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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the use of the construct homonegativity in gay white men's discourse
by Apostle, Demetry Paris, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2013, 165; 3594256
Abstract (Summary)

The effects of homonegativity for same-sex attracted individuals in the United States can lead to serious physical and/or mental health problems, affecting more than 9 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. While research into LGBT issues has been undertaken in earnest since the 1970s, there has been little examination on the role of homonegativity for gay men, nor the types of support that would be helpful to combat the effects of homonegativity. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of homonegativity among gay White men in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants were recruited through the use of convenience sampling, snowball sampling, and strategically placed posters in locations frequented by gay men. The 12 participants were between the ages of 29 and 81 and identified as gay men who had experienced at least one significant gay relationship. The research questions explored these men's perceptions and experiences of homonegativity and its impact upon various aspects of their lives. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis utilized to identify relevant themes and interpretations. Participants acquired new knowledge and meaning through the exposure and discussion of in-depth concepts of homonegativity. They also identified experiences that included internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural homonegativity. Ten prominent themes emerged from this study. Among them were: prescriptive gender role compliance; a general unease with being gay; experiences of bullying, verbal and physical attacks; workplace discrimination; religious exclusion and discrimination; the effect of negative media portrayals of homosexuality; and experiences of governmental discrimination. Seven themes emerged from an exploration of homonegativity, prominent ones were: lack of family support, safety concerns, experiences of homonegativity from their partners, and an acknowledgement that homonegativity impacts their relationships. Participants reported that the process of being exposed to new and expanded concepts of homonegativity created insight into how homonegativity operates in their lives and relationships. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jackson, Theopia
Commitee: Bruff, William, Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria
School: Saybrook University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, LGBTQ studies, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Homonegativity, Homosexuality, Identity formation, Same-sex relationships, White men
Publication Number: 3594256
ISBN: 978-1-303-37955-0
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