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Title: Becoming comfortable with self : young gays' and lesbians' lives and relationships
Author: Robertson, Anne Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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Young gays and lesbians are often marginalized in both youth research and adult gay and lesbian research. This study seeks to add voice to their experiences. Trans-Atlantic research highlights problems for young gays and lesbians at school, within the family and raises issues of self-destructive behaviour. Although it was not the intention of this research to problematise young gays’ and lesbians’ experiences the previous findings have been mirrored in this research. This has serious consequences for health, educational and social providers both locally and nationally. The focus of the research is on the process of becoming comfortable with self and the development of relationships and intimacy. The research involved seven young gay men ages 16-21 years and seven young lesbians ages 16-21 years. Each participant was interviewed two or three times in the space of year, with the intention of providing a sense of the changes that were occurring in the participants’ lives. The research utilises a symbolic interactionist approach and is qualitative in nature. A new, but as yet incomplete, picture is provided of young gays’ and lesbians’ perceptions and practice of sexual relationship. Social and family relationships are fraught with difficulties regarding the level of intimacy that the participants perceive to be safe. Despite the move towards freedom of expression and the opening up of social spaces for gays and lesbians there exists for the young problematical social and psychological barriers and a general lack of support. This makes both the transition from young person to adulthood and their subsequent integration into society difficult. Despite this young gays and lesbians are constructing new ways in which to act and tell their story.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available