Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 369–383 | Cite as

Identity in Crisis: Spirituality and Homosexuality in Adolescence

Article

Abstract

Adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction are increasingly comfortable identifying themselves as gay/lesbian/bisexual. For at least a minority of these youth, that identification conflicts with their spiritual values, and they or their families seek conversion therapy. The efficacy of conversion and ethics of conversion therapy for same-sex orientation stirs significant debate. The complexities of an approach to same-sex issues with adults multiply when the client is an adolescent. This article uses three adolescent case studies to examine issues of identity, ethics, confidentiality, social expectations, and therapist role.

Keywords

Adolescent sexual identity Spirituality Homosexuality 

References

  1. Altemeyer, B. (2003). Why do religious fundamentalists tend to be prejudiced? The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 13, 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. (2004). Board of directors statement: The issue of reparative or conversion therapy and journal independence. Retrieved June 8, 2005 from http://www.aamft.org/about/boardletter.asp
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2004). Gay and lesbian issues. Retrieved June 8, 2005 from http://www.psych.org/public_info/homose∼1.cfm?pf=y
  4. American Psychoanalytic Association. (1992). Position statement on homosexuality. Retrieved June 8, 2005 from http://www.apsa-co.org/ctf/cgli/position.htm
  5. American Psychological Association. (2004). Guidelines for psychotherapy with lesbian, Gay, & bisexual clients. Retrieved June 8, 2005 from http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/ guidelines.html
  6. American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice. (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61, 271–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. American School Counselors Association. (2004). Ethical standards for school counselors. Retrieved June 8, 2005 from http://www.schoolcounselor.org/ content.asp?contentid=173
  8. Baker, J. G., & Fishbein, H. D. (1998). The development of prejudice towards gays and lesbians by adolescents. Journal of Homosexuality, 36, 89–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beaty, L. A. (1999). Identity development of homosexual youth and parental and family influences on the coming out process. Adolescence, 34, 597–601.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Beckstead, A. L. (2003). “We’re approaching this too narrowly:” The need for a Broader-based therapy for conflicted same-sex attracted clients. American Psychological Association Division 44 Newsletter, 19(1), 8–11.Google Scholar
  11. Benoit, M. (2005). Conflict between religious commitment and same-sex attraction: Possibilities for a virtuous response. Ethics and Behavior, 15, 309–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carrion, V. J., & Lock, J. (1997). The coming out process: Developmental stages for sexual minority youth. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2, 369–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carver, P. R., Egan, S. K., & Perry, D. G., (2004). Children who question their heterosexuality. Developmental Psychology, 40, 43–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. D’Augelli, A. R. (2002). Mental health problems among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths ages 14–21. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 7, 433–456.Google Scholar
  15. Diamond, L. M. (2003). What does sexual orientation orient? A biobehavioral model distinguishing romantic love and sexual desire. Psychological Review, 110, 173–192.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fontaine, J. H., & Hammond, N. L. (1996). Counseling issues with gay and lesbian adolescents. Adolescence, 31, 817–830.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Francis, L. J. (2000). The relationship between bible reading and purpose in life among 13–15-year-olds. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 3, 27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grossman, A. H., & Kerner, M. S. (1998a). Self-esteem and supportiveness as predictors of emotional distress in gay male and lesbian youth. Journal of Homosexuality, 35, 25–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grossman, A. H., & Kerner, M.S. (1998b). Support networks of gay male and lesbian youth. Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity, 3, 27–46.Google Scholar
  20. Haldeman, D. C. (1994). The practice and ethics of sexual orientation conversion therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 221–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haldeman, D. C. (2002). Gay rights, patient rights: The implications of sexual orientation conversion therapy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 260–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Haldeman, D. C. (2003). APA’s policy on conversion therapy: A brief history. American Psychological Association Division 44 Newsletter, 19(1), 6–8.Google Scholar
  23. Hardy, S. A., & Raffaelli, M. (2003). Adolescent religiosity and sexuality: An investigation of reciprocal influences. Journal of Adolescence, 26, 731–739.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hillier, L., & Harrison, L. (2004). Homophobia and the production of shame: Young people and same sex attraction. Culture, Health, and Sexuality, 6, 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holder, D. W., Durant, R. H., Harris, L. H., Daniel, J. H., Obeidallah, D., & Goodman, E. (2000). The association between adolescent spirituality and voluntary sexual activity. Journal of Adolescent Health, 26, 295–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jones, M. A., Botsko, M., & Gorman, B. S. (2003). Predictors of psychotherapeutic benefit of lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients: The effects of sexual orientation matching and other factors. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 34, 275–287.Google Scholar
  27. King, P. E., Furrow, J. L., & Roth, N. (2002). The influence of families and peers on adolescent religiousness. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 21, 109–120.Google Scholar
  28. Kort, J. (2004). Covert cultural sexual abuse of gay male teenagers contributing to etiology of sexual addiction. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 11, 287–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kulkin, H. S., Chauvin, E. A., & Percle, G. A. (2000). Suicide among gay and lesbian adolescents and young adults: A review of the literature. Journal of Homosexuality, 40, 1–29.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lock, J. (1998). Treatment of homophobia in a gay male adolescent. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 52, 202–214.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Maguen, S., Floyd, F. J., Bakeman, R., & Armistead, L. (2002). Developmental milestones and disclosure of sexual orientation among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. Applied Developmental Psychology, 23, 219–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Malyon, A. K. (1981). The homosexual adolescent: Developmental issues and social bias. Child Welfare, 5, 321–330.Google Scholar
  33. Martin, J. I., & D’Augelli, A. R. (2003). How lonely are gay and lesbian youth? Psychological Reports, 93, 486.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. National Association of Social Workers (2005). Revision of the 1996 gay, lesbian, and Bisexual issues policy. Retrieved June 8, 2005 http://www.socialworkers.org/da/ da2005/documents/glb.pdf
  35. Peters, A. J. (1997). Themes in group work with lesbian and gay adolescents. Social Work with Groups, 20, 51–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Peters, A. J. (2003). Isolation or inclusion: Creating safe spaces for lesbian and gay youth. Families in Society, 84, 3331–3337.Google Scholar
  37. Plugge-Foust, C., & Strickland, G. (2000). Homophobia, irrationality, and Christian ideology: Does a relationship exist? Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 25, 240–244.Google Scholar
  38. Radkowsky, M., & Siegel, L. J. (1997). The gay adolescent: Stressors, adaptations, and psychosocial interventions. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 191–216.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosik, C. H. (2003). Motivational, ethical, and epistemological foundations in the treatment of unwanted homoerotic attraction. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29, 13–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sanders, G. L., & Kroll, I. T. (2000). Generating stories of resilience: Helping gay and lesbian youth and their families. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 26, 433–442.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schaeffer, K. W., Hyde, R. A., Kroencke, T., McCormick, B., & Nottebaum, L. (2000). Religiously-motivated sexual orientation change. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 19, 61–70.Google Scholar
  42. Schneider, M. S., Brown, L. S., & Glassgold, J. M. (2002). Implementing the resolution on appropriate therapeutic response to sexual orientation: A guide for the perplexed. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 265–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schroeder, M., & Shidlo, A. (2003). Religiously based conversion therapy: The need to belong. American Psychological Association Division 44 Newsletter, 19(1), 5.Google Scholar
  44. Shidlo, A., & Schroeder, M. (2002). Changing sexual orientation: A consumer’s report. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 249–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sobocinski, M. R. (1990). Ethical principles in the counseling of gay and lesbian adolescents: Issues of autonomy, competence, and confidentiality. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 21, 240–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Slater, B. R. (1988). Essential issues in working with lesbian and gay male youths. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 19, 226–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Spitzer, R. L. (2003). Can some gay men and lesbians change their sexual orientation? 200 participants reporting a change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 403–417.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sullivan, M., & Wodarski, J. S. (2002). Social alienation in gay youth. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 5, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Thornton, A., & Camburn, D. (1989). Religious participation and adolescent sexual Behavior and attitudes. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 641–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Throckmorton, W. (1998). Efforts to modify sexual orientation: A review of the outcome literature and ethical issues. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 20, 283–304.Google Scholar
  51. Throckmorton, W. (2002). Initial empirical and clinical findings concerning the change process for ex-gays. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 242–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tozer, E. E., & Hayes, J. A. (2004). Why do individuals seek conversion therapy? The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 716–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Troiden, R. R. (1984). Self, self-concept, identity, and homosexual identity: Constructs in need of definition and differentiation. Journal of Homosexuality, 10, 97–109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Troiden, R. R. (1988). Homosexual identity development. Journal of Adolescent Health Care, 9, 105–113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Troiden, R. R., & Goode, E. (1980). Variables related to the acquisition of a homosexual identity. Journal of Homosexuality, 5, 383–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Waller, R., & Nicolosi, L. A. (2005). Spitzer study published: Evidence found for effectiveness of reorientation therapy. Retrieved June 8, 2005, from http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html
  57. Yarbrough, D. G. (2003). Gay adolescents in rural areas: Experiences and coping Strategies. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 8, 129–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yarhouse, M.A., & Burkett, L. A. (2002). An inclusive response to LGB and Conservative religious persons: The case of same sex attraction and behavior. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33, 235–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yarhouse, M. A., & Throckmorton, W. (2002). Ethical issues in attempts to ban reorientation therapies. Psychotherapy: Theory/Research/Practice/Training, 39, 66–75.Google Scholar
  60. Zucker, K. J. (2003). The politics of “reparative therapy”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 399–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cates & Associates, Inc.Fort WayneUSA

Personalised recommendations