Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Jenn, C.


Psychology, Social.




Psychologists have documented a wealth of negative psychological consequences experienced by members of oppressed groups as a result of their oppression. Much less visible within the literature have been individuals' efforts to overcome these consequences. Yet it is clear that many people who belong to oppressed groups do not labour under a life-long burden of negative psychological consequences resulting from their oppression. The current study used a grounded theory approach to examine the ways in which in a heterosexist environment, individuals of all sexual orientations develop positive understandings and valuations of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Results illuminate the many ways in which lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals adjust to their sexual orientation, and then move beyond adjustment to a positive valuation both of their sexual orientation, and of themselves. A probabilistic model of development is proposed. Results also suggest that some heterosexuals struggle with issues related to sexual orientation in ways very similar to lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, and thus raise questions about the assumption that issues of sexual orientation are relevant only to people who do not identify as heterosexual.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .M31. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-09, Section: B, page: 5057. Adviser: Charlene Y. Jenn. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.