Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experiences

Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experiences

Terry Castle
Larry Gross
Linda D. Garnets
Douglas C. Kimmel
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: 2
Pages: 562
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/garn12412
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  • Book Info
    Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experiences
    Book Description:

    Designed for both the undergraduate and graduate classroom, this selection of important articles provides a comprehensive overview of current thought about the psychological issues affecting lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men. The editors have revised and updated the introduction and included a new set of articles for the second edition, most of which have been published since the release of the first edition of Psychological Perspectives. The book is divided into eight sections that deal with the meaning of sexual orientation; the psychological dimensions of prejudice, discrimination, and violence; identity development; diversity; relationships and families; adolescence, midlife, and aging; mental health; and the status of practice, research, and public policy bearing on homosexuality and bisexuality in American psychology.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50494-2
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. Introduction to the Second Edition: Lesbian, Gay Male, and Bisexual Dimensions in the Psychological Study of Human Diversity
    (pp. 1-22)
    Linda D. Garnets and Douglas C. Kimmel

    Sexual orientation has become an aspect of the psychological study of human diversity during the last few years. Our basic assumption is that an understanding of sexual orientation will enhance psychological research and practice by reducing heterosexist bias, will increase the perception of similarity and appreciation of difference among those who differ in sexual orientation, and will support efforts to remove the stigma and discrimination against lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people.

    Following a brief overview of the social context, we introduce this emerging field from the perspective of four main themes: (a) the definition of sexual orientation and new...

  5. Part I: The Meaning of Sexual Orientation
    • [Part I: Introduction]
      (pp. 23-30)

      Affectional, erotic, and sexual orientation can be understood only within the social milieu in which the individual is embedded at a particular historical moment. Sociohistorical changes have transformed the meaning of homosexuality from its medical classification in 1869 by Benkert as one of many forms of sexual perversion (Plummer 1984). Fifty years ago it was conceptualized as a minority status in Donald Webster Cory’s 1951 book, Homosexual in America (Kameny 1971). More recently it has begun to be seen as a characteristic that defines a diverse, multiethnic, and multiracial community not only with a history but also with shared political...

    • 1 What a Light It Shed: The Life of Evelyn Hooker
      (pp. 31-49)
      Douglas C. Kimmel and Linda D. Garnets

      Evelyn Gentry was born into a farm family and grew up in the hard life on the plains of Nebraska and Colorado. In 1924 she entered the University of Colorado and majored in psychology, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1928 and a master’s degree in 1930. In 1932 she received her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. Some years later she moved to California to recover from tuberculosis and stayed two years in a sanitarium. In 1939 she became an adjunct faculty member at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where she taught through the extension program. While...

    • 2 Biological Perspectives on Sexual Orientation
      (pp. 50-85)
      J.Michael Bailey

      The question of “biological” influences on human sexual orientation remains immensely controversial (see Barinaga 1991). This stems, in part, from the inconclusive nature of the empirical evidence; however, the ambiguity of the scientific answers is only part of the problem. The question “Is homosexuality ’biological’?” has been subjected to many interpretations, often not clearly specified. Thus this chapter has two main goals: first, to clarify different meanings that have been attached to “biological” in the context of research on human sexual orientation and, second, to summarize research findings for the most pertinent meanings.

      Before we consider alternative meanings of “biological,”...

    • 3 Bisexual Identities
      (pp. 86-129)
      Ronald C. Fox

      Scholarly and scientific understanding of sexual orientation has been hindered by two assumptions: that homosexuality is an indication of psychopathology and that sexual orientation is dichotomous. The movement toward a descriptive, multidimensional approach has greatly facilitated understanding of the complexity of sexual orientation and sexual identity and brought theory and research on both homosexuality and bisexuality into focus.

      The theoretical and research literature on the development of lesbian and gay identities emerged following the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality as a clinical diagnostic category. The literature on bisexual identities, however, is more recent. This is a result...

    • 4 Explaining Diversity in the Development of Same-Sex Sexuality Among Young Women
      (pp. 130-148)
      Lisa M. Diamond and Ritch C. Savin-Williams

      Models of sexual identity development typically posit a sequence of feelings, experiences, and events through which individuals progressively realize, understand, and accept a nonheterosexual (or sexual-minority) identity. Because most of these “coming-out” models are based on men, they portray as normative a sequence of feelings and experiences that may be entirely foreign to a sexual-minority woman: early “precursors” such as gender atypicality or feelings of differentness, late childhood and early adolescent same-sex attractions, lack of sexual interest in the other sex, subsequent same-sex experimentation, and, finally, adolescent self-labeling as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

      In fact, the developmental trajectories of most...

  6. Part II: Psychological Dimensions of Sexual Prejudice, Discrimination, and Violence
    • [Part II: Introduction]
      (pp. 149-156)

      As psychology began to view gay, lesbian, and bisexual people as members of a minority group rather than as mentally ill, a corresponding shift occurred from research on the causes of homosexuality toward research on the pathology of sexual prejudice. A major line of study has identified the nature and impact of negative social attitudes toward lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals and has documented the pervasive effects of heterosexist bias, prejudice, and discrimination. Herek (2000a) defined sexual prejudice as: “Negative attitudes toward an individual because of her or his sexual orientation. It is used to characterize heterosexuals’ negative attitudes toward...

    • 5 The Psychology of Sexual Prejudice
      (pp. 157-164)
      Gregory M. Herek

      In a six-month period beginning late in 1998 Americans were shocked by the brutal murders of Matthew Shepard and Billy Jack Gaither. Shepard, a twenty-one-year-old Wyoming college student, and Gaither, a thirty-nine-year-old factory worker in Alabama, had little in common except that each was targeted for attack because he was gay. Unfortunately their slayings were not isolated events. Lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people—as well as heterosexuals perceived to be gay—routinely experience violence, discrimination, and personal rejection. In all, 1,102 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were tallied by law-enforcement authorities in 1997. Because a substantial proportion of...

    • 6 Do Heterosexual Women and Men Differ in Their Attitudes Toward Homosexuality? A Conceptual and Methodological Analysis
      (pp. 165-187)
      Mary E. Kite and Bernard E. Whitley Jr.

      A gender role analysis of sex differences in attitudes toward homosexuality is based on the assumption that heterosexuals’ evaluations of gay men and lesbians are rooted in a broader belief system about women, men, and their appropriate roles (Deaux and Kite 1987; Kite 1994). This belief system has two consequences relevant to attitudes toward homosexuality. First, gender-associated beliefs appear to be inextricably linked; that is, people expect others’ gender-associated characteristics to form a coherent package. They believe, for example, that people who possess stereotypically masculine traits also adopt stereotypically masculine roles and possess stereotypically masculine physical characteristics and, similarly, that...

    • 7 Violence and Victimization of Lesbians and Gay Men: Mental Health Consequences
      (pp. 188-206)
      Linda D. Garnets, Gregory M. Herek and Barrie Levy

      Like other survivors of the violence that pervades American society, lesbian and gay male crime victims must confront the difficulties created by victimization. And, as members of a stigmatized group, lesbians and gay men face numerous psychological challenges as a consequence of society’s hostility toward them. When individual victimization and societal prejudice converge in antigay hate crimes, lesbian and gay male survivors face additional, unique challenges. Those challenges are the principal focus of this article.

      Owing to the widespread prevalence of antigay prejudice in the United States (Herek 1990, 1991) and the large number of lesbian and gay male victims...

    • 8 Matthew Shepard’s Death: A Professional Awakening
      (pp. 207-216)
      Ritch C. Savin-Williams

      Sixty-eight percent of North Americans believe the attack against college freshman Matthew Shepard could have happened in their community (Time/CNN Poll 1998). Within a week of the Wyoming murder, a Colorado State University fraternity mocked Matthew’s death in their homecoming parade float by hanging a beaten scarecrow from a fence with a sign, “I am Gay.” A lesbian student at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota suffered cuts and bruises after two men attacked her, just hours after an antihate crimes campus vigil honoring Matthew Shepard (“Lesbian College Student” 1998). Leonard “Lynn” Vines, a gay drag queen, was shot six...

  7. Part III: Identity Development and Stigma Management
    • [Part III: Introduction]
      (pp. 217-226)

      A normal part of adolescence in Western cultures is the development of a sense of individual identity. The enduring personal sense of self that is continuous over time involves, among other aspects, a commitment to one’s stance with regard to sexual, affectional, and erotic relationships with others (D’Augelli and Patterson 1995; Kimmel and Weiner 1995). Thus the development of a sense of identity is complicated for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals since heterosexist biases devalue same-gender erotic and affectional feelings.

      The process of developing a positive sense of identity in the social context of negative values about a core aspect...

    • 9 Finding a Sexual Identity and Community: Therapeutic Implications and Cultural Assumptions in Scientific Models of Coming Out
      (pp. 227-269)
      Paula C. Rust

      Coming out, as the term is commonly used, is the process by which individuals come to recognize that they have romantic or sexual feelings toward members of their own gender, adopt lesbian or gay (or bisexual) identities, and then share these identities with others. Coming out is made necessary by a heterosexist culture in which individuals are presumed heterosexual unless there is evidence to the contrary. Because of this heterosexual presumption, most lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals grow up with heterosexual parents who expect them to be heterosexual and socialize them as heterosexual. Thus they are raised with default heterosexual...

    • 10 Why Tell If You’re Not Asked? Self-Disclosure, Intergroup Contact, and Heterosexuals’ Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men
      (pp. 270-298)
      Gregory M. Herek

      The United States military’s principal justification for its policies concerning homosexual personnel has very little to do with the actual abilities or characteristics of gay men and lesbians. The Department of Defense (DoD) has virtually abandoned its past arguments that homosexual men and women are psychologically impaired, a security risk, or incapable of performing their duties, and therefore are inherently unfit for military service (Herek 1993). Instead, the DoD now concedes that lesbians and gay men can serve honorably and capably, and acknowledges that they have done so in the past. Indeed, the current policy (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t...

    • 11 Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youths’ Relationships with Their Parents
      (pp. 299-326)
      Ritch C. Savin-Williams

      Much of the popular literature on lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths and their parents focuses on the difficult prospects they face when the child declares her or his same-sex attractions to parents. The youth must decide whether and, if so, when and how to disclose the nature of her or his sexuality to parents. Less popular than the personal “coming out” stories of youths (e.g., Heron 1994) are writings that narrate the reactions of parents once they discover that their child will not be fulfilling their heterosexual expectations (e.g., Borhek 1993; Fairchild and Hayward 1989). The emphasis in these compelling...

    • 12 Employment and Sexual Orientation: Disclosure and Discrimination in the Workplace
      (pp. 327-348)
      M. V. Lee Badgett

      For many years, social scientists have worked to understand how social forces influence individuals in the United States labor market. Economists and sociologists, in particular, have long studied labor market discrimination against women and people of color. In expanding our view to apply similar methods and questions to discrimination because of sexual orientation, however, we must proceed carefully to avoid the overgeneralization that the sources and effects of discrimination are identical for all oppressed groups. When we inquire into the existence of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, we increase our understanding of forces that influence an individual’s labor...

  8. Part IV: Diversity Among Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Gay Men
    • [Part IV: Introduction]
      (pp. 349-356)

      To understand experiences of lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men, we must examine the interaction between various forms of diversity and sexual orientation. Before acquiring a gay, bisexual or lesbian identity, one has a racial or ethnic identity and a gender identity, which are part of the core of childhood identity.

      Recent attention has focused on cultural diversity among bisexual, gay male, and lesbian individuals and the important role culture plays in shaping and defining the meaning of same-gender sexual and affectional behavior. It is important to recognize the many powerful ways that cultural and historical forces influence the meaning of...

    • 13 Beyond Heterosexism and Across the Cultural Divide—Developing an Inclusive Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Psychology: A Look to the Future
      (pp. 357-400)
      Beverly Greene

      Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) psychology has come a long way since Evelyn Hooker’s (1957) pioneering research contradicting the pathology models of homosexuality in mental health. We have witnessed the development of national organizations devoted to the advocacy of fair treatment for LGB people and the development of areas of study within virtually every academic discipline. In psychology, efforts are dedicated toward developing greater scientific and clinical understanding of the lives of lesbians and gay men and the broader meanings of sexual orientation. We have also witnessed more recently the appropriate inclusion of bisexual men and women in the scope...

    • 14 Native Gay and Lesbian Issues: The Two-Spirited
      (pp. 401-409)
      Terry Tafoya

      “Long ago, when the world was young, Coyote was going along . . .” (or perhaps it was Raven, or Wiskijiac, or Dukwebah, or Rabbit . . .) —with these words, a number of the Native stories of the Americas begin to tell of an unbroken connectiveness of past, present, and future.¹ The stories provide a framework for understanding how the world works, how one identifies oneself as a member of a tribe, a clan, a community; what to value and what to avoid. These include issues of sexuality and gender.

      Coyote, someone common to many tribes, plays with everything...

    • 15 Sapphic Shadows: Challenging the Silence in the Study of Sexuality
      (pp. 410-434)
      Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia E. Wieringa

      In this essay we raise a number of methodological issues related to the study of female same-sex relations and transgender practices.¹ These practices have been less studied and documented than male homosexual practices. Researchers have suggested that the invisibility of emotional and sexual/erotic associations between women is the result of a paucity of data on women’s same-sex relations, but there are several other reasons, for example, problems in collection and interpretation as well as the silence of Western observers and scholars on the topic of female sexuality. In the first part of this essay we discuss the history of the...

    • 16 Identifying and Addressing Health Issuesof Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Populations in Rural Communities: Psychological Perspectives
      (pp. 435-440)
      Douglas C. Kimmel

      Two of the most notorious murders of gay men in recent years have occurred in rural states: Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, and Charlie Howard in Bangor, Maine. Some good has come from those tragedies, however. For example, Matthew’s mother has been active speaking and working to reduce antigay hate crimes and the use of antigay language in schools. Less may be known of Charlie Howard, who was thrown off a bridge by three juvenile males, and, because he could not swim, he drowned. The men were tried as juveniles and given relatively short sentences. However, one of them became...

  9. Part V: Relationships and Families
    • [Part V: Introduction]
      (pp. 441-448)

      This part examines the impact of sexual orientation on two central aspects of human development—intimate relationships and families. Sexual minority relationships develop within a culture that provides virtually no societal legitimization nor institutional support and actively endorses heterosexual bias toward gay male, bisexual, and lesbian relationships (James and Murphy 1998). Not only are same-gender couples generally denied the community recognition, legal protection, and economic benefits accorded to married heterosexual partners but there is also no legal status of same-gender relationships, except in Vermont (under the “civil union” arrangement) and in cases where domestic partnerships can be registered with public...

    • 17 The Close Relationships of Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals
      (pp. 449-474)
      Letitia Anne Peplau and Leah R. Spalding

      During recent years, relationship researchers have slowly widened the scope of their inquiry to include the close relationships of lesbians and gay men. Nonetheless, empirical research on same-sex relationships still is in its infancy. In a review of publications from 1980 to 1993, Allen and Demo (1995) found that only 3 of 312 articles in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships focused on some aspect of sexual orientation, as did only 2 of 1,209 articles in the Journal of Marriage and the Family. The past decade has seen a small but noticeable increase in research on same-sex relationships. In...

    • 18 Monogamy and Polyamory: Relationship Issues for Bisexuals
      (pp. 475-496)

      Bisexuals, like lesbians, gay men, and heterosexuals, form many different types of sexual and romantic relationships with other people and sometimes seek help in making healthy choices about their relationships.¹ But for bisexuals, making relationship choices can be complicated by prevalent stereotypes about bisexuality. Counselors who wish to help bisexuals make these choices must confront their own stereotypes about bisexuals, understand the cultural assumptions about sexuality and relationships that underlie these stereotypes, recognize the impact that stereotypes can have on bisexual clients, and develop a realistic and nonjudgmental awareness of the issues that arise in the various types of relationships...

    • 19 Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents
      (pp. 497-548)

      What kinds of home environments are best able to support children’s psychological adjustment and growth? This question has long held a central place in the field of research on child development. Researchers in the United States have often assumed that the most favorable home environments are provided by white, middle-class, two-parent families, in which the father is paid to work outside the home but the mother is not. Although rarely stated explicitly, it has most often been assumed that both parents in such families are heterosexual.

      Given that smaller numbers of American families fit the traditionally normative pattern (Hernandez 1988;...

    • 20 Stories from the Homefront: Perspectives of Asian-American Parents with Lesbian Daughters and Gay Sons
      (pp. 549-562)
      Alice Y. Hom

      These are stories from the homefront; the emotions, responses, and attitudes of Asian-American parents about their lesbian daughters or gay sons.² The stories attempt to shed light on parents’ attitudes and to inform lesbians and gay men about various ways parents may react and respond to their coming out.

      I focus on four themes that illustrate important concepts surrounding the understanding of Asian-American parents and their views on homosexuality. These themes emerged from interviews investigating the following: (1) parents’ attitudes before disclosure/discovery; (2) parents’ attitudes and reactions after disclosure/discovery; (3) responses following disclosure to friends and their communities; and (4)...

  10. Part VI: Adolescence, Midlife, and Aging
    • [Part VI: Introduction]
      (pp. 563-570)

      One useful way of viewing sexual orientation issues is to use the lifespan developmental perspective—from the first awareness of sexual and affectional feelings through adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Research on gay men, bisexuals, and lesbians has made a contribution to lifespan developmental psychology by challenging and stretching the existing models to include the diversity that results from sexual orientation (Kimmel 1978).

      Many adult lesbians and gay men report that they had sexual feelings and experiences during late childhood and early adolescence that provided the first cues about their sexual orientation (Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith 1981; Savin-Williams 1998). Thus,...

    • 21 Developmental and Adjustment Issues of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adolescents: A Review of the Empirical Literature
      (pp. 571-601)
      Karla Anhalt and Tracy L. Morris

      Various adjustment problems experienced by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents have been reported in the empirical literature. Difficulties that have been studied include past suicide attempts, substance use and abuse, conduct problems, and academic concerns. Some of these difficulties have been related to stress regarding acceptance and disclosure of a GLB sexual orientation. For example, a considerable number of GLB youth report a history of suicide attempts, with prevalence rates ranging from 11 to 42 percent (e.g., D’Augelli and Hershberger 1993; Remafedi 1987; Roesler and Deisher 1972; Rotheram-Borus et al. 1995). Those percentages can be contrasted with a 7.1...

    • 22 Lesbians and Gay Men in Midlife
      (pp. 602-628)
      Douglas C. Kimmel and Barbara E. Sang

      Research on middle-aged gay men and lesbians today is best understood when viewed in its cultural and historical context. First, persons who are between the ages of forty and sixty today reached sexual maturity before the impact of the 1969 protest demonstrations following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn Bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. That event began to change the social construction of homosexuality from a personal pathology to minority-group membership. Some middle-aged persons were active participants in the historical events that brought about those changes. Second, middle-aged lesbians and gay men were in the prime of...

    • 23 Being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Sixty or Older in North America
      (pp. 629-646)
      Arnold H. Grossman, Anthony R. D’ Augelli and Timothy S. O’ Connell

      Most people have opinions about aging, and many people have thoughts about homosexuality. But few individuals have considered them simultaneously. In fact, many scholars, advocates for older adults, and other individuals consider the terms gay and aging to be incompatible. Consequently there have been comparatively few studies about the lives of older lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. As a result, not only have the members of this segment of the aging population remained invisible, but myths and stereotypes have been created about them and have persisted. We decided to ask older lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals across the country about...

  11. Part VII: Mental Health
    • [Part VII: Introduction]
      (pp. 647-654)

      For many years, a bisexual, lesbian, or gay sexual orientation was not considered a reflection of human diversity but of pathology. The conceptualizations about gay, lesbian, and bisexual people have shifted over the past four decades from an illness model—“Nonheterosexual people are sick; being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is the problem”—to an affirmative model: “Nonheterosexual people are normatively different; heterosexism is the problem.”

      The illness model makes a sharp distinction that heterosexuals are normal and mentally healthy but that homosexuals and bisexuals are abnormal and impaired in their psychological functioning (Bullough and Bullough 1997). This model views homosexuality...

    • 24 “Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio”: Historical Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Mental Health
      (pp. 655-680)
      Esther D. Rothblum

      So many events have influenced the current status of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) mental health that a whole book could be devoted to this topic alone. In fact, it could be argued that any past legal, political, social, religious, or educational issue related to lesbians, bisexual women, gay men, or bisexual men has affected the status and knowledge of LGB mental health. After describing the history of the language of sexual orientation, this paper focuses on three historical phenomena that have been important for the current understanding of LGB mental health. The first factor consists of changing social roles...

    • 25 The Practice and Ethics of Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy
      (pp. 681-698)
      Douglas C. Haldeman

      The question of how to change sexual orientation has been discussed as long as homoeroticism itself has been described in the literature. For more than a century, medical, psychotherapeutic, and religious practitioners have sought to reverse unwanted homosexual orientation through various methods: These include psychoanalytic therapy, prayer and spiritual interventions, electric shock, nausea-inducing drugs, hormone therapy, surgery, and various adjunctive behavioral treatments, including masturbatory reconditioning, rest, visits to prostitutes, and excessive bicycle riding (Murphy 1992). Early attempts to reverse sexual orientation were founded on the unquestioned assumption that homosexuality is an unwanted, unhealthy condition. Although homosexuality has long been absent...

    • 26 Minority Stress and Mental Health in Gay Men
      (pp. 699-732)
      Ilan H. Meyer

      Four years before he killed himself, sixteen-year-old Bobby Griffith wrote in his diary: “I can’t let anyone find out that I’m not straight. It would be so humiliating. My friends would hate me, I just know it. They might even want to beat me up. . . . I guess I’m no good to anyone . . . not even God. Life is so cruel and unfair. Sometimes I feel like disappearing from the face of this earth” (Miller 1992:88–89). Since he had realized he was homosexual, Bobby Griffith struggled to accept himself and find some comfort in his...

  12. Part VIII: Status of Research, Practice, and Public Policy Issues in American Psychology
    • [Part VIII: Introduction]
      (pp. 733-738)

      What is the appropriate response to the rage one feels about violence based on sexual orientation, blatant discrimination, deep-seated prejudices that are unfair, unjust, and unfounded, to the sexual prejudice and heterosexism that is endemic in our society?

      Too often the response has been for lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men to internalize the stigma, rage, and despair. For much of modern Western history, same-gender sexual and affectional orientation has been an individual condition, variously labeled as a sin, sickness, or mental illness. With the beginning of the contemporary gay movement in 1969, a paradigm shift occurred that has altered homosexuality...

    • 27 Avoiding Heterosexist Bias in Psychological Research
      (pp. 739-755)
      Gregory M. Herek, Douglas C. Kimmel, Hortensia Amaro and Gary B. Melton

      The social and behavioral sciences have an important role to play in increasing society’s knowledge about and understanding of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people. For example, empirical research by Kinsey and his colleagues (Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin 1948; Kinsey et al. 1953), Ford and Beach (1951), and Hooker (1957) demonstrated that homosexual behavior is fairly common in the United States and in other cultures, and is not inherently associated with psychopathology. These pioneering works continue to be cited today. Unfortunately the bulk of scientific research has ignored sexual orientation and behavior or has uncritically adopted societal prejudices against gay...

    • 28 Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients
      (pp. 756-785)
      American Psychological Association

      In 1975 the American Psychological Association (APA) adopted a resolution stating that “homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities” (Conger 1975:633). This resolution followed a rigorous discussion of the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders (American Psychiatric Association 1974). More than twenty-five years later the implications of this resolution have yet to be fully implemented in practice (Dworkin 1992; Firestein 1996; Fox 1996; Garnets et al. 1991; Greene 1994b; Iasenza 1989; Markowitz 1991, 1995; Nystrom 1997). Many of these author have...

    • 29 Seeing Is Believing: Research on Women’s Sexual Orientation and Public Policy
      (pp. 786-796)
      Sheila James Kuehl

      As a legislator, I call on my “knowledge” every day in deciding whether to favor or disfavor a particular bill, approach to the law, concept, or idea. How do I know what I know? And what part of what I “know” is really opinion, based on a murky brew of experience, bias, misinformation, factoids, and facts gleaned from newspapers, magazines, the Internet, surveys, and half-digested reports on research? Since more than four thousand bills cross my desk in every two-year legislative session, you can, more than likely, understand the sentiments of the anonymous wag who opined, “There are two things...

  13. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 797-800)
  14. Index
    (pp. 801-812)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 813-815)