Data for this study were collected in two distinct phases. In the first phase, which took place between 1995 and 1997 as research for my dissertation, I collected ethnographic data on the two MCC Bible study groups, Homosexuality and the Bible and Accept, and on the Exodus ministry Expell. My purpose was to understand how the men experienced their struggle with homosexuality within the context of Christianity, as well as how they constructed such contradictory resolutions to this struggle. As I analyzed the data and began writing about it, I recognized how critical spousal support was to married men in Expell as they went through the process of trying to alter their sexuality. (By contrast, neither unmarried ex-gay Christian men nor gay Christian men cited intimate relationships as key sources of support as they worked to reconcile their sexuality and faith.) To gain more insight into this subset of married ex-gay Christian men, as well as to better understand the wives’ role in this process and how they coped with it, I added a second phase of data collection. In 2001, I conducted an interview study with women who were, or who had been, married to ex-gay Christian men. Given the intensely personal and sensitive nature of this topic, both phases of data collection were, at times, trying and difficult. In what follows, I describe how data collection and analysis unfolded, what difficulties were encountered, and how they were handled.
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Publication information: Book title: "Be Not Deceived": The Sacred and Sexual Struggles of Gay and Ex-Gay Christian Men. Contributors: Michelle Wolkomir - Author. Publisher: Rutgers University Press. Place of publication: New Brunswick, NJ. Publication year: 2006. Page number: 201.
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