Social Work | Developmental Issues for Gay/Lesbians
S300 | 9291 | Capler

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GL&B) people constitute an important
presence in American society. Yet, the GL&B population is confronted
with a system of inequality due in part to its small number,
geographic dispersion and prejudiced societal attitudes. The result
is that GL&B people face serious issues related to lack of legal
protection, violence, and limited political representation. They are
denied full participation in a wide range of social institutions
including family life, religion, education, employment, recreation,
the military and many others. Research shows that this social
environment places GL&B people at increased risk of isolation, poor
school performance, mental health problems and even suicide.  The
complexity of the developmental challenges facing the GL&B population
has important implications for social work and other helping
professionals working with this group across practice settings.

This course will provide an overview of GL&B developmental issues
from a social work person-in environment perspective. Theory and
research regarding sexual orientation will be examined.  Topics such
as GL&B identity formation, definitions of homophobia, heterosexism
will be explored. Class participants are expected to develop
knowledge of the history of GL&B civil rights movement and
deomonstrate an awareness of current issues for this group. Diversity
and life span issues will also be addressed.