Toward the end of August 2016 the online journal The New Atlantis published a “special report” entitled, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences.” The article caused a firestorm within the LDS community. Today’s blog post presents the timeline of how The New Atlantis article has impacted our Mormon community for the worse.

Week of August 22, 2016

The New Atlantis publishes its junk science anti-LGBTQ article.

Shortly after the New Atlantis article, the blog, Mormon Women Stand (MWS), publishes a blog post entitled, “Groundbreaking Report on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Backs up the Family Proclamation and Teachings of Prophets.” The blog post applauds the junk science published in The New Atlantis.

September 6, 2016

Dr. Mikle South, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University publishes an article on Rational Faiths entitled, “Mormon Women Stand…On Shaky Science,”  pointing out the various problems with the New Atlantis article and the MWS blog post.

September 8, 2016

LDS therapist, Natasha Helfer Parker, writes a blog post entitled, “Atlantis Article…Are You Kidding Me?” where she also discusses the problems of the junk science in The New Atlantis article and with the MWS blog post.

September 16, 2016

Elder Dallin H. Oaks presides over a question-and-answer fireside in Frederick, MD. In this fireside, Elder Oaks cites the junk science from The New Atlantis article in order to reinforce the Church’s anti-LGBTQ teachings.

September 21, 2016

Michael Barker publishes an article on Rational Faiths entitled, “Elder Oaks Cites Bad Science…Again,” in which the many problems with Elder Oaks’ citation are pointed out.

September 26, 2016

The Baltimore Sun publishes Johns Hopkins University’s disavowal of The New Atlantis article which was co-authored by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, a scholar in residence at Johns Hopkins University.

October 4, 2016

Mormon Spotlight publishes an email from LDS Family Services entitled, “LDS Family Services Training Resources – September 29th, 2016.”  In this email, LDS Family Services lists The New Atlantis article as a “Helpful Resource on Sexuality and Gender.”

 

What does this series of events tell us about the LDS Church’s leadership and general membership? Are they rejecting the scientific data and the opinions of professionals in order to maintain their doctrinal stance with regards to the LGBTQ community?

 

Michael is a Guatemalan-American Mormon living in the Northwest with his family. He is one of the proprietors of the Rational Faiths blog.

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