Have You Seen a Sexy Gorilla?

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Research | 38 comments

Sexy Gorilla: Problems with Shaunti Feldhahn's Research Questions
Orgasm Course

Every Friday, 46,000 people receive our weekly email, linking to all of this week’s posts and podcasts, with a summary, so people can make sure they don’t miss anything they’re interested in.

But the email also has a big thought authored by Rebecca–not me. And these are often just excellent. In fact, when she started writing the Friday emails, my open rate doubled, and we now have a crazy number of people actually opening and reading what comes into their inbox.

I sometimes feel like our best material is actually saved for our email list, and most of you never get to see it. A lot of it is more pastoral (Rebecca has a really pastoral heart, and lots of it is about faith journeys and how to find Jesus in the midst of doubt), but sometimes she tacks on some extra things we didn’t have time for in a blog or podcast.

Last week was one such time. She decided to do a deep dive into what was wrong with one of Shaunti Feldhahn’s survey questions, and in so doing, she came up with the best subject line for an email of all time: Have You Seen a Sexy Gorilla? (it makes sense once you read the email!)

I want to share it with you today–and encourage you to sign up for our email list too!

When you sign up, you won’t miss anything from the blog, you’ll get all of Rebecca’s thoughts, PLUS you’ll get notified if I’m ever speaking or visiting near where you live!

So here’s last week’s email article:

Have you seen the survey question that the whole “men are visual in a way women can never understand” started from?

We’ve been talking about For Women Only since we released our one-sheet on the problematic elements of the book last week, and if you haven’t yet you can download that here.

But on Facebook Sheila (my mom) posted the survey question that started this whole mess and asked how you would fix it. Here’s the question:

A lot of people had fantastic responses about problems with this question, and if you want to see the discussion you can go here (and follow us on Facebook, too, while you’re at it!). But today I’m going to talk about why I personally think this is a horrible question for several different reasons, in several different ways.

So buckle in.

I’d like to start by explaining the phenomenon of selective attention.

If you haven’t seen the selective attention test, watch the following video and follow the instructions exactly:

As humans, we cannot pay attention to everything around us all the time. We just can’t! So when you are instructed to pay attention to something, you typically filter out other stimuli. That’s why we miss the big twist in the video above, the gorilla just hanging out in the middle of the basketball game (I completely missed it the first time I watched it! Now that it’s been pointed out, though, I can’t NOT see it even when I try not to!)

When Shaunti opens a question by TELLING PARTICIPANTS that a hot woman is present, a “great body,” in fact, it’s like telling people, “There’s a gorilla in the basketball game but try not to see it. How many of you saw the gorilla?”

Many of the men in that train station may have just not noticed the woman at all, in a real life setting.

Maybe they were looking at the time to make sure they didn’t miss their train. Maybe they were watching a 2-year-old running around pretending they were a dinosaur. Maybe they were preoccupied thinking about work stress, or planning what they needed to grab from the shops on the way home.

But Shaunti primed her test-takers to answer that they noticed a hot woman by telling them “You notice a hot woman,” and then somehow believed that those answers were indicative of how many men notice hot women in public in general!

If you gave doctors a survey where they were handed test results that were positive for cancer and asked what they would do about it (ignore my complete lack of medical knowledge in this example), and then found that 98% of them treated the cancer, you can’t then say that 98% of cancer is caught and treated by doctors because you haven’t actually tested if they would have even called for those tests themselves!

All of this is ridiculous. It’s priming, it’s forgetting about selective attention, and it’s ridiculous.

But worse, by creating an environment where you’re priming men to look for hot women, you’re actually making it MORE LIKELY that they WILL notice the hot women. Just like how I can’t watch that video without seeing the gorilla, when we teach people to constantly be on the look out for people we find sexually attractive we actually become MORE selectively attentive to those things.

So in priming her audience she then created an unrealistic result that she then used in a book that actually worked to train a whole generation of men to, in fact, selectively attend to hot bodies around them.

It is INFURIATING to me.

Orgasm Course

So how would I make this question better on the selective attention front?

Frankly, I don’t think you can in a written question in a survey. But I think that if we wanted to answer the question of “do people (because we can’t just study men and then say they’re different than women without actually measuring women, remember) notice attractive people more often than they do people they are not attracted to” here’s what I would do:

How to Improve this Survey Question

  1. Have participants watch a first-person perspective walk-through of a train station with the instruction that they are supposed to look for their gate (a very simple, normal task that you have to do at a train station). DO NOT GIVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR INSTRUCTION, especially about “great bodies.”
  2. Immediately afterwards, ask the participants to describe as many of the people they remember noticing from their walk through.
  3. Ask participants if they had experienced sexual attraction to anyone they saw.
  4. Ask participants if they pictured anyone’s body naked or in a compromising or sexual nature.

Then we could likely get some interesting information about what types of traits are “noticeable” to people to make them stand out, what differences exist (if any) between the sexes on what’s “noticeable” (I’d imagine that danger might be one of them), and differentiate between noticing, finding attractive, and lusting. 

By priming her test-takers and then treating all visual stimulation (and by that I literally just mean visual stimulation–like the actual fact that there is a woman there who exists in the room who you can see with your eyeballs due to light entering the retina and bouncing off the optic nerve type of visual stimulation) as evidence of LUST, she’s created a complete nonsense world and called it psychological fact. 

You know why this is clearly not lust, too?

This question could be edited for literally anything and the responses still work.

THIS IS NOT LUST, it’s just literally NOTICING that something strange is happening. Consider the following changes to the question, and whether or not the wording in the responses would need to change:

The Survey Question Gets the Same Results for Other Scenarios

  1. Imagine you are sitting alone in a train station and a couple is having an argument on the next bench beside you.
    1. I openly stare at them, and drool forms on my lower lip.
    2. I’m drawn to look at them, and I sneak a peek or glance at them from the corner of my eye.
    3. It is impossible not to be aware that they are there, but I try to stop myself from looking.
    4. Nothing happens; it doesn’t affect me.
  2. Imagine you are sitting alone in a train station and a 4-year-old starts having a melt-down while her frazzled mom tries to manage the tantrum.
    1. I openly stare at them, and drool forms on my lower lip.
    2. I’m drawn to look at them, and I sneak a peek or glance at them from the corner of my eye.
    3. It is impossible not to be aware that they are there, but I try to stop myself from looking.
    4. Nothing happens; it doesn’t affect me.
  3. Imagine you are sitting alone in a train station and a man sits next to you and starts eating the most delicious-smelling meatball sub you’ve ever smelled.
    1. I openly stare at it, and drool forms on my lower lip.
    2. I’m drawn to look at it, and I sneak a peek or glance at them from the corner of my eye.
    3. It is impossible not to be aware that it is there, but I try to stop myself from looking.
    4. Nothing happens; it doesn’t affect me.

I imagine that the vast majority of us would choose 2 or 3 to MOST of those–and likely a lot of us would choose “1” for that third rewritten scenario. 🙂 Does that mean we are all sexually attracted to couples fighting? Does it mean that we’re attracted to watching moms get frazzled while dealing with angry children? Does it mean I’m sexually attracted to a meatball sub if I’d find it hard not to openly drool? 

Well, I sure hope not. 

According to Shaunti, attention = attraction.

But as a straight woman, I’d also say that I’d peek a look at the attractive woman! Of course I would! We, as human beings, enjoy beauty. We just do! We are drawn to things that look beautiful, we enjoy looking at things and people who we think are beautiful, and that doesn’t mean we’re trying to sleep with every single one of them, or that we even want to!

We are allowed to just notice that someone is beautiful and then, naturally our brains will want to seek out that little reward of looking at something pretty, like how I look twice when I pass my flower garden in the vegetable patch.

I get a little dopamine reward for looking at something beautiful. It doesn’t mean I think nasturtiums are sexy. Connor “looks twice” when our neighbours have really well manicured lawns. He doesn’t have a “thing” for grass. 

She Deserves Better!

Because we all deserve a big faith.

Your daughter deserves better than what you likely grew up with in church.

What would it look like to prepare the next generation without toxic teachings about modesty, sex, or consent, and instead set her up for a big faith?

Like Devi said in the podcast on this (listen here):

The reason “For Women Only” went big was because this book was different.

It claimed to be based on actual research, so a whole generation of women felt that they had to ignore that voice in themselves that said, “This doesn’t sound right.”

She taught a whole generation of women to be afraid of their husbands having eyeballs because she convinced them that seeing someone is beautiful is in the same camp as fantasizing sexually about them. And did she intend to do that? No, I don’t think she did on a cognitive level. Frankly, she has so many contradictory caveats in her book that I think she knows that this is wrong, too.

I just think it’s a shame that someone who did have the education to know better and do better instead chose the easier route that just got her the primed response that she was looking for. And then she weaponized that education against her readers, even though her work wasn’t even done to the standards of the institution that she so often claims (or at least, I know it wasn’t done to the standards of the University of Ottawa, my alma mater, so I can only imagine that it wasn’t done to the standards of Harvard).

So how would i fix this question?

  1. I wouldn’t ask it, first off. It doesn’t actually prove anything since it is equally applicable to dogs pooping, yummy sandwiches, “great bodies”, and screaming toddlers. No specificity there–it means we’re likely not proving what we think we’re proving.
  2. If I MUST ask it, I’d ask of both men and women to make sure I wasn’t just assuming that the genders are different, but that they actually are.
  3. I’d use a more natural setting, like a video of a typical train station or even just a photo flashed for a few seconds on the screen, and then have the respondents answer questions based on memory on a different page from the visual information.
  4. I wouldn’t assume that “looking” and “wanting to have sex” are the same thing, so I wouldn’t talk about looking at a person as “sexual temptation.”
  5. I would, once again, seriously consider the benefits of even asking this question because there is genuinely no reason to ask this question in the way it was asked other than to stoke fear in the hearts of women and excuse certain behaviours in men.

Evangelicalism has trained a whole generation of men to watch out for sexy gorillas.

Gorillas they might not have seen if they had been told to look for something else instead.

Gorillas that they might not even really find sexy but are afraid that they now find sexually alluring because they noticed that they existed.

Gorillas that they previously might have just seen, thought, “Well that’s not something you see every day,” and forgotten about a moment later who now have become obsessions in the back of their mind, filled with shame and self-disgust over something they genuinely could not control (because, again, we are talking about NOTICING, not LUSTING. These questions could apply to ANYTHING).

And a whole generation of women has been introduced to anxieties and worries that may not have ever realized if they hadn’t been fed false information about how many men can’t help but look at women in a sexual manner.

Again, and I cannot emphasize this enough, the question was so non-specific that it could have been used about a dog taking a giant dump in the middle of the train station and 98% would have said they noticed.

We humans are designed to pay attention to things, but not to everything. And yes, we pay attention to things we find beautiful and attractive more than we do to things that we see as neutral. We also pay attention to things we find disgusting or strange more than we do things we find neutral. But that doesn’t mean that every response that is based in sexual function (such as attraction) is sexual in the way the church often discusses it. It doesn’t mean that every sexual thought we have is a sexual fantasy or lust. It doesn’t mean that when we find something beautiful we then have to devour and consume it.

Usually the lady at the train station is just the lady at the train station. The crying toddler is just a crying toddler. The meatball sub is just a meatball sub. 

And you have permission to just notice the gorilla and move on without worrying about if you found it too sexy. 

Don’t miss another of Rebecca’s emails! Sign up for our email list!

Download Our Marriage Survey

Join 40,00 others and let's change the evangelical conversation about sex

Our Patreon group had a great time laughing over Rebecca’s subject line for this email last week. One posted some pretty funny pics that popped up when she googled “sexy gorilla.” And we even had an artist in the group draw a pretty funny picture.

So come on over to our patreon too and join the fun! We often discuss Rebecca’s emails after they come out, too.

Shaunti Feldhahn For Women Only's Survey questions

What do you think? Do you agree with how Rebecca would have changed that question? Did you see the gorilla the first time you watched that video? Let’s talk in the comments!

Written by

Rebecca Lindenbach

Tags

Recent Posts

Want to support our work? You can donate to support our work here:

Good Fruit Faith is an initiative of the Bosko nonprofit. Bosko will provide tax receipts for U.S. donations as the law allows.

Orgasm Course

Rebecca Lindenbach

Author at Bare Marriage

Rebecca Lindenbach is a psychology graduate, Sheila’s daughter, co-author of The Great Sex Rescue, and the author of Why I Didn’t Rebel. Working alongside her husband Connor, she develops websites focusing on building Jesus-centered marriages and families. Living the work-from-home dream, they take turns bouncing their toddler son and baby daughter, and appeasing their curmudgeonly blind rescue Yorkshire terrier, Winston. ENTJ, 9w8

Related Posts

Comments

We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!

38 Comments

  1. Angharad

    I saw the gorilla the first time I watched the video…does this mean I’m weird?!!

    Reply
    • Mara R

      I was the same. They showed it in a psychology class I attended. I saw the gorilla walking nonchalantly through the chaos and laughed out loud. It threw me off count.
      I was shocked that no one else saw the gorilla. This was years ago.

      I’m not sure it makes us weird. Some people are more detailed oriented and some are more big picture oriented. I’m big picture oriented kind of gal. I do tend to see things other people miss.
      Or maybe I’m just coming to the defense of our weirdness.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        I didn’t see it! Now I can’t unsee it.

        Reply
      • Angharad

        Well at least if I’m weird, I’m weird in good company!

        I used to have a job proof-reading literature in the charity I worked for, so I guess it’s maybe a hangover from that, as you have to make sure you are looking at what’s really there, not what you think should be there. When I saw the video, I was ‘ah, that’s clever, they send the gorilla in to distract you from counting the number of passes’…and then got to the end and found out I wasn’t even supposed to have noticed the gorilla!!! 🤦‍♀️

        Reply
  2. Nessie

    I noticed the gorilla as well.

    I don’t know the academic world very well so my thoughts on this mean very little, but it surprises me that Harvard is ok with her promoting her terrible “research” in the same breath as that institution’s name. I hold a lower view of Harvard now because it apparently produces faulty researchers with so little integrity such as herself. I’m sure it’s unrealistic to expect Harvard (or anywhere) to hold their graduates to a higher accountability but I sure wish they would.

    Reply
    • SB

      Apparently research is nowhere in the wheelhouse of the degree she actually got from Harvard, and even she has claimed research isn’t her strong suit. Her “research” is so bad though, that I am willing to bet someone is paying her big bucks to push an agenda and message that doesn’t pan out with actual faithful research.

      Reply
  3. Jane Eyre

    If I were to do this survey question:

    I would start with men who commute to work via train every day. Then I would ask them very boring questions about how often they are at least ten minutes early, do they have a preferred seat or car, pay daily or get a monthly pass.

    Then I would ask questions about noticing fellow passengers. A lot of “when was the last time you noticed…” an elderly person who walked with a cane, a young couple, a toddler, a homeless person, and then – I dunno how to word this, a very hot woman? But all the answers would be “today – in the last week – in the last month – almost never.”

    Reply
  4. CMT

    I may have talked about this here before, but Dr Laura Robinson wrote a really insightful post about this phenomenon:

    https://laurarbnsn.substack.com/p/women-are-never-going-to-cover-themselves

    And a follow-up:

    https://laurarbnsn.substack.com/p/hypersexuality-in-christian-spaces (CW: sex trafficking, abuse of minors)

    She discusses the scrutiny of women and girls’ bodies, and points out that “the rules create the fetish, not the other way around.” Enforcing ever more particular rules to prevent men from noticing women only sensitizes men to the most minor “infractions.” When the rules determine when a woman’s body or clothing or actions are sexual, the context, and the intent of the woman in question, become irrelevant. The second piece illustrates how dangerous that attitude becomes when hypersexualized religious men put themselves in proximity to extremely vulnerable women and girls.

    The awful irony, of course, is that no one wins this game. Women and girls are objectified and harmed, and men and boys are derailed in becoming mature, healthy people.

    Reply
    • Angharad

      Yes. Which explains why women are victims of harassment even in strict Muslim countries where their entire faces and bodies are covered. I just wish all those women who bleat on about modesty could grasp that what a woman wears has absolutely nothing to do with the way men respond to her body. Says the one who was regularly assaulted as a teen and 20-something at church while wearing the sartorial equivalent of a tent.

      Reply
      • CMT

        Yeah, or what about cultures where nudity or partial nudity are normal? If all men everywhere are just inherently “visual creatures,” unable to control their responses to women’s bodies, wouldn’t half their population be wandering around in a constant haze of uncontrollable arousal? I’m no anthropologist, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that doesn’t happen.

        Reply
        • Davida

          This comment got me rolling on the floor laughing! As an Igbo woman, I had always wondered how (after British colonisation), some men & women have issues with women’s dressing choices when fast forward to just about a 100 years ago both women & men dressed topless. And yet, the cultural norms against rape & premarital sex (even though cohabitation was sometimes allowed) were pretty strong. Men definitely didn’t go on a “raping rampage” because women were naked

          Reply
  5. Melissa W

    I also saw the gorilla the first time I watched it but what is so funny to me is that just the title of the email alone “Have you seen a sexy gorilla?” already had me primed to see the gorilla in the selective attention test video. She completely proved her point just by giving her email that title. Now had the email been titled something different like “The Phenomenon of Selective Attention” and there was no reference to a gorilla until after readers had a chance to watch the video and before moving onto the rest of the email, then I probably would not have seen the gorilla when I watched the video first time. Bravo on proving your point!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Haha yes I figured I was going to prime people to see the gorilla, but the subject line came to me and it was just too funny not to use!! Worth it 😉

      Reply
  6. Andrea

    Shaunti Feldhan is responsible for a lot of hurt her books have caused, but I can summon a bit of compassion for her when I think about the fact that she is probably rationalizing her own abusive marriage. From what I’ve read about her books on this blog, she’s married to a man who openly lusts over other women around him and cannot be told to take the correct highway exit if he is about to miss it. She made a career out of her trauma (and a lot of money too as her books sold well, while others are struggling to pay for therapy to fix the pain she caused them). It was this line or Rebecca’s that got me thinking about all that: “…there is genuinely no reason to ask this question in the way it was asked other than to stoke fear in the hearts of women and excuse certain behaviours in men.”

    Reply
    • Nessie

      This part makes it difficult for me to muster much sympathy (Andrea, you are a better person than me.)
      “She made a career out of her trauma (and a lot of money too as her books sold well, while others are struggling to pay for therapy to fix the pain she caused them).”

      I just don’t understand why so many authors refuse to be ethical, accurate, conscionable, compassionate, and truthful. They’ve made a lot of money- they can afford their own therapy and then try their best to put right some of their past wrongs.

      Reply
      • Lisa Johns

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the mention of her name at this point sends me toward a rage. She promotes herself as a “Harvard-trained researcher,” which is a lie (not the Harvard part, but the part where she says she learned how to do research from Harvard, which should make Harvard sit up and take notice, given how bad she’s making them look), and she ignores REAL trained researchers who actually DO know how to do research, when they try to explain to her why her survey questions are problematic. Then she IGNORES THE ACTUAL RESULTS of her poorly designed research study because it doesn’t say what she wants it to say (a rather high percentage of women want sex MORE than their husbands do, not less), and she actually writes a book that can be shredded by anybody who knows how to do REAL research; when she is called out because her invalid teaching is causing harm to people who don’t (yet) know it’s invalid, she arrogantly and smugly doubles down on her false claims and goes about her business. If this isn’t grifting I don’t know what is.

        Reply
      • K

        I think there is a point where looking is inappropriate, but there is also just noticing. As a teen it bothered me to notice girls and women, because I thought it was disrespectful. I remember my mom once saying “it’s okay to like girls”. It still felt sexist, to me, because I didn’t want to see girls and women as objects of attraction but as people.

        I think I still wrestle with this. But as a married man I find it’s easier for me to make that distinction between noticing and gazing at. I think as a teen I just hadn’t learned how to deal with those feelings in a way that I felt was respectful.

        I do think that there’s a fruitful discussion to be had about social conventions of beauty and how they affect the people who don’t get looked at twice.

        Reply
        • K

          Oops, this wasn’t supposed to be a reply but a general comment on the blog post

          Reply
        • Nessie

          I think that’s a good point- it can be difficult to control our thoughts as teens. They have hormones fluctuating like crazy and their brains have years left to develop. But it’s also even more important that teens don’t receive the wrong (and dangerous) instruction about sexuality, etc.

          I think it’s really cool your mom said it was ok to like girls. I worked with a guy once, both of us mid-20s, who said he loved women. All women. He wasn’t creepy about it, he just appreciated that women had so many similarities yet also differences to men, and he saw beauty in that. He was also one of the most respectful and safest men I hav ever been around. He was Jewish so perhaps that limited the bad teachings he might have received?

          Reply
          • K

            For me even now it’s as much an issue as wanting to be respectful to and not objectify women as it is a lust issue. As a teen it felt inappropriate to focus more on female beauty then men.

            I do wonder about the harm and discomfort causes by the conflation of attraction and lust does to people who are bi or gay. Knowing that you can appreciate the beauty of fellow people can help liberate someone.

    • Jane Eyre

      I have less than no sympathy for the woman.

      Reading her biography and putting it together, they met at Harvard when they were in their 20s, in the early 90s. He went to work for a big firm in Manhattan and she got a job as an analyst. They now have two teenage kids, so they had the kids around the mid-aughts.

      So they are young, with Ivy League degrees, good jobs, and ten years of no kids – doing marriage on the easiest of easy modes – and she decides to write a book about marriage! Because clearly she’s the expert on how to handle the big issues – infertility; financial trouble; the exhaustion that can come from raising five children; scary health problems; history of trauma, abuse, or abandonment. (Note: many people do write effectively on those issues despite never having experienced them first hand; they are experienced clinical psychologists.)

      I bet her husband drooling over other women has in fact been the biggest problem in their marriage, and neither of them, Harvard degrees aside, understands why that makes them ill-suited to writing books on marriage.

      Reply
      • Lisa Johns

        Wow. That’s more than I ever knew. It is NOT a good look for her, and more important, for the people who platform her and publish her writings.
        It appears that there is a whole agenda here… wait a minute, it’s on the tip of my tongue, begins with a “P…”

        Reply
        • Nathan D. Wachsmuth

          Maybe I’m stupid but I’m trying to come up with the right P-word. Porn? Prostitution? Property Rights (if these men see women as property, which they probs do)

          Reply
          • Jo R

            Patriarchy, I’d guess. But your options, strangely enough, all work too. 🤔

  7. Taylor

    I saw the spoiler, so I was primed, but I definitely would have noticed the gorilla the first time through. The gorilla was so distracting to me that I couldn’t follow the original instructions, and had no clue how many times the ball was passed. Which also illistrates selective attention, and how my brain tends to filter. Interestion.

    Someone else mentioned “big picture” vs “detail.” It would be interesting to play this video before a large group of people, and record who kept count, who lost count, who saw the gorilla, who didn’t see the gorilla, and whether or not there was a demonstrable correlation between “big picture” and “detail” thinkers, or people more centralized on the spectrum.

    Reply
  8. Taylor

    I wonder how much “selective attention” affects us when reading Scripture.

    Reply
    • Bernadette

      Good point.

      Reply
  9. Laura

    In the last few days, I’ve seen a meme shared on Facebook with some faulty statistics like this:

    When dad comes to Christ first, 93% of families will follow.
    When mom comes to Christ first, 17% of families will follow.
    When kids come to Christ first, 3.5% of families will follow.

    In this meme, two men are pointing to the bottom which shows the 93%. They look smug. Recently, I heard a pastor preach about why men need to lead their families then he quoted this statistic about the 93%. Yet, no one knows exactly where it was originally. It just galls me that evangelicals tend to go for anything to prove their point like Shaunti and the Promise Keepers’ organization. Supposedly, they were the ones who came up with that stat. If you look at the math, it does not add up.

    Here’s the link to the article that talks about this: https://www.missioalliance.org/the-myth-of-the-93-fathers-and-mothers-are-not-a-competitive-hierarchy-in-the-home/?fbclid=IwAR0bxxQp32aB1LFP6oiLw9ejYuH3YG8z7M8AQRkeAYgF3snqo9eU-VeEP18

    Reply
    • Angharad

      I suspected this was a made-up statistic when I first saw it. Apart from anything else, if one’s opportunity to come to faith depends to such an extent on whether or not one’s parents first became Christians (and in what order) where does that leave the work of the Holy Spirit? It’s basically putting limits on what God can and can’t do!

      Reply
    • Lisa Johns

      It’s probably one of those “statistics” that James Dobson pulled out of his posterior.

      Reply
    • Jo R

      IIRC, the wording I’ve seen is “when [person] GOES TO CHURCH,” not if [person] becomes a Christian.

      If [person] is Dad, then a whole host of cultural, societal, and psychological factors subsequently also come into play, and those would have to be quantized to provide reasonable conclusions.

      Reply
      • Angharad

        Jo R, the wording I’ve seen has been ‘when [person] comes to Christ first’ and it’s used to prove that patriarchy is God’s plan. Although how you can use an unproven, unresearched and untested ‘fact’ to prove anything is beyond me…

        But I agree, if it’s changed to read ‘goes to church’ it becomes a much more likely statistic – for a start, any family from a patriarchal background would automatically go to church if the father told them to. But as for giving your life to Christ – if it is a real heart-change, then it has to come from the individual, not just because someone else told them to.

        Reply
        • Jo R

          Maybe both wordings are circulating?

          If you’re making … stuff … up anyway… 🤷

          Reply
          • Angharad

            And also, why would anyone be so focussed on getting people ‘going to church’ anyway? There’s no point ‘going to church’ if there is no real change in your life. ‘Pew warming’ doesn’t make you a believer!

          • Jo R

            Yeah, but “frequency” is what’s easiest to count! 😜

          • Jane Eyre

            Am I the only one who cracked up laughing at JoR’s comment?

            Just me? Okay. It was still hilarious.

  10. Rebecca Bourne

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen this pointed out yet – if this question was directed at women, the responses wouldn’t be much different:
    “Imagine you are alone in a train station, and a MAN with a great body walks in…”
    I imagine that a majority of women would say that they looked.

    Reply
    • Lisa Johns

      I’d look… 😉

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *