Advertisement

The Construction of Sexual Identity

  • Rusi JaspalEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the construction of gay identity. First, sexual identity is defined and the emergence of gay identity is discussed. Two significant theories of identity—social identity theory and identity process theory—from social psychology are outlined in relation to gay identity. The Cass identity model, which describes the processes underlying sexual identity development among gay men, is discussed from a social psychological perspective. Significant empirical research into the construction gay identity is summarised and it is argued that both social and psychological levels of analysis are key to understanding the construction of gay identity.

Keywords

Coming out Sexual identity Gay identity Identity process theory 

References

  1. Brady, S., & Busse, W. J. (1994). The gay identity questionnaire: A brief measure of homosexual identity formation. Journal of Homosexuality, 26(4), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cass, V. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 4(3), 219–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chan, L. S. (2017). The role of gay identity confusion and outness in sex-seeking on mobile dating apps among men who have sex with men: A conditional process analysis. Journal of Homosexuality, 64(5), 622–637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohler, B. J., & Hammack, P. L. (2007). The psychological world of the gay teenager: Social change, narrative, and ‘normality’. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36(1), 47–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cook, M. (2007). From gay reform to Gaydar. In M. Cook (Ed.), A gay history of Britain: Love and sex between men since the middle ages (pp. 179–214). Oxford: Greenwood World Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Coyle, A. G. (1991). The construction of gay identity (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.Google Scholar
  7. D’Emilio, J. (1983). Capitalism and gay identity. In A. Snitow, C. Stansell, & S. Thompson (Eds.), Powers of desire: The politics of sexuality (pp. 100–113). New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  8. Elizur, Y., & Ziv, M. (2001). Family support and acceptance, gay male identity formation, and psychological adjustment: A path model. Family Process, 40(2), 125–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gomillion, S. C., & Giuliano, T. A. (2011). The influence of media role models on gay, lesbian, and bisexual identity. Journal of Homosexuality, 58(3), 330–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Halpin, S. A. (2008). Psychological well-being and gay identity development (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Newcastle, Australia. https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/32001503?q&versionId=38859318. Accessed on 19 February 2019.
  11. Jaspal, R. (2014a). Sexuality, migration and identity among gay Iranian migrants to the UK. In Y. Taylor & R. Snowdon (Eds.), Queering religion, religious queers (pp. 44–60). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Jaspal, R. (2014b). Social psychological debates about identity. In R. Jaspal & G. M. Breakwell (Eds.), Identity process theory: Identity, social action and social change (pp. 3–19). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Jaspal, R. (2017a). Coping with ethnic prejudice on the gay scene: British South Asian gay men. Journal of LGBT Youth, 14(2), 172–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jaspal, R. (2017b). Gay men’s construction and management of identity on Grindr. Sexuality & Culture, 21(1), 187–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jaspal, R. (2018). Enhancing sexual health, self-identity and wellbeing among men who have sex with men: A guide for practitioners. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Jaspal, R., & Breakwell, G. M. (Eds.). (2014). Identity process theory: Identity, social action and social change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Jaspal, R., & Cinnirella, M. (2010). Media representations of British Muslims and hybridised threats to identity. Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life, 4(3), 289–310.Google Scholar
  18. Kocet, M. M. (2014). The role of friendships in the lives of gay men, adolescents and boys. In M. M. Kocet (Ed.), Counselling gay men, adolescents and boys: A strengths-based guide for helping professionals and educators (pp. 24–34). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maatouk, I., & Jaspal, R. (2020). Religion, male bisexuality and sexual health in Lebanon. In A. K. T. Yip & A. Toft (Eds.), Bisexuality, spirituality & identity: Critical perspectives. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Pehrson, S. D., & Reicher, S. D. (2014). On the meaning, validity and importance of the distinction between personal and social identity: A social identity perspective on identity process theory. In R. Jaspal & G. M. Breakwell (Eds.), Identity process theory: Identity, social action and social change (pp. 97–117). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., Hunter, J. & Braun, L. (2006). Sexual identity development among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time. Journal of Sex Research, 43(1), 46–58.Google Scholar
  22. Rowen, C. J. & Malcolm, J. P. (2002). Correlates of internalized homophobia and homosexual identity formation in a sample of gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 43(2), 77–92.Google Scholar
  23. Tajfel, H. (Ed.). (1978). Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Vignoles, V. (2014). Quantitative approaches to researching identity processes and motivational principles. In R. Jaspal & G. M. Breakwell (Eds.), Identity process theory: Identity, social action and social change (pp. 65–94). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Wills, T. A. (1981). Downward comparison principles in social psychology. Psychological Bulletin, 90, 245–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations