To God Be the Glory: Discussing Sex in Evangelical Communities in Southern Nigeria

Lindsay M Briggs, Kathleen R Gilbert, Michael D Reece, Brian M Dodge, Samuel G Obeng

Abstract

Many people hold stereotypes and assumptions about religious communities in regards to their feelings and beliefs about sex and the impact it has on the lived experiences of religious people. However, stereotypes and assumptions are not often grounded in reality, and many people are hesitant to address the issue head on. This qualitative ethnographically informed preliminary grounded theory study aimed to engage an Evangelical Pentecostal community in Southern Nigeria with the ultimate goal of understanding how communities conceptualize and discuss sexuality topics, the factors influencing sexual decision making amongst youth and young adults, and to identify research needs that will better inform innovative and efficacious research utilizing religious communities in sexuality research. Results showed that this population was highly interested in discussing sexuality in their community including major threats to their ideal sexual behavior path, reasons why people stray from this ideal and how to keep people on this ideal path. This research demonstrates that religious communities are interested in conducting sexuality research so long as the research takes their values and beliefs into account and respects their limitations when it comes to research intent and methods.

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