Volume 37, Issue 2 (2008)
Maintaining the Hegemonic Masculinity Through Selective Attachment, Homophobia, and Gay-Baiting in Schools: Challenges to Intervention
Deborah J. Tharinger
I am pleased to discuss and offer commentary, with a focus on implications for intervention, on the issues and research findings presented in the articles that comprise this special issue of School Psychology Review, titled “Sexual Orientation, Homophobia, Bullying, and Psychological Sequelae in Adolescents: Research and Practice Findings.” I imagine I was invited to comment on the studies because of my own scholarship in the area of sexual minority youth. I have written, with my graduate students, about the prevalence of homophobia and heterosexism in our culture and its effect on the development of gay, lesbian, bisexual (GLB), or questioning youth (Lasser & Tharinger, 1997; Lasser, Tharinger & Cloth, 2006). I have also applied attachment theory to the understanding of the “coming out” process for sexual minority youth, as well as the important roles family members and school personnel can play by providing a continuity of attachment behaviors for these youth as they are integrating their nonconforming sexual orientation (Tharinger & Wells, 2000). With Lasser (Lasser & Tharinger, 2003), I have discussed strategies related to “visibility management” that may be useful to GLB and questioning youth to employ, especially when a relationship, system, or environment is not safe.
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