Sexual Orientation, Middle Adulthood, and Narratives of Transition and Change

Andrew J. Hostetler

in Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199765218
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979585 | DOI:
Sexual Orientation, Middle Adulthood, and Narratives of Transition and Change

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This chapter explores the shifting narratives of midlife within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, and the general role of sexuality in middle adulthood in creating the kinds of stories that inspire social change. It draws particular attention to the unexpected or eruptive life experiences that are major catalysts for adults’ meaning-making efforts, while also acknowledging that even expectable transitions and changes are culturally “underscripted,” particularly in mid- and later-life. The idea that gay and lesbian lives are relatively uncharted presumes that heterosexual lives are fully scripted. However, the continuing popularity of the midlife crisis narrative should dispel any notion that the search for meaning or the need for storytelling in middle adulthood is unique to sexual minority individuals.

Keywords: midlife crisis; lesbians; gays; bisexuals; transgenders; sexuality; social change; gender role

Chapter.  9741 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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