Exploring identity development and gender orientation, Lesbian Epiphanies: Women Coming Out in Later Life contains firsthand information about the experiences and difficulties of women who discover and reveal their newfound lesbian sexuality in later life. Psychologists, social workers, counselors, and professors will find that Lesbian Epiphanies is the first book to extensively quote from interviews of lesbians and bisexuals who had entered into heterosexual marriages. From the analysis of these 24 interviews, the psychological, erotic, and social processes of women who come out as lesbians or bisexuals after a heterosexual marriage are clearly explained so you can better assist your clients throughout this coming-out process. Discussing the personal and societal standards which clouded early self-awareness for these women, Lesbian Epiphanies lifts the veil of confusion to clearly illuminate the issues at hand to assist you in understanding and helping your clients. From the case studies in this important book, you will learn how some women came to realize their same gender attractions and the barriers they faced, including negative attitudes toward lesbian women and the lack of strong role models. Helpful and informative, Lesbian Epiphanies explores the development of sexual identity in women in the Unites States today and provides you with essential information to help you improve your services to lesbian and bisexual clients by:
examining how the role of marriage in American culture stifles a woman's self-awareness of her sexuality in order to help clients avoid the mistake of a heterosexual marriage before husbands and children are involved
examining reasons behind the lack of valuable sexual information in America that limits a woman's general awareness of herself, her body, her sexuality, and her life options
understanding the challenges that lesbians and bisexuals experience when attempting to establish their true identities to assist your clients in overcoming these barriers
suggesting support groups for clients who are having a difficult time becoming used to the ideas and feelings of some same gender attractionsThis insightful book knocks down the sociological and psychological barriers that keep women from realizing or acknowledging their real sexual orientation by dispelling societal and cultural myths about what it means to be a woman in the United States. Offering you invaluable advice on how to help clients effectively and happily live with their new identities, Lesbian Epiphanies provides solutions to the challenges that women experience in establishing their other-than-heterosexual orientation in a heterosexist society.
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Contents Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: Sex Education and Information: In the United States, She Must Find Her Way in the Dark Chapter 2: Why Did These Women Marry Men? Chapter 3: How do Women Establish Personal Identity and Gender Orientation in a Heterosexist Society? Chapter 4: How Do Women Know? Chapter 5: Where are the Lesbian Role Models? Chapter 6: Now that She Knows... Bibliography Index
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