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Youth Perspective: Religious Leaders Out Of Touch With Sexuality

Andrew Yip, Ph.D., lead author of a new report, Religion, Youth and Sexuality, a multi-faith study by sociologists from Nottingham and Nottingham Trent universities, in England, says that young people are finding it difficult to reconcile their religion with their sexuality. Nearly 700 students ages 18 through 25 were interviewed. More than 72 percent of them practice six different traditions: Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism or a mixed faith.

The study found that most feel that their religion is a positive force in their lives, but that religious leaders are out of touch with issues of sexuality. “There are young people that are finding it enormously difficult to combine their religion with their sexuality, especially if they are lesbian or gay,” says Sarah-Jane Page, Ph.D., a colleague of Yip.

Almost a third of the young adults interviewed believe that celibacy is fulfilling, with the percentage of men leading that of women. More than 83 percent support the idea of monogamous relationships, with slightly more women than men valuing it, according to Yip.

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