The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the unique sexual and religious identity development of sexual minorities who attend evangelical Christian institutions of higher education. Although research exists on sexual identity development and religious identity development, scant research exists as to how these developmental areas interact in sexual minorities who attend evangelical institutions of higher education. The research questions that were answered in this study included the following: How do sexual minority students at evangelical Christian institutions of higher education develop a sexual identity and make choices about sexual expression? How do sexual minority students at evangelical Christian institutions of higher education develop a religious identity? How do these two developmental areas interact in this population?
Four individuals who identified as sexual minorities were interviewed for this study. Interviews were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis to understand the lived experiences of the participants. The data analysis led to the following emergent themes: evangelical beliefs/narratives about homosexuality, new understanding of faith, current faith development, the closet, coded language, community, romantic relationships, current meaning of sexual identity, intersectional identities, evangelical college culture, vigilance, advocacy, and academic/artistic expression. These themes highlighted how inextricably linked are sexual and religious identity development in this population. Also highlighted were how the individuals resolved their identity conflict with great difficulty but also as empowered changed agents. Clinical and educational applications of the research were also discussed.
|Commitee:||Kvaal, Steven, Wiens, Lora|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||LGBTQ studies, School counseling, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||College, Evangelicalism, Religion, Sexual minoirites|
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