How Gender Conspiracy Theory Spreads Around The World

According to the Catholic Church, gender identity cannot be volatile. His first extensive document the so-called “gender ideology” published in June 2019 indicated that there are only two genders that are biologically composed and cannot be “individually selected”. He also warned that flexible gender perceptions could pose a threat to traditional Catholic values.

Although many Catholics were worried With regard to the potential of the document to promote transphobia and homophobia, it has raised many people's concerns about what we might call a gender conspiracy. This is a wider belief that gender theory and gender studies represent an ideology that poses a threat to society – an idea that is becoming more widespread throughout the world.

Our new study provides insights into this conspiracy theory and its connection with religion. this is based on a survey from Polandwhere there is great support for conspiracy theory, and the Roman Catholic Church has a strong position. Right now, there is even debate about whether the coronavirus pandemic is this is the punishment for gender theory,

People who believe in the theory of gender conspiracy believe that gender ideology is a secret conspiracy when influential people harm their group, for example, the Catholic Church. This is how most conspiracy theories work. In accordance with this reasoning, scientists and activists who emphasize that gender is not only a biological phenomenon, but also psychologicalregarded as enemies of human nature.

This article is part of a series of articles tied to the "Expert Guide to Conspiracy Theories" – The Anthill's podcast series. Listenon the Apple podcasts or SpotifyOr look for the Anthill where you get your podcasts.

Together with feminists and the wider LGBT movement, they are perceived as strategically and purposefully seeking to deny importance traditional differentiation of men and women. This alleged denial has been accused of causing conflict between the sexes. Conspiracy theorists also believe that this family destruction, which is one of the most important values ​​for Catholics.

Dariusz Eye.
wikipedia, CC BY-SA

Although researchers are not entirely sure where and how this conspiracy theory originated, this point of view has now spread throughout the world. Dariusz Eye – Catholic priest and professor of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Poland – presented some of the most extreme opinions on this issue. According to him, “gender like acting secretlyin silence like a mafia. They want to make their revolution from top to bottom by taking power centers and the media. They prey on the ignorance of citizens bypassing democratic procedures and forcibly impose their ideologies. ”

Barbara RosencrantzThe Austrian politician also made conspiratorial statements about gender. She warned against a totalitarian conspiracy of gender activists who allegedly seek to create a new type of person – the "asexual person." She claimed that such plans were secretly pursued by the "elite" blinded by ideologywithout knowing the laws of nature and traditions.

Similar views were voiced by Michel Shuoyans, a Belgian priest in his 2001 book, entitled United Nations Hidden Face, They have was also supported representatives of La Manif Pour Tous a movement in France that claims to defend a "traditional family."

All of these authors, activists, and religious figures seem to put forth similar messages that are typical of conspiracy theories in general. One of them is warning people about the threats posed by gender theory, which is supposedly aimed at secretly destroying the Catholic Church. The other is that they promote action to stop the conspiracy of enemies from fulfilling their vile plan, such as prohibition of sex education school.

The idea of ​​Gairopa"It is used derogatoryly in Russia to designate Western ideas about gender and Russia's special role in countering them."

Religion versus Threat

Poland is a country where political parties often warn voters about gender ideology. It is not surprising that the theory of gender conspiracy is indeed entrenched there. And it has real consequences. Recently, "Areas Free of LGBT Ideology " were declared by local authorities in certain areas of Poland. Although it is more symbolic than mandatory, it shows how dangerous such ideas can be.

LGBT Free Zones in Poland.
wikipedia, CC BY-SA

In our project, we conducted a survey with a national representative sample of more than 1000 people. We found that about 30% of Polish Catholics believed in a gender conspiracy. This was defined as a secret plan to destroy the Christian tradition, in part by establishing control over public media.

We also found that these beliefs were not related to the sheer power of religiosity. Rather, they were stronger among those Catholics who believed that their religious group deserves special treatmentbeing chronically undermined by different groups. This suggests that belief in a gender conspiracy is not a necessary consequence of strong religious devotion. Rather, they thrive when someone's religion is portrayed as threatened.

We also found that “beliefs in a gender conspiracy” are related to maintaining a social distance from gays and hostile intentions towards them. For example, we found that 70% of participants who believed in a gender conspiracy theory would not accept a gay family member.

In general, the results of our project suggest that presenting gender studies and gender activists as part of a conspiracy theory can have serious consequences – leading to hostility towards those who do not comply with traditional gender roles. This hostility extends even to those who simply show a scientific interest in gender issues.

So, given that conspiracy theories can be so destructive, how can you stop them from spreading? Unfortunately, this turned out to be incredibly difficult to understand, as they are very hard to debunk effectivelyBut we hope that the better we understand the details of what makes people believe in conspiracy theories, the better we can stop them from spreading.

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