QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I have recently matriculated to doctoral school at the Union Institute in Cincinnati, OH in clinical psychology. I am searching for any and all resources in psychology on women who are currently heterosexually married yet secretly know they are same-sex orientation. I found your e-mail address when I was browsing the Psych Graduate Student Journal. I would be interested in viewing your resources.

Answer

What an interesting question! The problem, of course, is that you're looking for a population that is in hiding and is therefore very difficult to find. That's why your best sources of information will probably be people who were but are no longer heterosexually married. You can either look for them directly or look for literature about them (You asked about women who are heterosexually married but know they have a same-gender orientation: I'm going to use nonsexist language in my because most of my suggestions will turn up information on both women and men).

You may want to review the results of Steven Bryant and Demian's study of gay and lesbian couples in the U.S. Twenty-seven per cent of their female respondents and 19% of their male respondents had been heterosexually married in the past. Their data were published in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Volume 1.

You may also find Larry Kurdek's work interesting. He's a social psychologist at Wright State University and has been doing research on couples for many years. I have a personal interest in his work because my life partner and I have been subjects in his research for a long time. Life isn't complete without the yearly packet of forms she complains about before we complete them :-).

I suggest you look at our SelfhelpMagazine.com Links & Lists department and follow some of the links we have to lesbian, gay and bisexual sites. The Queer Resource Directory, for example, is always an excellent starting place. You may also want to post a request for sources of information in one or more of the relevant newsgroups, such as soc.women.lesbian-and-bi, bit.listserv.gaynet and soc.bi.

If you're so inclined, please let me know what you find.

03/13/98


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

 

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