• Gordon Jablonski

    ThursdayJun 29 at 7:34am

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    Sexual Identity Development

    After reading Chapter 12 of the course textbook and the 60 minutes video I see the main topic is sexual development during adolescence. I identify a sexual identity-related problem as transgender teens. I have worked with these teens in a group home and a psychiatric hospital and also from a youth perspective on homeless youth. They are seeking love, compassion and warmth from an otherwise cruel world. They were born into bodies that they don’t feel comfortable in. It is not my place as a human services worker to try and change them or make them accept their biological body. Their brains tell them that they are not in the right body and this causes a dysmorphic state. According to Mossler and Ziegler (2016), “The greater exposure to harassment probably contributes to higher rates of substance abuse, depression, and suicidal ideation in this population.” (p.12.7) These teens struggle with society as there is a section of people who believe in a monotheistic god or polytheistic gods that want to convert these teens to heterosexuals and conforming people. The other side of the issue is for human service workers, parents and teachers to embrace these youth and their feelings.

    To identify and evaluate the key positions and theoretical arguments relating to my issue, I see that transgender youth are bullied more by straight peers than heterosexual youth.  According to Mossler and Ziegler (2016), “As a result, identity formation may suffer due to prejudice and feelings of shame. Homosexual relationships during adolescence are often fraught with additional anxiety for fear of persecution and rejection. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents will therefore sometimes first date members of the other sex. More than heterosexuals, LGBT teens question their sexuality and their gender, epitomizing what Erikson referred to as role confusion.” (p. 12.7) Transgender youth are searching to be themselves and need to be free to explore. And, since we know that sexual orientation runs on a spectrum then those with sexual identity crisis such as transgender youth can take comfort in the fact that they can be gender queer. Some transgender youth decide to change their body appearance with clothing, makeup, jewelry, tattoos whether male to female or female to male. Some get surgery done on facial features or on buttox and other regions of the body. Many start taking hormones to suppress the biological sex characteristics. According to McGuire and colleagues (2010), “Transgender youth experience negative school environments and may not benefit directly from interventions defined to support Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB)

    Youth.” (para. 8) It is important to support the LGBT community and embrace diversity and differences among people. This is how we as adults impact the youth by setting a good example of tolerance and respect and pro-social behaviors.

    There are many reasons for sexual orientation or transgender behavior. There are nature and nurture debates. But there are also cultural differences (i.e. The native cultures recognize transgender and gay as two spirited). And there are hormonal differences and structures of the brain that differ between gay and straight people just like there are differences in brain structure between girls and boys. These are the reasons for differences in sexual orientations, gender identity and gender. All these positions can be found in science and in theory and evidence seen from research.


    Mossler, R. A., & Ziegler, M. (2016). Understanding Development: A Lifespan Perspective. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc

    McGuire, J. K., Anderson, C. R., Toomey, R. B., & Russell, S. T. (2010). School climate for transgender youth: A mixed method investigation of student experiences and school responses. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(10), 1175-88. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/746772400?accountid=39364

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  • Collapse SubdiscussionKeina Coleman

    Keina Coleman

    ThursdayJun 29 at 3:09pm

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    Sexual Identity Development

    Homosexuality is an example of a sexual identity-related issue. Individuals who identify as being homosexual have been considered to be amoral and perceived as having a mental illness by some in society. Incorrect stereotyping of lesbian women and gay men have caused them to be discriminated against in society and within their own cultures (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, 2014).  The fear discrimination and rejection has led to individuals declining to disclose their sexual orientation. The contrast in sexual orientation begins at an early age and biological and neurobiological factors play a role in an individual’s sexual identity and gender (Mossler & Ziegler 2016). Heredity also plays a role in one’s sexual identity.

    Homosexuality is a hot topic of discussion in political, religious, and social arenas. This topic of homosexuality encompasses a plethora of issues. Individuals who self- identify, and who are of the Gay, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community are often judged by the theologies, values, and beliefs of the heterosexual community. Some heterosexual members of society are against same- sex marriages and are concerned about sharing restrooms with transgender individuals and others who have self-declared their gender identity (Gay, 2016). Title IX, which is a measure allowed individuals to restrooms according to their self-declared gender, has been reversed by the Trump administration (Danilova & Gurman, 2017). Individuals who practice the Christianity and other religions view homosexuality as being an abomination. Although the issue of homosexually is becoming more acceptable to society, the stigma of shame, rejection, and prejudice still remain.

    Individuals who struggle with the issue of homosexuality have been bullied and have been victims of hate crimes. These experiences may contribute to this population have high rates of suicide ideation, substance abuse, and depression (Mossler & Ziegler, 2016. In my field of work, I counsel individuals from the LBGTQ community. Some of my clients have expressed that their feelings of rejection and shame have led them to engage in risky sexual behaviors and substance abuse. Some research has suggested that there is a link between substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, and sexual orientation (Schauer, Berg, & Bryant, 2013). Factors such as biology and heredity contribute to shaping one’s sexual identity. Political, religious, and social ideologies have influenced what is deemed to be normal sexual preferences. Hopefully, as time progresses society will begin to accept and expand the definition of sexual identity and sexual orientation.


    Danilova, M., & Gurman, S. (2017, Feb 23). Trump administration to lift transgender bathroom guidance. St. Louis Post – Dispatch Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1870965921?accountid=39364

    Gay, M. (2016, Mar 08). New gender choices on NYC restrooms; city agencies must allow people to use restrooms based on their self-declared gender identity. Wall Street Journal (Online) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1771005378?accountid=39364

    Mossler, R. A., & Ziegler, M. (2016). Understanding development: A lifespan perspective. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

    Schauer, G. L., Berg, C. J., & Bryant, L. O. (2013). Sex differences in psychosocial correlates of concurrent substance use among heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual college students. American Journal Of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 39(4), 252-258.

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    • Collapse SubdiscussionJean Thorndike

      Jean Thorndike

      ThursdayJun 29 at 10:29pm

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      Hi Keina:You bring up a very important issue of the rejection and or disapproval of one’s sexual identity by society and I would add in family. The lack of acceptance and validation can contribute to a number of mental health concerns such as self-loathing, low self-valuing or self worth, cutting behavior, depression, and anxiety.  We are complex creations and how others receive us does impact our sense of self and management of mental health.  I’m glad you highlighted this aspect for the discussion.Dr. Jeanie Thorndike

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