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High School Gay Youth: Invisible Diversity.

Reed, Donald B.

Abstract: The high school experiences of gay young men, the management of these experiences, and the relationships of these experiences and their management with organizational and personal factors provide the focus of this study of a small, carefully selected sample of gay young men who attended public high schools in the state of Washington. An examination of personal and family contextual factors and organizational contextual factors that condition the way gay youth experience high school precedes an exploration of the way gay youth experience high school. Gay youth confront problematic situations in high school regarding the conflicts of knowing they are different and not wanting to be punished for this difference and of not being honest about their homosexuality. Gay youth manage these situations by deliberately engaging in acceptable heterosexual behavior, by disguising their sexual orientation by interpreting and presenting it in terms of a more socially acceptable orientation, and by identifying and befriending other gay youth in the school. The consequences of the high school experience on gay youth are: (1) a chronic sense of personal shame; (2) a conflict between alienation from the high school and alienation of the self; (3) an inability to participate spontaneously; (4) victimization; and (5) self-destructive behavior. (CK)

Title: High School Gay Youth: Invisible Diversity.
Author: Reed, Donald B.
Note: 32p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).
Publication Year: Apr 1993
Document Type: Conference Paper (150); Research Report (143)
Target Audience: Researchers
ERIC Identifier: ED370846
Clearinghouse Identifier: SO023460
This document is available from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service.

Descriptors: Conflict; * High Schools; High School Students; * Homophobia; * Homosexuality; Males; Minority Groups; Social Behavior; * Social Bias; Social Differences; Social Environment; Social Influences; * Social Problems

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