Addressing Homonegativity

| April 29, 2014

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Addressing Homonegativity
Homonegativity, sometimes also referred to as homoprejudice, refers to negative biases, assumptions, beliefs, and behaviors toward individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or otherwise in same-sex relationships. Homonegativity may be internal (i.e., when a person directs it toward him- or herself as a result of negative feelings about his or her sexuality) or external (i.e., when it is displayed by others—either individuals or institutions). Furthermore, homonegativity may be either covert and subtle (e.g., passing over a qualified employee for a promotion or failing to demonstrate basic kindness) or it may be overt and direct (e.g., negative comments, bullying, and discriminatory policies).
There are at least four levels at which partners in same-sex couples may experience homonegativity. First, the individuals within the partnership may experience homonegativity. Second, partners may experience homonegativity within their relationship interactions and dynamics. Third, partners may face homonegativity from their extended family members. Finally, social norms, policies, and institutions may demonstrate homonegativity toward same-sex couples. In this week’s Assignment, you consider how same-sex couples may be influenced by homonegativity at each level and strategies that counselors might use to address homonegativity.
The Assignment (3- to 4-page paper):
• Explain how same-sex couples might be influenced by homonegativity on different levels: individually, in a relationship, within their families, and socially.
• Describe strategies a counselor might use to address homonegativity and support couples at one of the four levels.
• Explain why each strategy would be appropriate.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.
Consider the following scenario: Mark and Roman have been in a same-sex relationship together for 5 years. Recently, they decided to research the possibility of starting a family together through adoption. Unfortunately, they live in a state in which full, joint adoption by same-sex couples is not permitted. They have the option for one of the partners to adopt a child singly, though second-parent adoption options are not clearly outlined in their state laws. Mark and Roman feel that if they were a heterosexual couple, they would not have to deal with these issues.
As you read above, certain social and relational dynamics may be unique to same-sex couples, and it is important for counselors to consider how these dynamics may influence clients with whom they work. In this week, you consider unique dynamics that partners in same-sex relationships may face as they navigate their relationships, including those who choose to become parents.
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
• Analyze relationship and parenting experiences faced by same-sex couples
• Analyze how same-sex relationship and parenting experiences inform counseling approaches
• Explain influence of homonegativity on same-sex couples
• Analyze counseling strategies to help same-sex couples address homonegativity
Required Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your syllabus.
• Article: Patterson, C. J., & Riskind, R. G. (2010). To be a parent: Issues in family formation among gay and lesbian adults. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6(3), 326–340. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
• Article: Reczek, C., Elliott, S., & Umberson, D. (2009). Commitment without marriage: Union formation among long-term same-sex couples. Journal of Family Issues, 30(6), 738–756. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SAGE database.
• Article: Rostosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D. B., Gray, B. E., & Hatton, R. L. (2007). Minority stress experiences in committed same-sex couple relationships. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 38(4), 392–400. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
• Article: Shurts, W. M. (2008). Pre-union counseling: A call to action. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 2(3), 216–242. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
Note: Show citation for everything/paragraphs.
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