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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: October 2020

Chapter 6 - The Conceit of Complementarity

from Part II - Double Vision


The last two chapters have identified severe problems with the emerging doctrine of complementarity. There are others, discussed later in this chapter. But its relative stability in contemporary theological thinking suggests there may be reasons for its popularity. These are not difficult to find. Primarily it confirms the experience of the great majority of people, who are, in varying degrees, straightforwardly heterosexual. In the USA 78 per cent of people say that they are completely heterosexual, against 4 per cent who say that they are completely homosexual. Of US adults, 16 per cent say that they fall somewhere in between. Of these 10 per cent say that they are more heterosexual than homosexual while 3 per cent put themselves in the middle and another 3 per cent say that they are predominantly homosexual (YouGov 2015). Among adults under 30, 31 per cent of people surveyed said they were neither completely heterosexual nor completely homosexual. A similar poll in the UK revealed a similar result. Of the British public, 72 per cent said they were completely at the heterosexual end of the scale, 4 per cent said they were completely homosexual, and 19 per cent said they were somewhere in between. YouGov noted and commented that ‘With each generation, people see their sexuality as less fixed in stone’ (YouGov 2015). Of adults between the ages of 18 and 24, 43 per cent place themselves in the middle of the area between 1 and 5 on the Kinsey scale and 52 per cent place themselves at one end or the other.