A new study has revealed that 22% of U.S. evangelicals appear to reject the Bible’s teaching that the gender of a person as male or female is given by God, the Creator, and instead believe in “gender fluidity.”
While 73% of American evangelicals disagree that “gender identity is a matter of choice,” 22% say they believe in that statement, according to the LifeWay Research “State of Theology” poll released Sept. 8.
The survey, sponsored by Orlando-based Ligonier Ministries, and conducted by surveying more than 3,000 Americans in March, also showed that Americans with evangelical beliefs (73%) are more likely to disagree that “gender identity is a matter of choice” than those without evangelical beliefs (47%).
The survey found that Americans in the Northeast are the most likely to agree with gender fluidity, at 44%, and so are those in the age group of 18 to 34, at 50%. However, Americans age 50-64 are the most likely to disagree (64%).
Further, the poll reveals that Americans in a rural area (56%) are more likely to disagree with gender fluidity than those in a large city (45%).
Attending religious service also matters, as the study found that Americans who attend a service at least once or twice a month are more likely to disagree that gender identity is a choice than those who do not (57% vs. 47%).
LifeWay also asked respondents if they believe “the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today.” The study found that evangelicals are the most likely to disagree, at 72%. It also revealed that Americans with evangelical beliefs are more likely to disagree than those without evangelical beliefs (81% vs. 34%).
Last week, a survey by the Pew Research Center said half of Christians say sex between consenting adults who are in a committed dating relationship is sometimes or always acceptable, and over half — with the exception of evangelical Protestants — said casual sex is OK.
Some 62% of Catholics, 56% of Protestants in the historically black tradition, 54% of mainline Protestants, and 36% of evangelical Protestants say casual sex between consenting adults is sometimes or always acceptable, according to the Pew survey.
Among those who are religiously unaffiliated, as many as 84% say casual sex is sometimes or always acceptable, Pew added. And the percentage increases to 94% among atheists and 95% among agnostics.
Pew clarified that the survey “did not ask respondents if they themselves would engage in any of these practices. Instead, the questions asked if they found the practices acceptable ‘regardless of whether you would do it yourself.’”
However, Americans, in general, do not tend to accept a range of other sex and dating practices, for example, having sex on a first date, exchanging sexually explicit photographs with other consenting adults, and having an open relationship, according to Pew.