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Managed Desire: Study Explores Gay Christianity and Dealing with Boundaries

Monday, May 20, 2013 8:08 am EDT
"Within the field of sociology in the last thirty years, we have finally begun to pay attention to the power of emotions. We have talked about managing emotions like shame, pride, fear, love and grief, but we have talked very little about the interconnected feelings of desire and lust"

New research in Symbolic Interaction explores the experiences of gay Christians who have sought help from the growing ‘ex-gay’ movement in the United States. The research, based on interviews across the Southern and Eastern U.S., examined how gay, celibate Christians deal with their identity while managing their feelings of desire.

“Within the field of sociology in the last thirty years, we have finally begun to pay attention to the power of emotions. We have talked about managing emotions like shame, pride, fear, love and grief, but we have talked very little about the interconnected feelings of desire and lust,” said author Dr S. J. Creek from Hollins University.

Dr Creek asked how gay Christians, who choose celibacy in order to feel compatible with their faith, interpret and communicate feelings of desire, and how they negotiating potentially uneasy social interactions with their church communities, which may include ‘ex-gay’ Christians and heterosexual Christian couples.

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