Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

» Peggy Fletcher Stack E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)

BYU researcher challenges Mormon gender gap study

Mormon women may outnumber men in Utah, but the recent study published by Trinity College did not prove it, says Adam Brown, a research fellow with Brigham Young University’s Center for the Student of Elections and Democracy.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The study, described in Thursday's Salt Lake Tribune, reported that in 1990 there was a surplus of women among Mormons outside of Utah, but by 2008 "a dramatic shift had occurred," and LDS females now "outnumber males in Utah 3 to 2."

Brown, writing at Utah Data Points, says that claim cannot be substantiated by the study’s data. The sample size — 270 — is too small, making the margin of error too large.

The study's authors did not include the margin of error for that sample in their release. When asked by The Tribune, they said it was "close to 5 percent," which the story noted.

But Brown pegs the margin of error at closer to 6 percent (5.96 percent to be exact).

"That means the survey is estimating that 54-66 percent of Utah Mormons are female," he writes.

Extrapolating from the survey’s 1990 figures and margin of error, the number of Utah Mormons who were female could fall between 48.5 percent and 56.5 percent.

Thus, the two estimated ranges overlap, Brown writes. "From a statistical perspective, that means it is inappropriate to conclude that anything has changed since 1990."

Brown says he has no "ax to grind about the gender gap story," but argues the claims about a dramatic shift "are premature."

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.