Gender, Sex, and the LDS

Taylor Petrey, ThD talks (and takes some fascinating audience questions) about the beliefs, teachings, and political actions of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) relative to homosexuality, feminism, and so-called family values. The Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Assistant Professor of Religion recently published a book—Tabernacles of Clay: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Mormonism—which takes a historical approach to LDS positions on gender and sexuality, and talks more broadly on gender and sexuality in right-wing religion generally. His research brings nuance, complexity and some surprises, positing, for example, that, contrary to popular misperception, LDS believes that gender is socially constructed (as opposed to naturally fixed) with boundaries so fragile they require significant church—and societal—support. Also contrary to popular misperception, LDS teachings regarding gender and sexuality have changed over time much more than most people think.