Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Sexual Identity

  • Elizabeth Morgan
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_281


Identity consists of a personally significant, meaningful sense of one’s goals, beliefs, values, and life roles (Erikson, 1968; Marcia, 1987). Among sexuality researchers, “sexual identity” typically refers to sexual orientation. However, more recently, researchers have adopted more inclusive and multidimensional conceptualizations of sexual identity (e.g., Dillon, Worthington, & Moradi, 2011). As with models of sexual identity, much of the theorizing on sexual identity has also specifically focused on sexual orientation and the “coming out process” for sexual-minority individuals. Nonetheless, there is increasing evidence that rigid, dichotomous models of sexual identity fail to accommodate the true complexity and diversity of individuals’ lived experiences. As a result, sexual identity researchers now acknowledge that conventional sexual identity models are in need of expansion, clarification, and further investigation (e.g., Savin-Williams, 2011).



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySpringfield CollegeSpringfieldUSA