Dismantling the Bird Cage

Melinda Haley, Eve Adams, Ginger Dickson, Tracie Hitter and Laura Luna

in The Oxford Handbook of Prevention in Counseling Psychology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396423
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Dismantling the Bird Cage

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Abstract This chapter explores the pervasiveness of heterosexism and its impact on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) population. In particular, we discuss the negative impact heterosexist beliefs and behaviors have on LGBT individuals at the societal, institutional, and individual levels in order to help counseling psychologists examine their own heterosexism, and/or complacency with the heterosexist discourse in our society and profession. After assessing the psychological, physical, and behavioral consequences that are associated with heterosexism and reviewing the scant literature on prevention efforts, we make suggestions regarding the steps counseling psychologists can take to enhance prevention efforts at these various levels. Finally, we highlight several areas in which empirical knowledge or action is lacking and provide stimulating questions to help focus future research and practice efforts in the prevention of heterosexism.

Keywords: heterosexism; LGBT; lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; prevention

Article.  15451 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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