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The homosexual identity formation model

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Vivienne Cass (1979), proposed a theoretical model of coming out that named “The homosexual identity formation model. This model contained 6 proposed stages of identity development that will ultimately result in a homosexual individual coming out.

Homosexual identity formation model 6 stages (Cass reference):

  1. Identity confusion – Cass (1979 pg. 222) suggest that “throughout one’s daily life they process information about homosexual, which most people will find irrelevant, however, unknowing homosexuals will find themselves more interested in this information”. A persons insert in communication surrounding homosexuals may confuse the person, as they are unaware why this information has become so important to them. For example, one may take great interest in YouTube videos with homosexual couples and they are unaware of why they do, which can cause one to be confused.
  2. Identity comparison – During the second stage one may compare their identity to other homosexual and heterosexuals. Once they have done this a person may start to think that they could be a homosexual
  3. Identity tolerance –By this stage, a person has accepted the fact that they are a homosexual, during this stage Cass (1979 pg. 229), argues that one may seek at advice and comfort from another homosexual so they don’t feel alone. This can include seeking out information from sources of mass media such as television series.
  4. Identity acceptance – During the fourth stage Cass (1979), that one accepts their homosexuality as something that’s a normal and important part of one’s life. During this stage, one may “become more involved in homosexual culture” (Cass, 1984 pg. 151).
  5. Identity pride – During the firth stage homosexuals will often reveal their sexuality to friends, family and such. In addition to this during this stage, one will begin to feel pride in the homosexuality community and their association with it (reference).
  6. Identity synthesis – During Cass (1979) final stage, one will begin to accept that fact that their sexuality is only a small part of their true self, and does not make up one’s whole identity, a person understands that factors such as race, occupation, and hobbies along with their sexuality help to found one’s identity (reference).

Judith Butler (reference/year) argues that gender does not have a biological background, but instead are socially constructed as a result of the gender and sexuality stereotypes promoted and somewhat forced upon people within society.

In addition to the Rivers (1997 pg. 331), argues that “human development is a process developed by the environment in which one is brought up, the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and religious views will affect a person’s development”. Therefore, cultures that have strong positive or negative feelings towards homosexuality may affect one’s identity tolerance, acceptance, and pride during the identity formation model. D’Augelli (1994), developed a model (presented in figure 1), that can be used to analyze a human’s development of sexual orientation. This model is used to demonstrate how social normative, personal identity and family relationships all impact one’s sexual orientation development. The model highlights how social normative can impact the development of one’s sexual orientation, for example, the way in which society and culture express its views towards homosexuality will impact one’s sexual development, factors such as the portrayal of homosexual characters in television series impact how one develops their identity.

For example, Deino (2017), claimed that Madonna’s Truth or Dare video which featured males dancing and kissing “changed my life, and let me know it is okay to be different” he also goes on to say that during his own identity acceptance process he “always remembered that scene in Madonna’s Truth or Dare. Thus showing just how powerful contemporary media can be in one’s sexual identity development process

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GradesFixer. (2018). The homosexual identity formation model. Retrived from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-homosexual-identity-formation-model/
GradesFixer. "The homosexual identity formation model." GradesFixer, 14 Sep. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-homosexual-identity-formation-model/
GradesFixer, 2018. The homosexual identity formation model. [online] Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-homosexual-identity-formation-model/> [Accessed 7 July 2020].
GradesFixer. The homosexual identity formation model [Internet]. GradesFixer; 2018 [cited 2018 September 14]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-homosexual-identity-formation-model/
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