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Sexual Orientation


Bigner, J. J., &  Wetchler, J. L. (2012). Handbook of LGBT-affirmative couple and family therapy. New York: Routledge.

Chapters in this edited volume explore a wide variety of issues involved in LGBT couple and family therapy. Some of these include: raising LGBT children, coming out, elderly LGBT issues, sex therapy, and ethical and training issues.

Bohan, J. S., & Russell, G. M. (Eds.) (1999). Conversations about psychology and sexual orientation. New York: New York University Press.

This book focuses on conceptual frameworks for understanding sexual orientation. It offers excellent discussions of social constructionist and essentialist models of sexual orientation, as well as implications of these models for theory, research, and practice.

Chernin, J. N., & Johnson, M. R. (2002). Affirmative psychotherapy and counseling for lesbians and gay men. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

The book provides guidance for counselors regarding practicing affirmative therapy and presents information regarding research and advocacy. Themes of issues affecting many lesbian and gay clients are highlighted as well as multicultural issues, health issues, and couples issues.

Coyle, A., & Kitzinger, C. (Eds.) (2002). Lesbian and gay psychology: New perspectives. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers.

This edited volume by British editors and, for the most part, British contributors, provides cutting edge perspectives from an angle different from the customary U.S. view. An explicitly deconstructionist perspective predominates and qualitative studies are frequently cited.

das Nair, R., & Butler, C. (2012). Intersectionality, sexuality and psychological therapies: Working with lesbian, gay and bisexual diversity.Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell

Directed at therapists, this book explores the diversity in lesbian, gay, and bisexual lives. Chapters address issues of disability, gender, aging, religion, physical and mental health, race and ethnicity, and social class.

Garnets, L. D. & Kimmel, D. C. (Eds.) (2003). Psychological perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual experiences. New York: Columbia University Press.

The eight sections of this edited book address the meaning of sexual orientation; sexual prejudice, discrimination, and violence; identity development and stigma management; diversity among lesbians, bisexuals and gay men; relationships and families; adolescence, midlife and aging; mental health; and the status of research, practice, and public policy issues in American Psychology.

Girshick, L. (2008). Transgender voices: Beyond women and men. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

In this extraordinary book, based on 150 in-depth interviews, Lori B. Girshick, a sociologist and social justice activist, brings together the voices of sex- and gender-diverse people who speak with absolute candor about their lives. A sensitive listener and able recorder of their stories, Girshick presents transpeople speaking in their own voices about identity, coming out, passing, sexual orientation, relationship negotiations, and the dynamics of attraction, homophobia (including internalized fears), and bullying. She exposes the guilt and the shame that “gender police” use in their attempts to exert control and points out the many ways the gender binary is reinforced in daily life, from filling out identity documents to gender-segregated bathrooms.

Greene, B., & Croom, G. L. (Eds.) (2000). Education, research, and practice in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered psychology: A resource manual. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This volume brings together experts with knowledge of strategies for teaching, confronting heterosexism, and training for clinical practice and research. It touches on an array of topics relevant to these areas, including: theory and research on bisexuality; representative sampling in research on lesbian, gay, and bisexual people of color; workplace issues; and the evolution of psychology’s therapeutic responses to sexual orientation.

Herek, G. M., & Berrill, K. T. (1992). Hate crimes: Confronting violence against lesbians and gay men. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

This excellent volume contains a number of powerful “Survivor Stories” of victims of anti-gay and lesbian violence. Many were based on testimony at the 1996 anti-gay violence hearing before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives. The stories are brief and memorable and put a human face on the problem of violence against gays and lesbians.

Perrotti, J., & Westheimer, K (2001). When the drama club is not enough: Lessons from the Safe Schools Program for gay and lesbian students. Boston, MA: Beacon.

This book describes work done by two individuals heading Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian students. Through narratives and personal stories they explain current issues faced by homosexual students and inspiring strategies to overcome these situations. Some specific issues addressed include homosexuality at the elementary and middle school levels and coming out in school sports. The authors speak directly to anybody concerned with harassment of these individuals and would like to use gay and lesbian issues to start a transformation towards acceptance in their school systems.

Rose, S. M. (Ed.) (2002). Lesbian love and relationships. New York: Harrington Park Press.

This collection of chapters covers a wide array of topics related to lesbian relationships, touching on ethnicity, race, and social class considerations, developmental issues, sexual relating, intimate partner violence, emergence and the impact of homophobia, and friendships between lesbians and heterosexual women.

Book Chapters

Casper, V., Cuffaro, H. K., Schultz, S., Silin, J. G., & Wickens, E. (1998). Toward a most thorough understanding of the world: Sexual orientation and early childhood education. In N. Yelland (Ed.), Gender in early childhood (pp. 73–97). Florence, KY: Taylor & Frances/Routledge.

The authors focus on early childhood education and sexuality and discuss the relationship between teachers’ thoughts concerning sexuality and children’s and parents’ sexual orientation. Teachers’ childhood experiences and the effect this may have on their attitudes relating to sexual orientation also are addressed. In addition, the authors investigate the opinions and knowledge of sexuality from the children’s perspective. The authors consistently integrate their own struggles to promote understanding and acceptance of sexual orientation in their personal institutions.

Hancock, K. A. (2003). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual psychology: Past, present, and future directions. In J. S. Mio & G. Y. Iwamasa (Eds.), Culturally diverse mental health: The challenges of research and resistance (pp. 289–307). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

This chapter discusses the history of LGB research in the mental health arena, from the notion that homosexuality was psychopathological, to discussing the psychological adjustment that those who were LGB needed to make to society, to the present day research of describing LGB individuals within various demographic contexts (e.g., gender, ethnicity, family relations, and youth). It concludes by discussing future areas of research among LGB populations.

Herek, G. M. (2003). Why tell if you’re not asked? Self-disclosure, intergroup contact, and heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. In L. D. Garnets & D. C. Kimmel (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual experiences (2nd ed., pp. 270–298). New York: Columbia University Press.

Herek addresses the stigma of homosexuality and how it influences gays and lesbians decision about whether and when to self-disclose their sexual orientation. The issues he raises are rooted in heterosexual privilege, including the societal assumption that “heterosexual=normal” and the anti-gay prejudice that stems from this assumption. Herek discusses the coming-out process and possibilities for societal attitude change.

Israel, T. (2004). What counselors need to know about working with sexual minority clients. In D. R. Atkinson & G. Hackett (Eds.), Counseling diverse population (3rd ed., pp. 347–364). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

This chapter discusses how LGB individuals must make a choice upon every person they meet to decide if they want to come out to these new individuals or not. Thus, “coming out” is not a one-time event but a constant one.

Kantor, M. (2010). Coping, containing, and countering antigay sexual prejudice and discrimination. In J. L. Chin (Ed.), The psychology of prejudice and discrimination: A revised and condensed edition (pp. 223-235). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

This chapter explores variations of homophobias, categorizes them according to related emotional disorders, and then presents an accompanying antitheses.  According to the author, these antitheses “offer gays and lesbians a scientific way to think about the different forms of homophobia that implies helpful and precise methods of response that are self-comforting and that, as a bonus, can even be therapeutic for homophobes themselves.”

Journal Articles

Adams, N., Cox, T., & Dunstan, L. (2004). “I am the hate that dare not speak its name” Dealing with homophobia in secondary schools. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20(3), 259–269.

This paper investigates whether homophobic bullying is addressed in the policies of 19 different secondary schools. Two-thirds of policies addressed equal opportunity, but gays and lesbians were not mentioned in any anti-bullying policies. Faculty of the schools expressed a need for further education in homophobic bullying, education, and Section 28. The authors discuss the need for educational psychologists to provide information that would raise awareness about this topic in schools.

American Psychological Association. (2000). Guidelines for psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. American Psychologist, 44, 1440–1251.

These guidelines are a comprehensive discussion of the stance that therapists should take with LGB clients in therapy. They caution against stigmatizing or treating as pathological LGB clients and suggest ways of discussing issues in therapy.

Biaggio, M., Orchard, S., Larson, J., Petrino, K., & Mihara, R. (2003). Guidelines for gay/lesbian/bisexual-affirmative educational practices in graduate psychology programs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34, 548–554.

The goal of this paper is to discuss gay/lesbian/bisexual-affirmative practices in graduate psychology programs with respect to: institutional climate and support; and education about LGB issues. Research indicates that there is a relationship between the institutional climate and the quality of education about LGB issues, and the authors suggest that it behooves programs and their institutions to attend to both aspects of LGB-affirmative strategies.

Bogaert, A. F., & Skorska, M. (2011). Sexual orientation, fraternal birth order, and the maternal immune hypothesis: A review. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 32(2), 247-254. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2011.02.004

This article reviews and evaluates evidence and explanations for the ‘‘fraternal birth order’’ (FBO) effect – the finding that birth order is linked with sexual orientation for males. 

Calzo, J. P., Antonucci, T. C., Mays, V. M., & Cochran, S. D. (2011). Retrospective recall of sexual orientation identity development among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults. Developmental Psychology, 47(6), 1658-1673. doi:10.1037/a0025508

Data from the California Quality of Life Surveys was used to assess sexual orientation identity development.  Findings suggest that self-identification as GLB often precedes first same-sex sexual activity. Gender differences in the onset and pace of sexual orientation identity development are discussed.

Carroll, L., Gauler, A. A., Relph, J., & Hutchinson, K. S. (2011). Counselor self-disclosure: Does sexual orientation matter to straight clients? International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 33(2), 139-148. doi:10.1007/s10447-011-9118-4

This study investigated the impact of counselor self-disclosure of sexual orientation using a hypothetical scenario administered to self-identified heterosexual undergraduate participants. Participants perceived the disclosing gay and lesbian counselors as significantly more trustworthy than their nondisclosing gay and lesbian counterparts.

Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 4, 219–235.

This was the first model of gay/lesbian identity development. It discussed how LGB individuals go through phases where they initially are confused about their sexuality to accepting their sexuality to having pride in their sexuality. The article followed lesbian women in therapy throughout an academic year and described their insights at various phases of their identity development.

Crow, S. M., Fok, L. Y., & Hartman, S. J. (1998). Who is at greatest risk of work-related discrimination—women, blacks, or homosexuals? Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 11, 15–26.

The authors examine hiring bias against job applicants based on gender, sexual orientation, and race. The researchers found that straight applicants were more likely to be hired over applicants who were gay or lesbian. Further, the authors found that Black lesbians and Black gay male applicants were least favored by those who were surveyed.

D’Augelli, A., & Grossman, A. (2001). Disclosure of sexual orientation, victimization, and mental health among lesbian, gay, and bisexual older adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 16, 1008–1027.

This article discusses how mental health issues faced by LGB clients deal more with how society treats them as opposed to their sexual orientation per se.

Eldridge, J., & Johnson, P. (2011). The relationship between old-fashioned and modern heterosexism to social dominance orientation and structural violence. Journal of Homosexuality, 58(3), 382-401. doi:10.1080/00918369.2011.546734

This study investigated whether social dominance orientation and acceptance of structural violence predict old-fashion and modern heterosexism.  Results indicated acceptance of structural violence better predicted both modern and old-fashioned heterosexism than did social dominance orientation.

Ellis, A. L., & Riggle, E. D. B. (1995). The relation of job satisfaction and degree of openness about one’s sexual orientation for lesbians and gay men. Journal of Homsexuality, 30, 75–85.

This study compared job satisfaction of gay men and lesbians who were open about their sexual orientation relative to those who were not open. The researchers found the degree to which the gay men and lesbians were open about their sexual orientation was related to their pay and their satisfaction. Specifically, employees who were not open about their sexual orientation were more satisfied with their salaries and indeed received greater pay than those who were open about their sexual orientation. However, those who were open about their sexual orientation were more satisfied with their relationships with coworkers and boss than those who were not open.

Ewing, V. L., Stukas, A. A., Jr., & Sheehan, E. P. (2003). Student prejudice against gay male and lesbian lecturers. The Journal of Social Psychology, 143, 569–579.

This article examines students’ perceptions of gay male and lesbian instructors compared to straight male and female instructors. Based on teaching evaluations, the researchers found that the students did not discriminate against the gay and lesbian instructors when the quality of their lectures was weak. However, students discriminated when the quality of the lectures was strong. According to the authors, the findings suggest that students discriminated against the gay and lesbian instructors by denying them deserved positive evaluations.

Falomir-Pichastor, J., & Mugny, G. (2009). “I’m not gay...I’m a real man!”: Heterosexual men’s gender self-esteem and sexual prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(9), 1233-1243. doi:10.1177/0146167209338072

Presents several studies that support the hypothesis that in heterosexual men, but not heterosexual women, sexual prejudice serves to maintain a positive gender-related identity and distinguish it from a homosexual identity.

Fine, L. E. (2011). Minimizing heterosexism and homophobia: Constructing meaning of out campus LGB life. Journal of Homosexuality, 58(4), 521-546. doi:10.1080/00918369.2011.555673

Content analysis of interview data was used to investigate how American college students perceive the heterosexism and homophobia they encounter in their daily lives. Four themes emerged: “the overwhelming majority of students minimized incidences of heterosexism and homophobia; there was a desire on the part of many respondents to develop an identity apart from, rather than integrated with, sexual identity; the campus climate was generally portrayed as positive; and some participants expressed resistance, suggesting that heterosexism and homophobia can be countered. “

Fletcher, A. C., & Russell, S. T. (2001). Incorporating issues of sexual orientation in the classroom: Challenges and solutions. Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 50(1), 34–40.

This article discusses the challenges educators face when trying to incorporate issues of sexual minorities into the classroom. Some of the main challenges include an absence of exposure to accurate information, finding an appropriate and relevant lecture topic, intolerant student perspectives, avoiding stereotypical thoughts, and the instructor’s comfort in issues involving sexual orientation.

Gartrell, N. K., Bos, H. M. W., & Goldberg, N. G. (2011). Adolescents of the U.S. national longitudinal lesbian family study: Sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual risk exposure. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(6), 1199-1209. doi:10.1007/s10508-010-9692-2

Data were collected on sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual risk exposure from 17-year-old children of women enrolled in a long-running prospective study of same-sex parented families.  Results indicated suggest that adolescents reared in lesbian families are less likely than their peers to be victimized by a parent or other caregiver, and that daughters of lesbian mothers are more likely to engage in same-sex behavior and to identify as bisexual.

Herek, G. M. (2002). Gender gaps in public opinion about lesbians and gay men. Public Opinion Quarterly, 66, 40–66.

Using a national survey, this article outlines people’s opinions about gay men and lesbians. The researchers examined attitudes toward gay men and lesbians and people’s opinions on such issues as gay employment rights, marriage rights, adoption rights, and beliefs about homosexuality.

Herek, G. M. (2004). Beyond “homophobia”: Thinking about sexual prejudice and stigma in the twenty-first century. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 1, 6–24.

Provides both a historical and a current overview of the literature on heterosexism and anti-gay prejudice, including a discussion of the term homophobia. This critique is thoughtful and suggests avenues for future research.

Herek, G. M. (2011). Anti-equality marriage amendments and sexual stigma. Journal of Social Issues, 61, 413-426.

This article provides a stigma-based analysis of anti-equality marriage laws and campaigns. Three major themes are discussed:  “First, being denied the legal right to marry because of one's sexual orientation is an instance of stigma. Second, because being the target of stigma is stressful, the political campaigns surrounding anti-equality marriage amendments are a source of heightened stress for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Third, structural and individual manifestations of sexual stigma are interrelated; the initial enactment and continuing existence of anti-equality marriage laws depend on the opinions and actions of the voting public. “ [from Abstract]


Herek, G. M., Norton, A. T., Allen, T. J., & Sims, C. L. (2010). Demographic, psychological, and social characteristics of self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in a U.S. probability sample. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 7, 176-200.

Using data from a U.S. national probability sample of self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults, this article provides a demographic, psychological, and social profile with emphasis on information with relevant to public policy decisions.

Horvath, M., & Ryan, A. M. (2003). Antecedents and potential moderators of the relationship between attitudes and hiring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Sex Roles, 48, 115–130.

The authors examine hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation. Participants rated resumes which were varied by gender, sexual orientation, and masculinity/femininity. The authors examined the extent to which participant religiosity, beliefs about gender roles, previous exposure to gay men and lesbians, and beliefs about the controllability of homosexuality influenced their attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. The authors also studied the relationship between attitudes and discriminatory behavior.

Jayakumar, U. M. (2009). The invisible rainbow in diversity: Factors influencing sexual prejudice among college students. Journal of Homosexuality, 56(6), 675-700. doi:10.1080/00918360903054095

This study investigates the impact of college experiences on sexual prejudice using on a nationwide, longitudinal of college students. Results indicate that individuals are more accepting of lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships after four years of college and that racially diversity in the college environment is associated with a decrease in sexual prejudice.

Kite, M. E. (2011). (Some) things are different now: An optimistic look at sexual prejudice. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35(3), 517-522. doi:10.1177/0361684311414831

Kite reflects on her teaching, research, and national events to comment on progress in the area of LGBT rights and sexual prejudice.

Kite, M. E., & Whitley, B. E., Jr. (1996). Sex differences in attitudes toward homosexual persons, behaviors, and civil rights: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 336–353.

This meta-analysis examined heterosexual individuals’ attitudes toward people of homosexual orientation, towards homosexual behavior, and attitudes toward civil rights of lesbians and gay men. The authors found that straight men held more negative attitudes toward gay men than towards lesbians and straight women held more negative attitudes toward lesbians than toward gay men. The relationship between respondent sex and attitudes toward homosexuality was mediated by sex role attitudes. Civil rights attitudes toward lesbians and gay men were similar between men and women. Other issues such as biases in the homosexuality literature were considered.

LaMar, L., & Kite, M. (1998). Sex differences in attitudes toward gay men and lesbians: A multidimensional perspective. Journal of Sex Research, 35, 189–196.

The authors surveyed college students’ attitudes toward homosexuality in terms of five factors: condemnation/tolerance, morality, contact with gay males, contact with lesbians, and stereotypes. On all factors except stereotypes, straight men held more negative attitudes toward gay men than toward lesbians. Women on the contact factor held more negative attitudes towards lesbians than towards gay men.

Lark, J. S., & Croteau, J. M. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual doctoral students’ mentoring relationships with faculty in counseling psychology: A qualitative study. Counseling Psychologist, 26(5), 754–776.

This study investigates lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students in a doctoral program for counseling psychology. The study describes the relationship between the safety information provided involving LGB issues and the students’ level of openness about their sexual orientation. This led to the themes of formation, function, and impact which are commonly found when forming mentor relationships between faculty and LGB students. Implications for the findings are addressed and recommendations to faculty members are made based on the research.

Liddle, B. J. (1997). Coming out in class: Disclosure of sexual orientation and teaching evaluations. Teaching of Psychology, 24(1), 32–35.

This article focuses on the possibility of an evaluation bias relating to a professor disclosing her sexual orientation. A lesbian professor shared her sexual orientation with two classes and withheld this information from two other comparable classes. As previous research has stated, no evaluation bias was found in comparing the two groups. This is consistent with the belief that evaluation bias is diminished when raters have solid information and personal experience with the individual being rated and they are rating previous, instead of future, success.

Little, J. N. (2001). Embracing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth in school-based settings. Child and Youth Care Forum, 30(2), 99–110.

Approximately 10% of our youth are experiencing struggles related to sexual orientation. Many of these struggles go unnoticed by teachers and educators. This paper explains various types of difficulties these children endure including finding their identity and becoming socially accepted. The author further investigates possible consequences of the lack of services provided to these children and proposes possible solutions.

Maccio, E. (2011). Self-reported sexual orientation and identity before and after sexual reorientation therapy. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 15(3), 242-259. doi:10.1080/19359705.2010.544186

Presents evidence from a study of participants in sexual reorientation (i.e., conversion or reparative) therapy for its lack of effectiveness and discusses alternative interventions for clients struggling with their sexual identity, such as including person-centered and gay-affirmative approaches.

Madson, L. (2001). A classroom activity exploring the complexity of sexual orientation. Teaching of Psychology, 28(1), 32–35.

Common conceptions of sexual orientation do not fully encompass all aspects of sexuality. Sexual attractions and behaviors, self-identity, sexual attraction, and social inclusion are all affiliated with sexual orientations. The author explores these topics by asking students to categorize the sexuality of 10 fictional people. Each person had a story, some of which included inconsistencies in sexual orientation. The author uses the difficulties in identifying the sexuality of the individuals because of the contradictory information to stimulate discussions and receive feedback on the topic. This activity could be used in a variety of courses which include: Psychology of Women, Sexual Behavior, and the Psychology of Sexual Orientation.

Masser, B., & Moffat, K. B. (2006). With friends like these…The role of prejudice and situational norms on discriminatory helping behavior. Journal of Homosexuality, 51, 121–138.

In a word-creation task, the authors examined helping behavior of participants towards a gay man compared to a straight man depending on whether the socially-appropriate behavior was clear or not. The authors found that participants provided less help towards a gay man in a situation where the behavioral norm was ambiguous. Findings suggest that discriminatory behavior towards people of homosexual orientation is more likely to occur in situations where the norm is undefined.

McDermott, E. (2006). Surviving dangerous places: Lesbian identity performances in the workplace, social class, and psychological health. Feminism Psychology, 16, 194–211.

The authors interviewed lesbian women to gain insight about their experiences in the workplace. Findings indicate that working-class women compared to middle-class women were more likely to be employed in settings where they felt the need to place greater effort in maintaining a heterosexual front. The authors suggest that the psychologically-demanding task of having to control the impressions they gave about their sexual identity compromised their psychological well-being, especially the well-being of the working-class women whose workplaces, compared to the workplaces of middle-class women, were less tolerant of homosexuality.

Messinger, L. (2004). Special selection: Field education in social work out in the field: Gay and lesbian social work students’ experiences in field placement. Journal of Social Work Education, 40(2), 187–204.

The researcher interviewed 30 lesbian and gay social work students regarding their field work placement. Several sexual orientation-related issues were identified, including homophobic behavior, hostile agency atmospheres, and challenges involving coming out in the agency. The research suggests resources that may be used in the future to improve field experience. Implication of these resources may be useful for social work students, academic programs, and placement agencies.

Morrison, M. A., & Morrison, T. G. (2011). Sexual orientation bias toward gay men and lesbian women: Modern homonegative attitudes and their association with discriminatory behavioral intentions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(11), 2573-2599. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00838.x

Two studies are presented which (1) find homonegative attitudes among nonstudents to be positively correlated with neoracism, neosexism, and the Protestant work ethic, and negatively with humanitarianism–egalitarianism, and (2) find modern homonegativity predicted discriminatory behavioral intentions toward a gay, but not a straight mayoral candidate.

Nixon, D., & Givens, N. (2004). “Miss, you’re so gay.” Queer stories from trainee teachers. Sex Education, 4(3), 217–237.

This study investigated the social and occupational experiences of gay, lesbian, and bisexual trainees in higher education. This was done by performing six personal interviews with LGB trainee teachers. The research provided insight into the attitudes of people who interact with the LGB trainees. Further research was focused around three participant areas: the environment of the local campus, the formation of open sexuality in schools, and the opinions of the culture as a whole. Specific concerns facing the participants were discovered including: finding their identity, being sensitive to other’s criticism, institutional silence, and dealing with the hegemonic masculinity of some of the students. The research also discovered creative ways in which the participants handled discrimination.

Parks, C. W. (2001). African-American same-gender-loving youths and families in urban schools. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services: Issues in Practice, Policy and Research, 13(3), 41–56.

The author discusses the finding that African American youth from lower-income communities are less likely to identify themselves as gay or lesbian, focusing on the following topics: (a) Finkelhor’s developmental victimology model, (b) African American same gender loving youth and their families, (c) minority stress, and (d) urban schools. The author also investigates the relationship between sociocultural influences and environments, especially between school environments and surrounding communities of the same-gender-loving individuals. The article also discusses how this relationship impacts children’s likelihoods to become a target for abuse and to protect them from it. The research focuses on around youth in major urban centers.

Parrott, D. J., & Peterson, J. L. (2008). What motivates hate crimes based on sexual orientation? mediating effects on anger on antigay aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 34(3), 306-318. doi:10.1002/ab.20239

This study investigated the role of anger in antigay assailants with three different types of motivation --sexual prejudice, peer dynamics, and thrill seeking. Results indicated that anger fully mediated the relationship between sexual prejudice and antigay aggression, partially mediated the effect of peer dynamics on antigay aggression, and did not account for the relationship between thrill seeking and antigay aggression.

Ragins, B. R., & Cornwell, J. M. (2001). Pink triangles: Antecedents and consequences of perceived workplace discrimination. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1244–1261.

This award-winning paper provides an excellent review of workplace discrimination and its effects on the experiences of gays and lesbians.

Shelton, K., & Delgado-Romero, E. (2011). Sexual orientation microaggressions: The experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer clients in psychotherapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58(2), 210-221. doi:10.1037/a0022251

The phenomenon of sexual orientation microaggressions was investigated through interviews with 16 self-identified LGBQ psychotherapy clients. Based on this data the authors identified 7 sexual orientation microaggression themes.  Channels of microaggression communication and the impact of microaggressions on therapy and clients are discussed.

Sherry, A., Whilde, M. R., & Patton, J. (2005). Gay, lesbian, and bisexual training competencies in American Psychological Association accredited graduate programs. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 42(1), 116–120.

This study examined 104 training programs in APA-accredited counseling and clinical psychology programs. The training directors for the programs were surveyed with questions involving the inclusion of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) issues in curriculum and mentoring research on these topics. The results showed that LGB issues were usually included in multicultural courses which are more commonly required by counseling programs. Counseling programs, when compared to clinical, were also more likely to provide mentors for research in the area. These results suggest that the differences in inclusion of LGB students may be attributed to the training levels of LGB issues in the program.

Smith, S. J., Axelton, A. M., & Saucier, D. A. (2009). The effects of contact on sexual prejudice: A meta-analysis. Sex Roles, 61(3-4), 178-191. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9627-3

A meta-analysis  of 41 articles investigated the relationship between contact and sexual prejudice. Results showed a significant negative relationship between contact and sexual prejudice, which varied as a function of the type of sexual prejudice measure used, the target group toward which the prejudicial attitudes were assessed, and where the study was conducted.

Szymanski, D. M., Kashubeck-West, S., & Meyer, J. (2008). Internalized heterosexism: Measurement, psychosocial correlates, and research directions. The Counseling Psychologist, 36(4), 525-574. doi:10.1177/0011000007309489

This article reviews and evaluates the literature on internalized heterosexism/homophobia, its measurement, and its psychosocial correlates.  Topics addressed include the operationalization of internalized heterosexism/homophobia, and the role of internalized heterosexism/homophobia in sexual identity formation, the coming-out process, mental and physical health, substance use, sexual risk-taking behavior, intimate relationships, parenting and family issues, gender roles and feminism, race and ethnicity, religion, career issues, and counselor-client interactions and treatment interventions.

Szymanski, D. M., & Moffitt, L. B. (2012).Sexism and heterosexism.  In N. A. Fouad, J. A. Carter,  & L. M. Subich. (Eds.), APA handbook of counseling psychology, vol. 2: Practice, interventions, and applications (pp. 361-390). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.  doi:10.1037/13755-015

This chapter provides current research on and examples of the individual, familial, institutional, and sociocultural manifestations of sexism and heterosexism. The authors also address intersectionality issues in terms of oppression across multiple minority identities, and describe interventions for perpetrators and targets of sexism and heterosexism.

Valera, P., & Taylor, T. (2011). “Hating the sin but not the sinner”: A study about heterosexism and religious experiences among black men. Journal of Black Studies, 42(1), 106-122. doi:10.1177/0021934709356385

This article explored the religious experiences of nine Black men who are married to  women and have sex with men (BMMSM). Interview data suggest that the men employed strategies to manage their religious traditions and same-sex behaviors.

Vrangalova, Z., & Savin-Williams, R. (2012). Mostly heterosexual and mostly gay/lesbian: Evidence for new sexual orientation identities. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(1), 85-101. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9921-y

A model of sexual orientation continuum was tested through an online (Facebook) survey of 1,784 individuals.   Results supported a 5-category classification of identity (heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly gay/lesbian, gay/lesbian).

Woolf, L. M. (2002). Gay and lesbian aging. Siecus Report: Sexuality and Aging Revisited, 30 (2), 16–21.

This brief review article counters the myth of the older lesbians or gay men as lonely, isolated, depressed, and sexless. The article focuses on issues such as life satisfaction, coping skills, social support, and general challenges experienced by most older adults. However, the article also stresses the difficulties uniquely experienced by older lesbians and gay men, often the result of living with and facing discrimination on both an interpersonal and institutional level.

Web sites

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth is an organization designed to help guide the sexual decisions of youth. They do this through providing education and assistance to youth-serving organizations, policy makers, youth activists, and the media both in America and worldwide. This site includes recommendations and information for children K–12 and includes LGBT youth toolkits.

AFFIRM: Readings on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues

Developed to address the concern that graduate students are not receiving sufficient coverage of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) issues in clinical psychology graduate training, AFFIRM: Psychologists Affirming Their LGBT Family compiled a list of readings, drawing on input from outside sources, including Division 44 of the American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association Office of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns

In Spring 2005, the APA Office of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns conducted research to find programs which provide emphasis in lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues. APA gathered information on faculty interests through surveying chairpersons of graduate programs. This article includes different programs that are available, a list of members of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, and other departments which strongly relate to psychology. The survey includes 750 programs in Canada and the United States, 487 doctoral programs and 263 master’s programs. The survey is split into four main sections: research; courses; professional training; and climate indicators.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network is dedicated to protecting the rights and dignity of every individual in a school community regardless of sexual orientation. They work to prevent disrespectful behavior against any individual due to their sexual attitudes or behaviors. This site provides educators with resources to help guide a personal life style and a classroom curriculum that positively influences LGBT youth issues.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (the Task Force) works to influence and educate political leaders at both the state and local levels. The Task Force works to promote state and local allies and constructs campaigns to work towards equality for LGBT people. Useful resources found on this site include: reports and research, toolkits, issue maps, opinion/editorials, newsletters, and frequently asked questions.

National Youth Advocacy Coalition

The National Youth Advocacy Coalition is an organization dedicated to ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The NYAC provides a safe environment to foster the growth and well-being of LGBTQ youth. The NYAC’s Web site provides information and additional resources for information about the issues faced by this population.


Out!Proud, The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth provides support, information, and advocacy to LGBT youth. The “School Resources Library” section of the Web site provides tools and tips that can be used in producing a LGBT safe environment in schools.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

PFLAG’s Web site offers a wealth of resources to lesbians and gay men and those who care about them in the areas of support, education, and advocacy. This national nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1973, has more than 200,000 members and more than 500 chapters nationwide.

Sexual Orientation: Science, Education, and Public Policy

Gregory Herek’s Web site features work on sexual prejudice, hate crimes, sexual orientation and mental health, marriage equality and AIDS stigma. Dr. Herek’s uses factual information to promote the use of scientific knowledge for education and enlightened public policy related to sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS.

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