This article elaborates a symbolic interactionist approach to the scientific study of sexual sin. We draw on archival materials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and explore recurring themes within the archival materials that signify and outline stages of a sexual sinners’ moral career. Our findings demonstrate how LDS leaders constructed a sinner’s moral career as characterized by (1) seeking out sinful temptation; (2) causing social and spiritual destruction; and (3) seeking and finding redemption. Further, we draw out implications for understanding the ways religious leaders conceptualize sexual sins for their followers, and the usefulness of conceptualizing various religious traditions, adaptations, and conceptualizations of sin as moral careers.
Religion, Sexualities, Content Analysis, Sin, Pornography, Mormonism
The authors would like to thank the editors and reviewers of The Qualitative Report for their exceedingly helpful comments.
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Recommended APA Citation
Sumerau, J. E., Cragun, R. T., & Barbee, H. (2018). “This Incredible Monster Was Always in the Way”: The Moral Career of a Sexual Sinner in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Qualitative Report, 23(3), 662-676. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2018.3264