Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: consistency and change over time.The development of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual bisexual /bi·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to or characterized by bisexuality.
2. an individual exhibiting bisexuality.
3. pertaining to or characterized by hermaphroditism.
4. (LGB Noun 1. LGB - a smart bomb that seeks the laser light reflected off of the target and uses it to correct its descent; "laser-guided bombs cannot be used in cloudy weather"
laser-guided bomb ) sexual identity is a complex and often difficult process. Unlike members of other minority groups (e.g., ethnic and racial minorities), most LGB individuals are not raised in a community of similar others from whom they learn about their identity and who reinforce and support that identity. Rather, LGB individuals are often raised in communities that are either ignorant of or openly hostile toward homosexuality homosexuality, a term created by 19th cent. theorists to describe a sexual and emotional interest in members of one's own sex. Today a person is often said to have a homosexual or a heterosexual orientation, a description intended to defuse some of the long-standing . Because sexual identity development is a process for which LGB individuals have been unprepared and which is contextually unsupported and stigmatized, it would seem that the process would be characterized char·ac·ter·ize
tr.v. character·ized, character·iz·ing, character·iz·es
1. To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
2. by inconsistency in·con·sis·ten·cy
n. pl. in·con·sis·ten·cies
1. The state or quality of being inconsistent.
2. Something inconsistent: many inconsistencies in your proposal. or incongruence in·con·gru·ent
1. Not congruent.
in·congru·ence n. among its affective affective /af·fec·tive/ (ah-fek´tiv) pertaining to affect.
1. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.
2. , cognitive, and behavioral behavioral
pertaining to behavior.
see psychomotor seizure. components, such that behavior may not always coincide with affect or identity. However, psychological theory has long maintained that individuals seek to achieve congruence con·gru·ence
a. Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.
b. An instance of this: "What an extraordinary congruence of genius and era" among affect, cognitions, and behaviors because incongruity in·con·gru·i·ty
n. pl. in·con·gru·i·ties
1. Lack of congruence.
2. The state or quality of being incongruous.
3. Something incongruous.
Noun 1. generates psychological tension (e.g., Devos Devos, De Vos or deVos is the surname of
1. Involving or restricted to members of the same sex: same-sex schools.
2. Of or involving gay men or lesbians: same-sex couples; same-sex marriage. oriented o·ri·ent
1. Orient The countries of Asia, especially of eastern Asia.
a. The luster characteristic of a pearl of high quality.
b. A pearl having exceptional luster.
3. affect and behavior may lead individuals to adopt an identity consistent with such sentiments and behavior (e.g, as gay or lesbian). Similarly, identification as gay or lesbian may lead individuals to engage in sexual behaviors sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. consistent with that identity. Indeed, the incongruence among gay identity and heterosexual heterosexual /het·ero·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to, characteristic of, or directed toward the opposite sex.
2. one who is sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex. behavior has been used to explain the eventual transition from heterosexual to homosexual homosexual /ho·mo·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to, characteristic of, or directed toward the same sex.
2. one who is sexually attracted to persons of the same sex. behavior, so as to eliminate dissonance between identity and behavior (Higgins Higgins may refer to:
People with the surname Higgins:
Sexual identity development for LGB individuals, also known as "the coming-out com·ing-out also coming out
1. A social debut.
2. A revelation or acknowledgment that one is a gay man, a lesbian, or a bisexual. process," has received considerable attention, resulting in numerous theoretical models (e.g., Cass, 1979; Chapman & Brannock, 1987; Fassinger & Miller, 1996; Minton Minton, English family of potters. The first important member of the family was
Thomas Minton, 1765–1836, who founded a small pottery at Stoke-on-Trent. He first engraved the famous willow-pattern ware. & McDonald, 1984; Morris, 1997; Rosario Rosario (rôsär`yō), city (1991 pop. 1,095,906), Santa Fe prov., E central Argentina, a port on the Paraná River, on the eastern margin of the Pampa. , Hunter, Maguen, Gwadz, & Smith, 2001; Troiden, 1989; see Eliason, 1996, for a review). These theoretical models, taken together, describe a process of identity formation and integration as individuals strive for congruence among their sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces. (i.e., sexual attractions Noun 1. sexual attraction - attractiveness on the basis of sexual desire
attractiveness, attraction - the quality of arousing interest; being attractive or something that attracts; "her personality held a strange attraction for him" , thoughts, and fantasies), sexual behavior, and sexual identity. Identity formation consists of becoming aware of one's unfolding sexual orientation, beginning to question whether one may be LGB, and exploring that emerging LGB identity by becoming involved in gay-related social and sexual activities (Cass; Chapman & Brannock; Morris; Troiden). Identity integration involves incorporating and consolidating a LGB identity. This is evident by the individual coming to accept a LGB identity, resolving internalized homophobia homophobia Psychology An irrationally negative attitude toward those with homosexual orientation, or toward becoming homosexual. See Closet, Gay-bashing, Heterosexism. Cf Gay, Homosexual, Phobia. by transforming negative attitudes into positive attitudes, feeling comfortable with the idea that others may know about the unfolding identity, and disclosing that identity to others (Morris; Rosario et al., 2001). Identity formation and integration are involved in a reciprocal Bilateral; two-sided; mutual; interchanged.
Reciprocal obligations are duties owed by one individual to another and vice versa. A reciprocal contract is one in which the parties enter into mutual agreements. process. They share some common components, such as gay-related social activities, that serve as both a facilitator and an outcome of identity development over time.
Research on Identity Formation and Integration
Research on the sexual identity development of LGB individuals has focused primarily on the age of various developmental milestones Developmental milestones are tasks most children learn, or physical developments, that commonly appear in certain age ranges. For example:
American biochemist. He shared a 1972 Nobel Prize for pioneering studies of ribonuclease. , 2002; Maguen, Floyd, Bakeman, & Armistead Armistead is a surname, and may refer to:
Identification of oneself with another person or thing. as LGB at the group level, they also highlight considerable variability at the individual level. However, the studies are limited because they utilize retrospective LAW, RETROSPECTIVE. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed.
2. Whenever a law of this kind impairs the obligation of contracts, it is void. 3 Dall. 391. reports that may bias results, given the tendency of people both to craft narratives consistent with their current condition and to minimize past fluctuations or changes (Henry, Moffitt Moffitt is a reference to Clan Moffat, on of the oldest Scottish clans. It may also refer to: Cancer Research
A peak, 4,227.9 m (14,026 ft) high, in the Sierra Nevada of southern California.
n. pl. , & Silva sil·va also syl·va
n. pl. sil·vas or sil·vae
1. The trees or forests of a region.
2. A written work on the trees or forests of a region. , 1994; Ross Ross , Sir Ronald 1857-1932.
British physician. He won a 1902 Nobel Prize for proving that malaria is transmitted to humans by the bite of the mosquito. , 1989). Thus, the retrospective design may overestimate o·ver·es·ti·mate
tr.v. o·ver·es·ti·mat·ed, o·ver·es·ti·mat·ing, o·ver·es·ti·mates
1. To estimate too highly.
2. To esteem too greatly. the linear nature or consistency of the data. Developmental researchers have argued that LGB sexual identity development should be studied longitudinally lon·gi·tu·di·nal
a. Of or relating to longitude or length: a longitudinal reckoning by the navigator; made longitudinal measurements of the hull.
b. and prospectively (Boxer boxer, breed of medium-sized, muscular working dog perfected in Germany in the 19th cent. but whose origins may be traced back in Europe to the 16th cent. It stands from 21 to 25 in. (53.3–63.5 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 60 to 75 lb (27. & Cohler, 1989; D'Augelli, 1994).
Only two longitudinal lon·gi·tu·di·nal
Running in the direction of the long axis of the body or any of its parts. and prospective studies have examined changes in sexual identity over time, both of which were conducted among young women (Diamond, 2000, 2003; Sophie Sophie is the French form of Sophia. In English speaking countries, Sophie has often been regarded as a diminutive of "Sophia", but it has also frequently been given as a name in its own right, especially in the United Kingdom where it has been constantly popular since the 1960s. , 1986). Although no comparable studies exist on the sexual identity development of males, three longitudinal studies longitudinal studies,
n.pl the epidemiologic studies that record data from a respresentative sample at repeated intervals over an extended span of time rather than at a single or limited number over a short period. of young men have examined changes in sexual attractions (Dickson Dickson may refer to several placenames: Australia
British physician. Known especially for his studies of diseases of the chest and heart, he expanded on the observations of John Cheyne in describing the breathing irregularity now known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration. , Damon Da·mon
A legendary figure who, out of devotion, pledged his life as a guarantee that his condemned friend Pythias would return to face execution. Both were subsequently pardoned.
Noun 1. , & McKirnan, 1997; Stokes, McKirnan, & Burzette, 1993). Taken together, the studies have found considerable consistency, as well as change, in sexual self-identification and attractions over time. For example, among 80 female youths (65% college students, and over-sampled for youths who did not self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, or straight), Diamond (2000; 2003) found that 70% were consistent in their self-identification as lesbian, bisexual or unlabeled after two years, and 50% were consistent after five years. An additional 15% transitioned to a lesbian or bisexual identity after two years, as did 14% after five years. Few youths transitioned from a lesbian, bisexual, or unlabeled identity to a straight identity. Among 216 behaviorally bisexual men (ages 18-30 years), Stokes and colleagues (1997) found that over the course of one year, 49% reported no changes in sexual orientation, 34% became more homosexually oriented, and 17% became more heterosexually oriented. Clearly, the consistency and change documented by these research studies must now be understood.
Prospective changes in LGB sexual identity would be expected to be influenced by aspects of earlier sexual identity formation, such as time since the occurrence of sexual developmental milestones. Sexual identity formation takes time because many LGB youths go through a period of sexual questioning, experimentation, and conflict before assuming and consistently self-identifying as LGB. Thus, we hypothesized that youths for whom more time has passed since reaching various sexual developmental milestones are more likely to report a sexual identity that is consistently LGB than youths who reached the milestones more recently. One study examining this hypothesis (Diamond, 2003) may have had too little statistical power to detect differences in the age of sexual developmental milestones between female youths maintaining an identity as lesbian or bisexual and those youths who changed to a straight or unlabeled identity.
Changes in LGB sexual identity would also be expected to correlate with other aspects of sexuality more broadly--specifically, sexual orientation and sexual behavior. Given congruence theory, we hypothesized that youths with a consistent gay/lesbian identity would have a sexual orientation that is more same-sex centered and would be more likely to report same-sex behaviors, but less likely to report other-sex behaviors than youths who, for example, recently transitioned from a bisexual identity to a gay/lesbian identity. Indeed, Diamond (2003) found that female youths who were consistent in their lesbian or bisexual identity reported more same-sex sexual attractions than peers who transitioned from a lesbian or bisexual identity to a heterosexual or unlabeled identity. Similarly, sexual behavior (e.g., number of female sexual partners) differed between those with a consistent sexual identity and those who relinquished re·lin·quish
tr.v. re·lin·quished, re·lin·quish·ing, re·lin·quish·es
1. To retire from; give up or abandon.
2. To put aside or desist from (something practiced, professed, or intended).
3. their lesbian/bisexual identity. Unfortunately, no comparisons were made between the consistently lesbian and bisexual youths. Regardless, research among adults has not found a high level of congruity con·gru·i·ty
n. pl. con·gru·i·ties
1. The quality or fact of being congruous.
2. The quality or fact of being congruent.
3. A point of agreement.
Noun 1. among aspects of sexuality (Laumann, Gagnon Gagnon is a surname, and may refer to:
Michael (mī`kəl) [Heb.,=who is like God?], archangel prominent in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. In the Bible and early Jewish literature, Michael is one of the angels of God's presence. , & Michaels This article is about the U.S. crafts retail chain. For the bidding convention in the card game of Bridge, see Michaels cuebid. For the same-sex couple in Canada, see The Michaels.
Michaels is the largest arts and crafts retail chain in the United States. , 1994). Perhaps external constraints CONSTRAINTS - A language for solving constraints using value inference.
["CONSTRAINTS: A Language for Expressing Almost-Hierarchical Descriptions", G.J. Sussman et al, Artif Intell 14(1):1-39 (Aug 1980)]. , such as living in potentially hostile communities (e.g., rural settings) as compared with more supportive communities (e.g., urban environments), retard or impede im·pede
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of. See Synonyms at hinder1.
[Latin imped congruence.
Finally, we hypothesized that changes in sexual identity would influence aspects of identity integration, given the need for congruence discussed above. Although research has not examined this hypothesis longitudinally, cross-sectional cross section also cross-sec·tion
a. A section formed by a plane cutting through an object, usually at right angles to an axis.
b. A piece so cut or a graphic representation of such a piece.
2. research has found that differences in sexual identity were associated with differences in aspects of identity integration. In an earlier report on our sample, we found that youths who self-identified as gay/lesbian, as compared with bisexual, were involved in more gay-related social activities, endorsed more positive attitudes toward homosexuality, were more comfortable with other individuals knowing about their same-sex sexuality, and disclosed their sexual identity to more individuals (Rosario et al., 2001). However, this past report neither examined changes in sexual identity nor investigated the longitudinal relations between changes in sexual identity and aspects of identity integration.
The individual variability in the age of sexual developmental milestones mentioned earlier has led researchers to critique linear models of development, particularly for women (e.g., Diamond, 1998; Horowitz Ho·ro·witz , Vladimir 1904-1989.
Russian-born American pianist noted for his interpretations of Chopin and Liszt.
Noun 1. Horowitz - Russian concert pianist who was a leading international virtuoso (1904-1989) & Newcomb, 2001; Kitzinger & Wilkinson, 1995; McDonald, 1982; Rust, 1993; Savin-Williams, 1998; see Schneider, 2001, for review). Theorists have suggested that women are more likely than men to self-identify as bisexual and that women are more "fluid" or "plastic" in their sexual identity than men (e.g., Baumeister, 2000; Kitzinger & Wilkinson; Peplau, 2003; Rust), although others dispute these claims because they consider the research inconclusive INCONCLUSIVE. What does not put an end to a thing. Inconclusive presumptions are those which may be overcome by opposing proof; for example, the law presumes that he who possesses personal property is the owner of it, but evidence is allowed to contradict this presumption, and show who is (Barber A barber (from the Latin barba, "beard") is someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair, give shaves, and trim beards. In previous times, barbers also performed surgery and dentistry. , 2000). The available evidence is mixed. Several studies have found that more female than male youths identified as bisexual (e.g., Dempsey, Hiller, & Harrison, 2001; Savin-Williams & Diamond, 2000). However, a large national study found that female youths were no more likely than male peers to identify as bisexual (Narring, Stronski Huwiler, & Michaud, 2003). In addition, studies have found some gender differences in the average age and order of various sexual developmental milestones (e.g., D'Augelli & Hershberger, 1993; Rosario et al., 1996; Savin-Williams & Diamond, 2000), but not in all instances (Floyd & Stein, 2002; Maguen et al., 2002). Despite these findings, the potential role of gender on changes in sexual identity remains unexamined because the studies examining longitudinal changes in sexual identity development have been based on single-sex samples (e.g., Diamond, 2000; Stokes et al., 1997).
In this article, we examine consistency and change in sexual identity over time among LGB youths. Further, we examine how LGB youths who remain consistent in their sexual identity differ from those who have changed their sexual identity with respect to sexual identity formation (i.e., sexual developmental milestones, sexual orientation, and sexual behavior) and identity integration (i.e., comfort and acceptance of LGB identity, involvement in gay social activities, positive attitudes toward homosexuality, comfort with others knowing about their sexuality, and self-disclosure of identity to others). We hypothesized that youths who were consistent over time in a gay/lesbian identity would have been aware of their same-sex sexual orientation, been sexually active with the same sex, and been involved in gay-related social activities for a longer period of time than youths who had changed sexual identities. We also hypothesized that consistently-identified gay/lesbian youths would have a current sexual orientation that is more same-sex centered, report a higher prevalence of recent sexual behavior with the same sex but a lower prevalence of recent sexual behavior with the other sex, and report higher levels of identity integration than youths who had changed sexual identities or consistently identified as bisexual. We also expected differences between consistently bisexual youths and those who had changed identities: we hypothesized that youths who had transitioned from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity were more likely than consistently bisexual youths to have a current sexual orientation that is more same-sex centered, report a higher prevalence of recent sexual behavior with the same sex but a lower prevalence of recent sexual behavior with the other sex, and evidence higher levels of identity integration. In addition, we examined potential gender differences in consistency and change in sexual identity, given the hypothesis in the literature that female youths are more fluid in their sexual identity than male peers.
Male and female youths, ages 14 to 21 years, were recruited from organizations that serve LGB youths in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. , including three gay-focused, community-based organizations (CBOs) and two LGB college student organizations from public colleges. Most youths (85%) were recruited from the three CBOs, and 15% were from the college organizations. Youths were recruited from October 1993 through June 1994, with follow-up follow-up,
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.
follow-up plan interviews conducted through August 1995.
Of the 164 participants interviewed at baseline The horizontal line to which the bottoms of lowercase characters (without descenders) are aligned. See typeface.
baseline - released version , eight were excluded because five were ineligible in·el·i·gi·ble
1. Disqualified by law, rule, or provision: ineligible to run for office; ineligible for health benefits.
2. , two provided duplicate DUPLICATE. The double of anything.
2. It is usually applied to agreements, letters, receipts, and the like, when two originals are made of either of them. Each copy has the same effect. data, and one provided invalid Null; void; without force or effect; lacking in authority.
For example, a will that has not been properly witnessed is invalid and unenforceable.
INVALID. In a physical sense, it is that which is wanting force; in a figurative sense, it signifies that which has no effect. data. The final sample consisted of 156 youths (51% male) with a mean age of 18.3 years (SD = 1.65). The youths were of Latino (37%), Black (35%), White (22%), and Asian and other (7%) ethnic backgrounds. Thirty-four percent of the youths reported that they had a parent who received welfare, food stamps food stamp
A stamp or coupon, issued by the government to persons with low incomes, that can be redeemed for food at stores.
Noun 1. , or Medicaid Medicaid, national health insurance program in the United States for low-income persons; established in 1965 with passage of the Social Security Amendments and now run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (defined here as "low" socioeconomic status socioeconomic status,
n the position of an individual on a socio-economic scale that measures such factors as education, income, type of occupation, place of residence, and in some populations, ethnicity and religion. , SES). Age, gender, ethnicity ethnicity Vox populi Racial status–ie, African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic , and SES were not significantly associated with one another. However, as expected, recruitment sites did differ by youths' age, F (3, 152) = 9.8, p < .0001, indicating that the youths from the college organizations were significantly older than the youths from each of the three CBOs. An association was also found between ethnicity and recruitment site, ~2 (9, N = 156) = 29.1, p < .001.
All youths provided voluntary and signed informed consent. For those under age 18, parental consent Parental consent laws (also known as parental involvement or parental notification laws) in some countries require that one or more parents consent to or be notified before their minor child can legally engage in certain activities. was waived by the Commissioner of Mental Health for New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State. An adult at each CBO CBO
See: Collateralized Bond Obligation. served in loco parentis [Latin, in the place of a parent.] The legal doctrine under which an individual assumes parental rights, duties, and obligations without going through the formalities of legal Adoption. to safeguard the rights of each minor-aged research participant. This study was approved by the university's Institutional Review Board and the recruitment sites.
Youths were administered a questionnaire by an interviewer at baseline and subsequent assessments 6 and 12 months later. Interviewers were college-educated individuals of the same sex as the youth. Interviewers were trained and received weekly supervision. Youths received $30 at each interview.
Only five youths were lost to both follow-up assessments. The sample retention rates were 92% (143/156) for the 6-month assessment and 90% (140/156) for the 12-month assessment, with 85% of youths interviewed at all three time periods.
Measures of Sexual Identity and Identity Formation
Sexual identity, sexual developmental milestones, sexual orientation, and sexual behaviors were assessed using the Sexual Risk Behavior Assessment--Youth (SERBAS-Y) for LGB youths (Meyer-Bahlburg, Ehrhardt, Exner, & Gruen, 1994). Extensive descriptive and psychometric psy·cho·met·rics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and information regarding the SERBAS-Y is available elsewhere (Rosario et al., 1996; Schrimshaw, Rosario, Meyer-Bahlburg, & Scharf-Matlick, in press). Each component of the SERBAS-Y used in this report is discussed in detail below.
Sexual identity. A single item from the SERBAS-Y assessed sexual identity at every assessment period by asking, "When you think about sex, do you think of yourself as lesbian/gay, bisexual, or straight?" Youths rejecting such identities were coded as "other" and asked to elaborate. Items also assessed whether youths had ever thought they were really gay/lesbian or bisexual prior to the baseline assessment.
Psychosexual psychosexual /psy·cho·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al) pertaining to the mental or emotional aspects of sex.
Of or relating to the mental and emotional aspects of sexuality. developmental milestones. The SERBAS-Y assessed the ages (in years) when youths experienced various milestones in the development of sexual attraction, identity, and behavior. These milestones were selected based on past theoretical and empirical research Noun 1. empirical research - an empirical search for knowledge
inquiry, research, enquiry - a search for knowledge; "their pottery deserves more research than it has received" . Youths were asked the ages when they were first attracted to, fantasized about, and were aroused by erotica erotica - pornography focusing on the same sex. The mean age of these three milestones was computed to obtain a mean age of awareness of same-sex sexual orientation because the ages were correlated cor·re·late
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.
2. (.68 < r < .75) and factor analysis generated a single factor (Cronbach's [alpha] = .88). Comparable items assessing opposite-sex attractions, fantasies, and erotic erotic /erot·ic/ (e-rot´ik)
1. charged with sexual feeling.
2. pertaining to sexual desire.
1. Of or concerning sexual love and desire. arousal arousal /arous·al/ (ah-rou´z'l)
1. a state of responsiveness to sensory stimulation or excitability.
2. the act or state of waking from or as if from sleep.
3. were similarly combined (Cronbach's [alpha] = .89).
Youths also were asked about the age when they first thought they "might be" gay/lesbian, when they first thought they "might be" bisexual, when they first thought they "really were" gay/lesbian, and when they first thought they "really were" bisexual. Finally, youths were asked about the age when they first engaged in any one of a several specific sexual activities (i.e., manual, digital, oral, anal-penile, vaginal-penile, and analingus) with the same sex and with the other sex. The minimum age reported across these various behaviors was used as the age when the youths first had any sex with the same sex and the age when they first had any sex with the other sex. Because identity change would be more likely for youths who more recently experienced developmental milestones (regardless of the age of the youth), we computed, for all of the developmental milestones, the number of years since the youth first experienced the various milestones by subtracting the age at each milestone from the youth's age at the baseline assessment.
Sociosexual developmental milestones. As part of an inventory to assess involvement in gay-related activities (Rosario et al., 2001; see below for details), we asked youths at baseline for the age when they first spoke or wrote to anyone (e.g., peer, counselor, teacher, coach, adult, switchboard) about homosexuality or bisexuality bisexuality /bi·sex·u·al·i·ty/ (-sek?shoo-al´i-te)
1. sexual attraction to persons of both sexes; exhibition of both homosexual and heterosexual behavior.
2. true hermaphroditism.
3. androgyny (1). . We asked a similar series of questions with respect to ages when they first participated in various social or recreational gay-related activities (e.g., going to a gay bookstore or coffee house). The minimum age across each series was used to compute To perform mathematical operations or general computer processing. For an explanation of "The 3 C's," or how the computer processes data, see computer. the age at which the youths first talked to someone about homosexuality and the age at which they first attended or participated in a gay-related activity. As with the psychosexual milestones described above, the number of years since each milestone was computed as the differences between the ages at each milestone and the youths' age at baseline.
Current sexual orientation. The SERBAS-Y (Meyer-Bahlburg et al., 1994) was used to assess current sexual orientation at every assessment period by means of three Kinsey-style items. Youths were asked the extent to which their recent sexual attractions, thoughts, and fantasies were focused on the same or the other sex (a) when in the presence of other individuals, (b) while masturbating, dreaming, or daydreaming, and (c) when viewing erotic material in films, magazines, or books. A 7-point Likert scale Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc was used, ranging from 0 (always focused on the other sex) to 6 (always focused on the same sex), with a midpoint mid·point
1. Mathematics The point of a line segment or curvilinear arc that divides it into two parts of the same length.
2. A position midway between two extremes. indicating equal focus on both sexes. Youths were given the option of indicating they had none of the assessed experiences. Current sexual orientation was computed as the mean of the three items (Cronbach's [alpha] = .91-.92 across the three assessments).
Recent sexual behaviors. The SERBAS-Y (Meyer-Bahlburg et al., 1994) was used to assess whether youths had engaged in various sexual activities (i.e., manual, digital, oral, anal-penile, vaginal-penile, and analingus) with same-sex or other-sex partners in the past 3 months at the baseline assessment or within the past 6 months (i.e., since the last interview) in the two subsequent assessments. For our analyses, we focused on whether youths reported any sexual activity (i.e., any of the behaviors listed above) with the same sex or other sex.
Measures of Identity Integration
Involvement in gay-related activities. The prevalence of lifetime involvement in gay/lesbian-related social activities was assessed at baseline using a 28-item scale developed for this study (Rosario et al., 2001). At subsequent assessments, youths were asked about their involvement in the past 6 months (i.e., since their last assessment). A factor analysis of the baseline data identified 11 items (e.g., going to a gay bookstore, gay coffee house, gay pride march, gay fair, gay club or bar) that loaded on a single factor. The number of these items endorsed by participants was used as the indicator of involvement in gay-related social activities (Cronbach's [alpha] = .64-.77 across the three assessments).
Attitudes toward homosexuality. A 33-item scale adapted from the Nungesser Homosexual Attitudes Inventory (Nungesser, 1983) was modified for youths by simplifying the language, making it more informal, and generalizing the item content to include both males and females. The full measure was administered at all three assessments using a 4-point response scale ranging from 1 (disagree strongly) through 4 (agree strongly), rather than the original binary Meaning two. The principle behind digital computers. All input to the computer is converted into binary numbers made up of the two digits 0 and 1 (bits). For example, when you press the "A" key on your keyboard, the keyboard circuit generates and transfers the number 01000001 to the (true/false) format. Factor analysis of the baseline data identified two factors. The first factor contained 11 items (e.g., "My [homosexuality/bisexuality] does not make me unhappy") that assessed attitudes toward homosexuality. The mean of these items was computed at each assessment, with a high score indicating more positive attitudes toward homosexuality (Cronbach's [alpha] = .83-.85 across the three assessments). Because the youths' attitudes were negatively skewed skewed
curve of a usually unimodal distribution with one tail drawn out more than the other and the median will lie above or below the mean.
skewed Epidemiology adjective Referring to an asymmetrical distribution of a population or of data at all assessments (e.g., M = 3.59 of a maximum possible value of 4.0, SD = 0.48 at baseline), the data were transformed using the exponential 1. (mathematics) exponential - A function which raises some given constant (the "base") to the power of its argument. I.e.
f x = b^x
If no base is specified, e, the base of natural logarthims, is assumed.
2. e to stretch the positive end of the distribution.
Comfort with homosexuality. A modified version of the Nungesser Homosexual Attitudes Inventory (see above for further description; Nungesser, 1983), was administered at all three assessments using a 4-point response scale ranging from 1 (disagree strongly) to 4 (agree strongly). As noted above, a factor analysis of the baseline data identified two factors. The second factor contained 12 items (e.g., "If my straight friends knew of my [homosexuality/bisexuality], I would feel uncomfortable") that assessed comfort with others knowing the youth's sexuality. The mean of these items was computed for each time period, with a high score indicating more comfort with homosexuality (Cronbach's [alpha] = .89 -.91 across the three assessments).
Self-disclosure of sexual identity to others. Youths were asked at baseline to enumerate To count or list one by one. For example, an enumerated data type defines a list of all possible values for a variable, and no other value can then be placed into it. See device enumeration and ENUM. "all the people in your life who are important or were important to you and whom you told that you are (lesbian/gay/bisexual)" (Rosario et al., 2001). At subsequent assessments, youths were asked about the number of individuals to whom the youth had disclosed during the past six months (i.e., since the last assessment). The number of individuals reported was used as the indicator of self-disclosure to others. Because the follow-up data were positively skewed (i.e., most youths reported very few new disclosures in the past 6 months; for example, median = 2.0, M = 9.5, SD = 20.4 at the 12-month assessment), the scores for the 6- and 12-month assessments were logarithmically log·a·rithm
The power to which a base, such as 10, must be raised to produce a given number. If nx = a, the logarithm of a, with n as the base, is x; symbolically, logn a = x. transformed.
Certainty about, comfort with, and self-acceptance of sexuality. At the 6-month and 12-month assessments, items were added to assess the commitment of the youths to their gay/lesbian identity or to that part of their bisexual identity that was centered on the same sex (Rosario, Hunter, & Gwadz, 1994). We asked youths who had self-identified as gay/lesbian, "How certain are you about being lesbian/gay at this point?" and asked the bisexual youths, "How certain are you about being bisexual at this point?" For comfort with sexuality, we asked the gay/lesbian youths, "How comfortable are you with your lesbianism/gayness?" and asked the bisexual youths, "How comfortable are you with your lesbian/gay side?" For self-acceptance of sexuality, we asked the gay/lesbian youths, "How accepting of your lesbianism/gayness are you?" and asked the bisexual youths, "How accepting are you of your lesbian/gay side?" We coded the prevalence of being very certain/comfortable/accepting (1) as compared to being less than very certain/comfortable/accepting (0) for each variable.
The Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1964) was administered at baseline to assess the tendency to provide socially desirable responses. Two items were removed because they were inappropriate for youths, resulting in a 31-item scale, which was administered using the original true-false response format. Factor analysis identified 12 items that loaded on a single factor. The number of these items endorsed by the youths was computed as the indicator of social desirability (Cronbach's [alpha] = .74). A similarly reduced Marlowe-Crowne measure has been used elsewhere with LGB youths (Safren & Heimberg, 1999).
To provide basic descriptive information on the sexual identities of youths in the sample, we computed the percentages of youths who endorsed each sexual identity at each assessment period. Similarly, we computed the percentages of gay/lesbian-identified and bisexually-identified youths who remained consistent or changed in identities over time for each assessment point. However, these group or sample-level analyses only answer whether the sample as a whole changed. For the individual-level of analysis, we categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat the consistency and change in sexual identity over time for each youth. Specifically, we examined a matrix composed of the youths by their sexual identity over time. We developed mutually exclusive Adj. 1. mutually exclusive - unable to be both true at the same time
incompatible - not compatible; "incompatible personalities"; "incompatible colors" categories that described the individual patterns of consistency and change that we observed and computed the percentage of youths in each group. All subsequent analyses were based on comparisons of these categories or groups of identity change and consistency.
To examine how the categories of identity change and consistency were related to other aspects of sexual identity development, we compared the identity change groups in a series of univariate univariate adjective Determined, produced, or caused by only one variable and multivariate The use of multiple variables in a forecasting model. analyses. We conducted univariate comparisons using analysis of variance The discrepancy between what a party to a lawsuit alleges will be proved in pleadings and what the party actually proves at trial.
In Zoning law, an official permit to use property in a manner that departs from the way in which other property in the same locality (ANOVA anova
see analysis of variance.
ANOVA Analysis of variance, see there ) to examine the mean differences among groups for continuous variables (e.g., time since milestones, indicators of identity integration) and chi square chi square (kī),
n a nonparametric statistic used with discrete data in the form of frequency count (nominal data) or percentages or proportions that can be reduced to frequencies. ([chi square]) to examine differences in prevalence among groups for categorical That which is unqualified or unconditional.
A categorical imperative is a rule, command, or moral obligation that is absolutely and universally binding.
Categorical is also used to describe programs limited to or designed for certain classes of people. variables (e.g., percent reporting same-sex behavior, percent reporting certainty with their identity). Significant F or [chi square] findings were followed by pair-wise comparisons, in which we compared each identity group with every other group by means of Fisher's protected t-test t-test,
n an inferential statistic used to test for differences between two means (groups) only. This statistic is used for small samples (e.g.,
N < 30). Also called
t-ratio, stu-dent's t. or [chi square]. Comparisons of the identity groups on gender, ethnicity, SES, age, and social desirability were conducted in the same manner. For the univariate analyses, the value of the significance test is provided, as is the effect size or actual magnitude of the difference among the group means or categories on all other aspects of sexual identity development.
Next, we conducted multivariate analyses to compare each identity change group on aspects of sexual identity development, while controlling for any potential covariates (i.e., gender, ethnicity, SES, age, and social desirability) that were found to be related significantly to the identity groups in earlier analyses. We conducted hierarchical A structure made up of different levels like a company organization chart. The higher levels have control or precedence over the lower levels. Hierarchical structures are a one-to-many relationship; each item having one or more items below it. linear regression Linear regression
A statistical technique for fitting a straight line to a set of data points. analyses for each of the continuous outcome variables and hierarchical logistic regression In statistics, logistic regression is a regression model for binomially distributed response/dependent variables. It is useful for modeling the probability of an event occurring as a function of other factors. analyses for each of the categorical outcomes. In the linear and logistic regression analyses, the covariates were simultaneously entered in the first step of the regression regression, in psychology: see defense mechanism.
In statistics, a process for determining a line or curve that best represents the general trend of a data set. . They were followed by a single dummy-coded variable, entered in the second step of the regression, that contrasted two of the identity change groups (e.g., A vs. B). We repeated these analyses to contrast the other sexual identity groups (e.g., A vs. C followed by B vs. C). We examined the potential interactions of gender by identity change groups in a similar manner, with the main effects for gender and the contrast of two sexual identity groups entered in the first step of the linear or logistic regression model, and the interaction term entered in the second step. Standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. beta ([beta]) weights from the linear regression analysis are provided throughout as a measure of the effect size or degree of difference between the groups with respect to each continuous aspect of sexual identity development. Odds ratios (OR) from the logistic regressions provide a similarly standardized measure of the degree of difference between groups with respect to each categorical aspect of sexual identity development.
Sample-Level Sexual Identity Over Time
Table 1 presents the distribution of sexual identities at each of four time periods. Prior to the baseline assessment, nearly 40% of youths had self-identified only as gay/lesbian, an equal number had identified as gay/lesbian and bisexual, and one fifth identified exclusively as bisexual. Over the three subsequent assessments, the number of youths identifying as gay/lesbian increased, while the number of youths identifying as only bisexual decreased.
The examination of sexual identity over time ignores potential changes within youths of different sexual identities. Such changes are presented in Table 2. In general, youths either maintained their sexual identity or assumed a gay/lesbian identity over time. Youths who had identified as gay/lesbian at earlier times consistently identified as such at later times. Youths who had identified as both gay/lesbian and bisexual prior to baseline were approximately three times more likely to identify as gay/lesbian than as bisexual at subsequent assessments. Of youths who had identified only as bisexual at earlier assessments, 6070% continued to identify as bisexual, while approximately 30-40% assumed a gay/lesbian identity over time.
Individual-Level Changes in Sexual Identity Over Time
As valuable as the aforementioned a·fore·men·tioned
The one or ones mentioned previously.
Adj. 1. data may be, they are limited because the level of analysis is the sample rather than the individual. Sample-level data fail to address the critical issue of individual change in sexual identity. Therefore, at the individual-level of analysis, we created profiles for each youth of the change in sexual identity over the four longitudinal times (see Table 3), resulting in three major groups composed of youths who (a) consistently self-identified as gay/lesbian, (b) transitioned from bisexual to gay/lesbian identities, or (c) consistently self-identified as bisexual. This trichotomous trichotomous /tri·chot·o·mous/ (tri-kot´ah-mus) divided into three parts.
divided into three parts. measure of individual-level change in sexual identity is used in all subsequent analyses. Youths demonstrating other patterns of change in sexual identity also are presented in Table 3; however, there were too few such youths for inclusion in subsequent analyses.
Change in Sexual Identity: Univariate Relations
We used a series of one-way ANOVAs to compare the three LGB sexual identity groups (i.e., consistently gay/lesbian, consistently bisexual, and transitioned to gay/lesbian) with respect to the time since the youths experienced various psychosexual and sociosexual milestones of identity formation (see Table 4). The youths generally did not differ significantly on the time since reaching various psychosexual milestones, contrary to hypothesized expectations. However, as hypothesized, the youths did differ on time since reaching sociosexual milestones. Consistently gay/lesbian youths had their first discussion about same-sex sexuality with another individual and were involved in a gay-related social activity for at least a year longer than either of the other two groups of youths.
Comparisons among the three LGB sexual identity groups, using ANOVA for continuous variables or chi-square chi-square (ki´skwar) see under distribution and test.
n. analyses for categorical variables, on sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and aspects of the identity integration process are presented in Table 5. As hypothesized, youths who consistently identified as gay/lesbian differed from consistently bisexual and transitioned youths on current sexual orientation and sexual behaviors. Consistently gay/lesbian youths reported both sexual orientation and sexual behaviors that were more same-sex centered than peers who transitioned to a gay/lesbian identity, and both of these groups of youths differed from peers who consistently identified as bisexual. Youths who consistently identified as gay/lesbian were more certain about, comfortable with, and accepting of their LGB identity than were peers who transitioned to a gay/lesbian identity or who consistently identified as bisexual. Furthermore, consistently gay/lesbian youths were involved in more gay-related social activities, endorsed more positive attitudes toward homosexuality, and were more comfortable with other individuals knowing about their homosexuality.
We examined the associations between potential covariates (i.e., gender, ethnicity, SES, age, and social desirability) and the sexual identity groups (see Table 6). These analyses revealed significant gender and age differences. Follow-up analyses indicated several significant pairwise associations (p < .05) between gender and various study outcomes. Specifically, female youths were over three times more likely than male youths (odds ratio = OR = 3.58) to identify consistently as gay/lesbian than to transition from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity, [chi square] (1, N = 114) = 6.73. Female youths also were less likely than male youths (OR = .20) to have transitioned from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity as compared with maintaining a bisexual identity, [chi square] (1, N = 49) = 6.94. Furthermore, female youths were no more likely than male youths to identify as consistently bisexual as compared with consistently gay/lesbian, [chi square] (1, N = 109) = 0.51, ns. Youths who were consistently gay/lesbian were significantly older than youths who had transitioned to a gay/lesbian identity. In subsequent analyses, we imposed controls for gender and age when examining the relations between individual sexual identity and our indicators of identity formation and integration. Although not associated with changes in LGB sexual identity, we also controlled for ethnicity, SES, and social desirability because significant relations existed between these factors and the other variables.
Change in Sexual Identity: Multivariate Relations
After controlling for the covariates (noted above) by means of hierarchical linear regression for continuous outcomes or hierarchical logistic regression for categorical outcomes, the pattern of results found at the univariate level (Tables 4 and 5) were generally replicated at the multivariate level. Multivariate comparisons among the sexual identity groups on time since reaching various psychosexual and sociosexual milestones generated only two significant differences. As hypothesized and as was found at the univariate level, consistently gay/lesbian youths had been involved in gay-related social activities for a longer period of time than either consistently bisexual youths [beta] = .23, p < .01) or youths who transitioned from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity ([beta] =. 18, p < .05).
Table 7 presents the multivariate comparisons among the identity groups on sexual orientation, sexual behaviors, and aspects of identity integration. As hypothesized, consistently gay/lesbian youths were less likely to report having sex with the other sex, and their current sexual orientation was more same-sex oriented than that of the other youths. Consistently gay/lesbian youths were more likely than both consistently bisexual and transitioned youths to indicate certainty about, comfort with, and acceptance of the part of their identity that was homosexual. Consistently gay/lesbian youths also reported involvement in more gay-related activities, more positive attitudes toward homosexuality, and more comfort with others knowing about their homosexuality than consistently bisexual and transitioned youths.
The multivariate analyses also identified significant differences between youths who transitioned from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity as compared with youths who consistently identified as bisexual. As hypothesized, youths who transitioned were less likely to report sex with the other sex; their current sexual orientation was more strongly centered on the same sex; and they were more comfortable with others knowing about their homosexuality. In general, youths who transitioned from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity became more like the consistently gay/lesbian youths and less like the consistently bisexual youths over the course of the study.
Although we found gender differences among our three sexual identity groups, this finding does not address whether developmental processes are similar among the genders. Specifically, our finding that female youths were more likely than male youths to identify consistently as gay/lesbian and less likely to transition between identities does not provide information on whether the relation between sexual identity and another variable differs by gender (i.e., whether male and female youths within a sexual identity group differ from one another with respect to the variable in question). To examine this critical issue, one must consider whether gender moderates the relation between sexual identity and variables of identity formation and integration (Rowe, Vazsonyi, & Flannery, 1994). We investigated over 100 possible gender by sexual identity interactions. Only two significant interactions were significant, less than what would be expected by chance.
Although changes in sexual identity are possible over time, very little research has examined such changes--and none among both male and female youths. In this report, we found evidence of both considerable consistency and change in LGB sexual identity over time. Youths who identified as gay/lesbian prior to baseline were overwhelmingly consistent in this identity. In contrast, many youths who identified as bisexual or as both gay/lesbian and bisexual prior to baseline later identified as gay/lesbian. These findings suggest that, although there were youths who consistently self-identified as bisexual throughout the study, for other youths, a bisexual identity served as a transitional identity to a subsequent gay/lesbian identity.
At the individual level, we found three patterns of sexual identity over time: consistently gay/lesbian, transitioned from bisexual to gay/lesbian, and consistently bisexual. Of the youths, 72% consistently identified as gay/lesbian or bisexual over time. This finding of consistency is similar to past research (Diamond, 2000: 70%), despite differences between the two samples in gender, ethnicity, recruitment site, and length of follow-up.
Youths who changed sexual identities were hypothesized to report experiencing psychosexual and sociosexual milestones of identity formation more recently than youths whose sexual identity remained consistently gay/lesbian. For the psychosexual milestones, we found no support for this hypothesis at the multivariate level, given both non-significant differences and small effect sizes. One explanation for the null A character that is all 0 bits. Also written as "NUL," it is the first character in the ASCII and EBCDIC data codes. In hex, it displays and prints as 00; in decimal, it may appear as a single zero in a chart of codes, but displays and prints as a blank space. findings is that psychosocial psychosocial /psy·cho·so·cial/ (si?ko-so´shul) pertaining to or involving both psychic and social aspects.
Involving aspects of both social and psychological behavior. factors (e.g., a family with strong anti-gay attitudes, experiences of ridicule, greater internalized homophobia) may delay some youths from developing a consistent LGB identity or may lead some youths to adopt a bisexual identity before identifying as gay/lesbian. For the sociosexual milestones, however, we found, as hypothesized, that among the consistently gay/lesbian youths, more time had passed since they experienced sociosexual milestones than was the case among consistently bisexual youths or youths who transitioned from a bisexual to gay/lesbian identity.
Consistent with social psychological theory regarding congruence among affect, cognition cognition
Act or process of knowing. Cognition includes every mental process that may be described as an experience of knowing (including perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning), as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing. , and behavior, and as hypothesized, we found that changes in sexual identity were significantly and strongly associated with current sexual orientation and sexual behaviors. The differences in sexual orientation and sexual behavior between consistently gay/lesbian youths and youths who transitioned to a gay/lesbian identity suggest that, even after adopting a gay/lesbian identity, youths continued to harbor discrepancies between the new identity and subsequent sexual orientation and behavior. Indeed, the observed decrease in the magnitude of these differences over time suggests that even after the adoption of a gay/lesbian identity, transitioned youths continue to change their orientation and behavior to match their new sexual identity. The findings of congruence between sexual identity, orientation, and behavior appear, at first, to contrast with previous research on adults that has found that many individuals with same-sex attractions and behavior do not identify as LGB (Laumann et al., 1994). However, among those in the Laumann et al. study who did identify as LGB (as do these youths), even higher levels of congruence were found.
Changes in sexual identity were hypothesized to be associated with corresponding changes in aspects of the identity integration process. Indeed, we found that consistently gay/lesbian youths differed from youths who transitioned from bisexual to gay/lesbian identities. The differences indicated that even after youths self-identify as gay/lesbian, a great deal of change may continue to take place in many aspects of sexuality. Thus, acceptance, commitment, and integration of a gay/lesbian identity is an ongoing developmental process that, for many youths, may extend through adolescence adolescence, time of life from onset of puberty to full adulthood. The exact period of adolescence, which varies from person to person, falls approximately between the ages 12 and 20 and encompasses both physiological and psychological changes. and beyond.
As hypothesized, consistently bisexual youths scored significantly lower than consistently gay/lesbian youths on most markers of identity integration. These data may indicate that consistently bisexual youths take a longer period of time to form and integrate their sexual identity than do consistently gay/lesbian youths. The data also may indicate that consistently bisexual youths experience more cognitive dissonance cognitive dissonance
Mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The concept was introduced by the psychologist Leon Festinger (1919–89) in the late 1950s. than consistently gay/lesbian youths. Clearly, more research into the similarities and differences between bisexual and gay/lesbian youths is needed, with follow-up of samples through adolescence and perhaps into adulthood.
Considerable interest has been expressed in potential gender differences in sexual identity development (e.g., Dube & Savin-Williams, 1999; Rosario et al., 1996; Savin-Williams & Diamond, 2000). We found that female youths were significantly more likely than male peers to identify consistently as gay/lesbian than to change identities. These findings challenge past research suggesting that the sexual identity of females is more fluid than that of males (e.g., Baumeister, 2000; Kitzinger & Wilkinson, 1995; Peplau, 2003; Rust, 1993). However, because studies of change in sexual identity have been conducted among single-sex samples of females (e.g., Diamond, 2000; 2003; Sophie, 1986), any observed changes may have generated an impression of plasticity, when such a hypothesis could not be tested without comparable data on males. Another indicator of the fluidity hypothesis would be a higher prevalence of bisexuality among female than male youths. However, we found that female youths were no more likely to self-identify as consistently bisexual than were male youths. This finding, although at odds with some cross-sectional findings (Dempsey et al., 2001; Savin-Williams & Diamond, 2000), is consistent with other cross-sectional findings (Narring et al., 2003). In addition, we found no gender differences in the relations between sexual identity and aspects of sexual identity formation or integration. These findings indicate a similar process of sexual identity development between male and female youths. Because this study is the first, to our knowledge, to have data on changes in sexual identity over time among both male and female youths, we advocate for more longitudinal research on gender differences in sexual identity.
The study findings are tempered by potential study limitations. First, our sample was recruited from gay-focused organizations and, therefore, the extent to which the findings generalize generalize /gen·er·al·ize/ (-iz)
1. to spread throughout the body, as when local disease becomes systemic.
2. to form a general principle; to reason inductively. to a more heterogenous (spelling) heterogenous - It's spelled heterogeneous. sample of LGB youths is unknown. However, given that the youths in the current sample were no more consistent in their sexual identity than lesbian and bisexual youths recruited from both gay and non-gay venues (Diamond, 2000), we do not believe this to be a major limitation. Second, the size of the sample was modest. However, it had sufficient power to detect a medium effect, and it was much larger than past research studies on changes in sexual identity (e.g., Diamond, 2000, 2003; Sophie, 1986). Furthermore, the nonsignificant non·sig·nif·i·cant
1. Not significant.
2. Having, producing, or being a value obtained from a statistical test that lies within the limits for being of random occurrence. results had effect sizes that were quite small, demonstrating their unimportance. Finally, we followed the youths prospectively for a single year. However, because the developmental task of adolescence is identity formation and integration (Erikson, 1950, 1968) and because adolescence extends through approximately age 25 in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. (e.g., Jessor, Donovan, & Costa, 1991), we advocate that future research follow individuals through their twenties, allowing researchers to obtain a more thorough understanding of the process of sexual identity development. Our data, although limited to a one-year follow-up period, lend support and provide a rationale rationale (rash´nal´),
n the fundamental reasons used as the basis for a decision or action. for the importance of longitudinal assessments of sexual identity development.
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Of, relating to, or undergoing adolescence.
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Goodman refers to:
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Erotic attraction, predisposition, or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex.
heterosexuality to lesbianism lesbianism: see homosexuality.
also called sapphism or female homosexuality,
the quality or state of intense emotional and usually erotic attraction of a woman to another woman. : The discursive dis·cur·sive
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This work was supported by center grant P50-MH43520 from the National Institute of Mental Health The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness. , Margaret Rosario, Principal Investigator Noun 1. principal investigator - the scientist in charge of an experiment or research project
scientist - a person with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences , HIV Risk and Coming Out Among Gay and Lesbian Adolescents, Anke A. Ehrhardt, Principal Investigator, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, formed in 1957, claims to be "the oldest organization of professionals interested in the study of sexuality in the United States." It claims to have some 900 members and has a quarterly newsletter, Sexual Science. , Orlando, FL, November 2004.
Address correspondence to Margaret Rosario, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, The City University of New York The City University of New York (CUNY; acronym: IPA pronunciation: [kjuni]), is the public university system of New York City. - The City College and Graduate Center, NAC See network access control. Building 7-120, Convent Avenue and 138th Street, New York, NY, 10031 ; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Table 1. Sexual Identity at Every Assessment Before Baseline Baseline 6 months 12 months Only gay/ lesbian 39% 66% 74% 74% Both gay/lesbian and bisexual 39% na na na Only bisexual 22% 31% 23% 19% Straight na 1% 4% 5% Other na 2% 0% 1% Neither gay lesbian nor bisexual 1% 0% 0% 0% (n) (156) (156) (142) (140) Note. Baseline refers to the assessment interview at the time of study recruitment. Na = not assessed. "Other" identity included, for example, youths who identified as "free spirit." Values may not sum to 100% due to computational rounding error. Table 2. Consistency and Change in Sexual Identity Over Time Baseline Assessment Period Gay/Lesbian Bisexual Identity Reported Prior to Baseline (N = 155): Only gay/lesbian (n = 60) 100% 0% Both gay lesbian and bisexual (n = 60) 71% 29% Only bisexual (n = 35) 6% 94% Identity Reported at Baseline (N = 152): Gay/lesbian (n = 103) Bisexual (n = 49) Identity Reported at Six Months (N = 137): Gay/lesbian (n = 105) Bisexual (n = 32) 6 months Assessment Period Gay/Lesbian Bisexual Identity Reported Prior to Baseline (N = 155): Only gay/lesbian (n = 60) 93% 7% Both gay lesbian and bisexual (n = 60) 77% 23% Only bisexual (n = 35) 40% 60% Identity Reported at Baseline (N = 152): Gay/lesbian (n = 103) 93% 7% Bisexual (n = 49) 41% 59% Identity Reported at Six Months (N = 137): Gay/lesbian (n = 105) Bisexual (n = 32) 12 months Assessment Period Gay/Lesbian Bisexual Identity Reported Prior to Baseline (N = 155): Only gay/lesbian (n = 60) 98% 2% Both gay lesbian and bisexual (n = 60) 80% 20% Only bisexual (n = 35) 40% 60% Identity Reported at Baseline (N = 152): Gay/lesbian (n = 103) 93% 7% Bisexual (n = 49) 49% 51% Identity Reported at Six Months (N = 137): Gay/lesbian (n = 105) 96% 4% Bisexual (n = 32) 30% 70% Note. Youths who self-identified as "straight" or "other" were too few to permit analysis of change; thus, they were excluded. Table 3. Individual-Level Consistency and Change in Sexual Identity Over Time Self-Identified Sexual Identity N % Consistently gay/lesbian 87 57% Transitioned from bisexual to gay/lesbian 27 18% Consistently bisexual 22 15% Transitioned from gay/lesbian to bisexual 8 5% Transitioned from bisexual to straight 5 3% Transitioned from gay/lesbian to straight 3 2% Note. Consistency and change in sexual identity occur over the four longitudinal assessment periods: prior to baseline, at baseline, and 6 and 12 months later. Table 4. Differences in Time Since Developmental Milestones by Change in Sexual Identity Change in Sexual Identity Consistently Transitioned Gay/ from Bisexual Consistently Lesbian to Gay/Lesbian Bisexual Years since first ... (n = 87) (n = 27) (n = 22) Same-sex sexual attractions, fantasies, and arousal 7.45 (a) 5.49 (b) 5.96 (b) Other-sex sexual attractions, fantasies, and arousal 6.82 5.99 6.99 Thought might be gay or bisexual 6.78 5.96 6.27 Other-sex sexual activity 6.27 5.45 5.77 Same-sex sexual activity 4.79 3.75 5.68 Thought really was gay or bisexual 4.14 3.54 3.23 Talked to someone about homosexuality or bisexuality 3.84 (a) 2.58 (b) 2.68 Participated in a gay- related social activity 2.93 (a) 1.26 (b) 1.38 (b) Effect size Years since first ... F [[eta].sup.2] Same-sex sexual attractions, fantasies, and arousal 5.07 ** .07 Other-sex sexual attractions, fantasies, .02 and arousal 1.11 Thought might be gay or bisexual 0.50 .01 Other-sex sexual activity 0.43 .01 Same-sex sexual activity 1.24 .02 Thought really was gay or bisexual 1.29 .02 Talked to someone about homosexuality or .04 bisexuality 2.94 ([dagger]) Participated in a gay- related social activity 9.00 *** .12 Note. Means with differing superscripts differed significantly at p < .05. The measure of effect size, eta squared ([[eta].sup.2]), is the proportion of explained variance. ([dagger]) p < . 06 * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 Table 5. Differences in Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behaviors, and the Identity Integration Process by Change in Sexual Identity Change in Sexual Identity Transitioned from Bisexual Consistently to Gay/ Consistently Gay/Lesbian Lesbian Bisexual (n = 87) (n = 27) (n = 22) Current sexual orientation Time 1 5.68 (a) 4.65 (b) 3.50 (c) Time 2 5.72 (a) 4.76 (b) 3.20 (c) Time 3 5.59 (a) 5.32 (a) 3.07 (b) Sex with the same sex Time 1 76% (a) 44% (b) 59% Time 2 86% 85% 70% Time 3 89% (a) 88% (a) 64% (b) Sex with the other sex Time 1 1% (a) 11% (b) 68% (c) Time 2 6% (a) 0% (a) 70% (b) Time 3 4% (a) 20% (b) 73% (c) Certainty of sexual identity Time 2 90% (a) 52% (b) 39% (b) Time 3 92% (a) 65% (b) 60% (b) Comfort with gay identity Time 2 89% (a) 57% (b) 59% (b) Time 3 95% (a) 87% (a) 45% (b) Acceptance of gay identity Time 2 93% (a) 71% (b) 65% (b) Time 3 94% (a) 87% 68% (b) Involvement in gay activities Time 1 7.20 (a) 5.22 (b) 5.41 (b) Time 2 6.38 (a) 5.50 4.80 (b) Time 3 6.05 (a) 5.12 3.91 (b) Attitudes toward homosexuality Time 1 42.38 (a) 31.90 (b) 36.29 Time 2 45.42 (a) 30.17 (b) 34.27 (b) Time 3 44.48 (a) 33.67 (b) 35.84 (b) Comfort with homosexuality Time 1 3.01 (a) 2.57 (b) 2.35 (b) Time 2 3.07 (a) 2.62 (b) 2.56 (b) Time 3 3.22 (a) 2.78 (b) 2.51 (b) Self-disclosure to others Time 1 7.45 5.74 5.36 Time 2 1.08 0.41 (a) 1.63 (b) Time 3 0.78 1.08 0.89 Statistical Effect Test Size F [[eta].sup.2] Current sexual orientation Time 1 56.84 *** .46 Time 2 89.56 *** .59 Time 3 82.74 *** .57 [chi square] [tau] Sex with the same sex Time 1 9.91 ** .05 Time 2 3.17 .01 Time 3 8.53 * .03 Sex with the other sex Time 1 65.88 *** .23 Time 2 57.11 *** .17 Time 3 53.59 *** .22 Certainty of sexual identity Time 2 28.73 *** .16 Time 3 16.72 *** .09 Comfort with gay identity Time 2 14.99 *** .09 Time 3 31.71 *** .13 Acceptance of gay identity Time 2 12.10 ** .07 Time 3 9.60 ** .04 F [[eta].sup.2] Involvement in gay activities Time 1 8.47 *** .11 Time 2 4.07 * .06 Time 3 5.41 ** .08 Attitudes toward homosexuality Time 1 6.54 ** .09 Time 2 19.58 *** .24 Time 3 9.16 *** .13 Comfort with homosexuality Time 1 10.66 *** .14 Time 2 8.10 *** .12 Time 3 12.75 *** .17 Self-disclosure to others Time 1 2.49H .04 Time 2 2.93H .05 Time 3 0.35 .01 Note. Sexual identity groups with differing superscripts differed significantly at p < .05. Measures of effect size (i.e., proportion of variance explained) were computed with eta square ([[eta].sup.2]) for continuous variables and Goodman-Kruskal tau ([tau], Goodman & Kruskal, 1979) for categorical variables. ([dagger]) p < .10 * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 Table 6. Associations of Change in Sexual Identity with Sociodemographic Characteristics Change in Sexual Identity Transitioned Consistently from Bisexual Consistently Gay/Lesbian to Gay/Lesbian Bisexual (n = 87) (n = 27) (n = 22) Gender Male (n = 73) 59% 29% 12% Female (n = 63) 70% 10% 21% Ethnicity Hispanic (n = 50) 66% 22% 12% Black (n = 48) 60% 23% 17% White (n = 29) 59% 17% 24% Other (n = 9) 89% 0% 11% Socioeconomic status Higher (n = 84) 69% 14% 17% Lower (n = 52) 56% 29% 15% Age 18.60 * 17.44 ** 18.23 Social desirability 6.21 6.07 5.82 Statistical Effect Test Size [chi square] [tau] Gender 8.38 * .03 Male (n = 73) Female (n = 63) Ethnicity 5.19 .02 Hispanic (n = 50) Black (n = 48) White (n = 29) Other (n = 9) Socioeconomic status 4.35 .02 Higher (n = 84) Lower (n = 52) F [[eta].sup.2] Age 5.25 ** .07 Social desirability 0.16 .00 Note. Youths whose parents received welfare, food stamps, or Medicaid were classified as having lower socioeconomic status. Means with differing superscripts differed significantly at p < .05. Measures of effect size (i.e., proportion of variance explained) were computed with Goodman-Kruskal tau ([tau], Goodman & Kruskal, 1979) for categorical variables and eta square ([[eta].sup.2]) for continuous variables. * p < .05. ** p < .01 Table 7. Multivariate Comparisons of Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behaviors, and the Identity Integration Process Among Sexual Identity Change Groups Change in Sexual Identity Consistently G/L vs. Transitioned OR [beta] Current sexual orientation Time 1 0.53 *** Time 2 0.70 *** Time 3 0.25 * Sex with same-sex partner Time 1 2.60 ([dagger]) Time 2 0.64 Time 3 1.05 Sex with other-sex partner Time 1 0.01 * Time 2 UD Time 3 0.09 * Certainty of gay identity Time 2 12.18 *** Time 3 13.89 *** Comfort with gay identity Time 2 4.75 * Time 3 5.23 Self-acceptance of gay identity Time 2 5.75 * Time 3 1.46 Involvement in gay-related social activities Time 1 0.21 * Time 2 0.12 Time 3 0.08 Attitudes toward homosexuality Time 1 0.22 * Time 2 0.44 *** Time 3 0.31 ** Comfort with homosexuality Time 1 0.21 * Time 2 0.25 * Time 3 0.27 ** Self-disclosure to others Time 1 0.13 Time 2 0.12 Time 3 -0.09 Change in Sexual Identity Consistently G/L vs. Consistenly Bisexual OR [beta] Current sexual orientation Time 1 0.73 *** Time 2 0.78 *** Time 3 0.76 *** Sex with same-sex partner Time 1 .07 Time 2 2.34 Time 3 4.93 ** Sex with other-sex partner Time 1 0.004 *** Time 2 0.02 *** Time 3 0.002 *** Certainty of gay identity Time 2 17.26 *** Time 3 9.60 *** Comfort with gay identity Time 2 5.44 ** Time 3 27.89 *** Self-acceptance of gay identity Time 2 6.67 ** Time 3 10.52 ** Involvement in gay-related social activities Time 1 0.28 ** Time 2 0.26 ** Time 3 0.30 ** Attitudes toward homosexuality Time 1 0.18 * Time 2 0.35 *** Time 3 0.29 ** Comfort with homosexuality Time 1 0.37 *** Time 2 0.30 ** Time 3 0.43 *** Self-disclosure to others Time 1 0.20 * Time 2 -0.10 Time 3 -0.02 Change in Sexual Identity Transitioned vs. Consistently Bisexual OR [beta] Current sexual orientation Time 1 0.56 *** Time 2 0.76 *** Time 3 0.90 *** Sex with same-sex partner Time 1 0.36 Time 2 14.37 ([dagger]) Time 3 3.65 Sex with other-sex partner Time 1 0.05 *** Time 2 0.00 Time 3 0.11 ** Certainty of gay identity Time 2 2.57 Time 3 1.67 Comfort with gay identity Time 2 1.08 Time 3 9.36 ** Self-acceptance of gay identity Time 2 1.84 Time 3 6.00 Involvement in gay-related social activities Time 1 0.15 Time 2 0.27 Time 3 0.42 * Attitudes toward homosexuality Time 1 0.05 Time 2 -0.04 Time 3 0.06 Comfort with homosexuality Time 1 0.34 * Time 2 0.17 Time 3 0.36 * Self-disclosure to others Time 1 0.16 Time 2 -0.32 ([dagger]) Time 3 0.09 Note. G/L = gay/lesbian. Transitioned = youths who transitioned from a bisexual to a gay/lesbian identity. UD = Undefined. Controls for sex, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and social desirability were imposed in all analyses. For continuous outcomes, multiple regression was used and standardized regression coefficients ([beta] = beta) are reported. For dichotomous outcomes, logistic regression was used and odds ratios (OR) are reported. Beta and OR are measures of effect size. Beta theoretically ranges from negative one to one, with zero indicating support for the null hypothesis of no difference between the groups. The OR of logistic regression ranges theoretically from zero to infinity, with one indicating support for the null hypothesis of no difference between the groups. ([dagger]) p < .10 * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001