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Book: Navigating Universalism and Particularism in the Study of Religions

Chapter: Heteronormative Religion? Attitudes towards Abortion and Same-sex Relationships on a Global Scale Explored through the Lens of Triangulation

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44297


In this chapter we explore the association between religion and heteronormativity in data from our mixed method study with young adults globally. We present some descriptive quantitative results, results from a cluster analysis and a multi-variate CHAID analysis. In addition, interview data helps us to nuance our comprehension further. On the one hand, our findings are consistent with many previous studies confirming the association between religion and heteronormativity, and on the other, they also indicate that e.g. tradition as a value is also an independently and relevant factor. With respect to this there are considerable variations between countries and contexts. How LGBTQI persons living in a heteronormative context themselves reproduce, manage or resist negative attitudes also vary significantly. The explorative approach in this chapter does not necessarily present new or surprising results. Rather, our use of a form of triangulation as an approach to our data underscores the value of systematic reflexivity – viewing things from different perspectives and in different lights. This is especially important when it comes to complex phenomena like religion, gender, and sexuality, and in cross-cultural studies.

Chapter Contributors

  • Peter Nynäs ( - pnynas) 'Åbo Akademi University'
  • Ariela Keysar ( - akeysar) 'Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut'
  • Clara Marlijn Meijer ( - cmeijer2531) 'Åbo Akademi University'
  • Sofia Sjö ( - ssjo) 'Donner Institute, Turku'