33) There will be more women than men in the Celestial Kingdom.

  • True 620 (55.4%)
  • Sometimes true 216 (19.3%)
  • Not true 284 (25.4%)

34) A woman should not have a career once married.

  • True 312 (27.3%)
  • Sometimes true 498 (43.6%)
  • Not true 332 (29.1%)

35) A woman should not have a career once they have children.

  • True 618 (54.2%)
  • Sometimes true 362 (31.7%)
  • Not true 161 (14.1%)

36) Delaying having children by using contraceptives is sinful.

  • True 235 (20.8%)
  • Sometimes true 364 (32.2%)
  • Not true 530 (46.9%)

37) Plural marriage (polygamy) happened because there were more women than men.

  • I have been taught this 908 (79.3%)
  • I have not been taught this 237 (20.7%)

38) Polygamy is my eternal destiny.

  • I have been taught this 547 (47.9%)
  • I have not been taught this 594 (52.1%)

39) Happiness in the home is best achieved when men have the last say.

  • I have been taught this 462 (40.6%)
  • I have not been taught this 676 (59.4%)

40) Happiness in the home is best achieved when women have the last say.

  • I have been taught this 63 (5.5%)
  • I have not been taught this 1076 (94.5%)

41) Morality lessons in YW include(d) discussions of female masturbation.

  • True 114 (10.2%)
  • False 1003 (89.8%)

42) It is less sinful for women to masturbate than men.

  • True 23 (2.2%)
  • Sometimes true 74 (7.0%)
  • Not true 963 (90.8%)

43) Having sex outside of marriage is as bad as murder.

  • True 623 (54.9%)
  • Sometimes true 221 (19.5%)
  • Not true 290 (25.6%)

44) When non-marital sex leads to pregnancy it makes the sin worse.

  • True 425 (37.9%)
  • Sometimes true 186 (16.6%)
  • Not true 511 (45.5%)

45) When I am on my period I feel less worthy to participate in temple baptisms.

  • True 327 (29.3%)
  • Sometimes true 186 (16.7%)
  • Not true 602 (54.0%)

46) A person’s virtue can be forcibly taken in situations like rape or abuse.

  • True 466 (41.8%)
  • Sometimes true 191 (17.1%)
  • Not true 459 (41.1%)

47) Sex is a necessary evil in order to have children.  

  • True 115 (10.2%)
  • Sometimes true 186 (16.6%)
  • Not true 822 (73.2%)

48) Women don’t hold the priesthood.

  • I have been taught this 1010 (89.6%)
  • I have been told this 97 (8.6%)
  • I have never been taught this 20 (1.8%)

49) Women don’t need the priesthood because we have motherhood.

  • I have been taught this 832 (74.1%)
  • I have been told this 177 (15.8%)
  • I have never been taught this 114 (10.2%)

50) Men need the priesthood in order to keep them from straying from the gospel.

  • I have been taught this 549 (48.9%)
  • I have been told this 273 (24.3%)
  • I have never been taught this 300 (26.7%)

51) The reason why there are so few women in the scriptures is because they have been generally less righteous than men.

  • True 39 (3.5%)
  • Sometimes true 139 (12.6%)
  • Not true 928 (83.9%)

52) The reason why there are not many women in the scriptures is because they are so sacred to God he is protecting them.

  • True 327 (29.6%)
  • Sometimes true 317 (28.7%)
  • Not true 460 (41.7%)

53) The reason why there are not many women in the scriptures is because they were written by men.

  • True 376 (34.1%)
  • Sometimes true 341 (30.9%)
  • Not true 385 (34.9%)

54) Eve was more sinful than Adam.

  • True 412 (37.1%)
  • Sometimes true 215 (19.3%)
  • Not true 485 (43.6%)

55) Eve was more gullible than Adam.

  • True 452 (40.8%)
  • Sometimes true 215 (19.4%)
  • Not true 442 (39.9%)

56) YW prepares me for Relief Society.

  • True 338 (30.5%)
  • Sometimes true 425 (38.4%)
  • Not true345 (31.1%)

57) If there has been something that has made me uncomfortable in a YW lesson I have always felt I can express that.

  • True 139 (12.5%)
  • Sometimes true 233 (21.0%)
  • Not true 737 (66.5%)

58) I feel equal to men.

  • True 276 (24.9%)
  • Sometimes true 219 (19.7%)
  • Not true 614 (55.4%)

59) I believe I am a better person for having been through the YW program.

  • True 369 (33.2%)
  • Sometimes true 441 (39.7%)
  • Not true 301 (27.1%)

60) The YW program needs more lessons on women in the scriptures and church history.

  • True 822 (74.9%)
  • Sometimes true 189 (17.2%)
  • Not true 87 (7.9%)

61) The YW program helps me to respond to my non-member’s questions about the church.

  • True 257 (23.2%)
  • Sometimes true 460 (41.6%)
  • Not true 389 (35.2%)

62) If a man becomes aroused (gets turned on) by what a woman wears, it is:

  • The woman’s fault 446 (40.7%)
  • Partially the woman’s fault 534 (48.7%)
  • Not the woman’s fault 117 (10.7%)

63) Modesty in appearance  is (choose all that apply):

  • A concrete thing — something is either modest or immodest. It can listed on a set of rules. 792 (46.8%)
  • Dependent on culture — it’s fine to be topless on a European beach, because that’s the culture. 86 (5.1%)
  • Dependent on context — wearing swimwear is OK, but not to a party. It’s hard to list because it depends on several factors. 627 (37.1%)
  • A completely personal choice — a person will need to be guided by personal feelings and the spirit. 187 (11.1%)

64) The decisions made by ward or stake leaders reflect the will of Heavenly Father and they should not be questioned.

  • True 761 (69.2%)
  • Sometimes true 251 (22.8%)
  • Not true 87 (7.9%)

65) All leaders are called of God by revelation.

  • True 950 (86.6%)
  • Sometimes true 121 (11.0%)
  • Not true 26 (2.4%)

66) If there is a problem in the ward you feel the Bishop should handle, what do you do?

  • Talk to the Bishop and leave it with him. 477 (44.3%)
  • Talk to the Bishop and follow-up if nothing happens. 105 (9.7%)
  • Young women should talk to their YW leaders. 224 (20.8%)
  • Young women should talk to their parents. 271 (25.2%)

67) Your age:

  • 12-146 (0.5%)
  • 15-1611 (1.0%)
  • 17-1824 (2.2%)
  • 19-25293 (26.8%)
  • 26-40588 (53.7%)
  • 41-50116 (10.6%)
  • 51+57 (5.2%)

68) How do you consider your current standing in the church:

  • Active and participating 643 (58.7%)
  • Not active but believing 78 (7.1%)
  • Not active and non-believing 183 (16.7%)
  • No longer member but culturally identifies as Mormon 65 (5.9%)
  • No longer member and does not identify as Mormon in any way 126 (11.5%)

69) Your route into the LDS church:

  • Born into the church 986 (89.9%)
  • Converted in childhood 56 (5.1%)
  • Converted in adolescence 55 (5.0%)

70) Your number of years in YW:

  • 1-2 32 (2.9%)
  • 3-4 113 (10.3%)
  • 5-6 950 (86.8%)

71) You attended YW predominantly in which continent?

  • North America / Canada 1039 (94.9%)
  • Europe 48 (4.4%)
  • Central & South America 0 (0.0%)
  • Australia 4 (0.4%)
  • Africa 2 (0.2%)
  • Asia & Middle East 2 (0.2%)
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