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Homophobia in youth : a memory work study with gay and lesbian adults aged 18-24

M.A. (Clinical Psychology) / A high incidence of homophobic discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals occurs in South Africa. Nonheterosexual youth are vulnerable to homophobic victimisation, and its effects may continue into adulthood. Memories of homophobia in youth as recalled by young self-identified gay and lesbian adults were explored using the memory work method of Haug (1987). This critical psychological method is emancipatory. In a group setting, participants anonymously authored memories based on a selected trigger (‘acceptance’); the memories were then collectively analysed over eight sessions. The unpacking of memories led to further disclosures within the group. Following the group process, thematic analysis was conducted by the group facilitator/researcher to further interpret the data and assist in the presentation of the findings. Eight global themes comprising 27 subthemes were identified: ‘who I am’, ‘being different’, ‘self-acceptance’, ‘coming out of hiding’, ‘we have not been belonging, but you don’t know how to belong to them’, ‘what you do to me’, ‘you are not okay’ and ‘if breathing is my sin’. Educational programmes should be implemented both within schools and communities to raise awareness about sexual orientation and the problem of homophobia. Youth need to have access to LGBT organisations so they may make contact with other nonheterosexual individuals. Those affected by homophobia should be assisted and empowered. Support groups may therefore act as a useful intervention for young nonheterosexual individuals.
Date06 May 2015
CreatorsBock, Lauren Nicole
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsUniversity of Johannesburg

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