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Lined Up Books

The Research...

Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in this project to better understand the embodied experience of LDS women.  A mixed-method approach, utilizing a survey and in-depth interviews, allowed for nuanced and extensive information about body image among LDS women while also providing quantitative data that can be analyzed to look for differences in generational groups as well as in racial minorities and LGBTQ+ individuals.  Because religious beliefs can be a sensitive topic, one of my priorities was to keep the focus on how garments affect body image, not to critique or give commentary about personal beliefs regarding garments or the LDS church. 

The proposal went through a rigorous approval process by university professors who have extensive experience in academic research.  When designing the survey and writing interview questions, active LDS members of different ages were consulted to make sure the questions were not leading or biased.  

Survey:

  • The survey was completely anonymous but opened with information about the project and questions so participants could give informed consent.

  • To be completely transparent, I disclosed my personal relationship with the LDS church on the opening page of the survey.

  • The survey was shared on LDS-centric social media accounts for women with focuses like motherhood, mental health, sexuality, and marriage relationships.  It was also shared in several Facebook groups that are for women who serve in the Relief Society and Young Women program, and in Facebook groups for women who have served full-time missions for the church.  Students attending Brigham Young University posted the survey on the university’s Discord channel.  Ex-Mormon accounts were also used to recruit participants and diversify the sample.  There was concern about reaching older or more conservative demographics, so a snowball sampling method was used and participants were asked to share the survey with family members and friends.

  • The survey ran just under 2 weeks and had 8,585 respondents.  62% of respondents are active LDS members, 35% are ex-Mormon, and 3% are inactive but believing members.  

  • There was a place for additional comments at the end of the survey.  2,366 comments were submitted which adds to the qualitative data and reveals interesting cultural dynamics regarding garments. 

Interviews:

  • 25 in-depth interviews were conducted to get more nuanced information about LDS women's experience wearing garments. 

  • Some participants contacted me because they wanted to share their experiences, and some were chosen to diversify the interviews.  

  • Participants signed consent forms before being interviewed.

  • Interviews were semi-structured, with some set questions to guide the conversation and with room for interviewees to focus on aspects that they felt strongly about. 

  • Interviews were conducted via UMass Dartmouth's secure Zoom account.  Some participants preferred to answer interview questions via email because of scheduling difficulties.  

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