Gays and Lesbians: Minority Stress Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :



The problems faced by gays and lesbians are multiplied or intensified because stress cannot be reduced in the way it can be by other minority groups. In other words, while other minority groups would find support from families, the same is not true for gays or lesbians who fail to find any support especially if they have been in the "closet."

Harper et al. 2003 writes: "Minority stress has particular manifestations for LGBT people who cope with pervasive oppression, discrimination, and marginalization by remaining closeted. But unlike other marginalized groups, LGBT people often cannot find support in their family and community of origin. While the "closet" is safe it has its own problems -- the increased stress of hiding. Hiding means that ordinary daily interactions become minefields; it requires constant vigilance to avoid mentioning partners, same-gender attractions or dating experiences, as well as other activities that involve a LGBT community."

The lack of support from social network has been cited as a major cause of deepening minority stress. It is found that gays and lesbians often fail to find real support because of heterosexual attitude of not only the heterosexual group but also the prevalent beliefs that have been internalized by the LGB themselves. Many gays and lesbians have been found to subscribe to heterosexist beliefs and thus turning to one's social network for support might only lead to further distress.

When it comes to workplace, the dynamics of relationships can be multidimensional. There are two ways a person would try to cope either he would not reveal his sexual orientation or he would. There are positive and negative repercussions to both choices. If a person reveals his identity, he can develop a better relationship with co-workers and the stress arising from secrecy can be minimized. However openness can lead to other fears such as fear of discrimination or of being fired.

Chrobot-Mason et al. (2001) explains: "For lesbians and gay men, revealing one's sexual orientation at work is not an easy decision, having both positive and negative consequences. Openness about one's sexual orientation and no longer having to hide one's identity has been associated with greater psychological adjustment and well-being...On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that revealing one's sexual identity can have serious negative consequences at work, such as increased stress due to minority status...discrimination such as being fired, loss of credibility and respect and.... lower pay"

Gays and lesbians might then be forced to manage stress by adopting various strategies. They may choose not to reveal their identity in the presence of some co-workers while be more open with others. They can also choose not to discuss sexuality at all in order to avoid the question altogether. Like any stressful situation, minority stress arising from being gay or lesbian also requires certain coping and managing strategies. They may not reduce stress completely but can help gays and lesbians cope at workplace.

References

Brooks, V.R. (1981). Minority stress and lesbian women. Lexington, MA D.C. Heath.

Donna Chrobot-Mason, Scott B. Button, and Jeannie D. Diclementi, (2001) "Sexual Identity Management Strategies: An Exploration of Antecedents and Consequences," Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

Gary W. Harper, Margaret Schneider; Oppression and Discrimination among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People and Communities: A Challenge for Community Psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 31, 2003

Gonsiorek, J.C. (1991). The empirical basis for the demise of the illness model of homosexuality. In J.C. Gonsiorek & J.D. Weinrich (Eds.), Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy (pp. 115-136). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Meyer, I.H. (1995). Minority stress and mental health in gay men. Journal of Health Sciences and Social Behavior, 36, 38-56.

Yang, a. (1999). From wrong to rights: Public opinion on gay and lesbian Americans…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Brooks, V.R. (1981). Minority stress and lesbian women. Lexington, MA D.C. Heath.

Donna Chrobot-Mason, Scott B. Button, and Jeannie D. Diclementi, (2001) "Sexual Identity Management Strategies: An Exploration of Antecedents and Consequences," Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

Gary W. Harper, Margaret Schneider; Oppression and Discrimination among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People and Communities: A Challenge for Community Psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 31, 2003

Gonsiorek, J.C. (1991). The empirical basis for the demise of the illness model of homosexuality. In J.C. Gonsiorek & J.D. Weinrich (Eds.), Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy (pp. 115-136). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Gays And Lesbians Minority Stress" (2008, April 21) Retrieved August 25, 2019, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/gays-and-lesbians-minority-stress-30503

"Gays And Lesbians Minority Stress" 21 April 2008. Web.25 August. 2019. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/gays-and-lesbians-minority-stress-30503>

"Gays And Lesbians Minority Stress", 21 April 2008, Accessed.25 August. 2019,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/gays-and-lesbians-minority-stress-30503