Excerpts of Why Do Mormon Men Want Women to Have the Priesthood More Than Women Want It for Themselves? by Jana Riess, Belief Net
Authors Robert Putnam and David Campbell asked a wide variety of Americans their opinion about women leading churches. They report that "by 2006 majorities of every religious tradition except Mormons had come to favor women clergy," including 93% of both Mainline Protestants and Jews, and 75% percent of "Anglo" Catholics (p. 243). Even 66% of Evangelicals agreed, as compared with 30% of Latter-day Saints. In fact, only 10% of Mormon women favor female clergy in their church, which in an LDS context means giving women the priesthood. As Putnam and Campbell note, "Mormons, and especially Mormon women, appear to be the only holdouts against the growing and substantial consensus across the religious spectrum in favor of women playing a fuller role in church leadership."
Yet the most remarkable finding is that within Mormonism itself, there is a significant split by gender on this question. The number that looks the most extraordinary to outsiders--that only 10% of Mormon women want the priesthood--seems pretty predictable to those inside the faith. But the finding that 48% of Mormon men say they favor female LDS clergy is truly startling.