Worrying results from Ozanne Foundation sexuality survey

Our friends at the Ozanne Foundation yesterday published the results of their survey of the impact of religious belief on individuals' understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation. Jayne Ozanne was also interviewed by Channel 4 news (that interview can be seen again here).

Over 4,600 responses to the survey, carried out in December 2018, were received, and the results are a depressing read.

One tenth of the respondents had personal experience of attempts to change their sexual orientation.

Furthermore, Jayne Ozanne said: -

"the high level of reports of attempted suicide and suicidal thoughts amongst those who have attempted to change their sexual orientation is not something that can be easily dismissed. These are serious safeguarding issues which require urgent action."

Two members of the survey advisory board further commented as follows: -

"The Government urgently needs to act on its commitment to end the practise of conversion therapy once and for all.” (Teddy Prout of Humanists UK)"

"It is desperately sad that so few said they had sought help from the medical profession, but instead turned to discredited methods that we know cause significant harm to try and change their sexual orientation. Our aim is to help people come to terms with their sexuality so that they can embrace and celebrate who they are, rather than living in shame and fear.” (Martin Pollecoff, Chair of the UK Council of Psychotherapists)

The 281 respondents who said they had experienced mental health issues stated these issue(at Q33) s to be as set out below: -

  • Anxiety/depression, not requiring medication 116 41.3%

  • Anxiety/depression, requiring medication 168 59.8%

  • Self-harm 113 40.2%

  • Eating disorders 69 24.6%

  • Suicidal thoughts 193 68.7%

  • Attempted suicide 91 32.4%

  • Prefer Not to Say 5 1.8%

  • Other 35 12.5%

Click here for the full article on the Ozanne Foundation website, and here for the index to the full survey results. A Guardian article is here and the Mail Online have written about it here.

The results were “shocking and sobering”, said Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool and the Chair of the Ozanne foundation.

“The statistics reflect lives which have been scarred and strained by mixed messaging of love, acceptance, condemnation and fear.”

Diverse Church