ERIC Number: EJ704102
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 20
Bibliotherapy for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Overcoming the Structure of Silence
Vare, Jonatha W.; Norton, Terry L.
Clearing House, v77 n5 p190 May-Jun 2004
Gay and lesbian youth encounter most of the typical biological and cognitive changes of adolescence. However, cultural circumstances create differences in the social and emotional development of many gay and lesbian teens. In the United States, these teens often live within social environments characterized by a hostile fear and an active persecution of homosexuals by some members of society (Vare and Norton 1998). In addition, a passive form of homophobia embedded in the culture discounts and dismisses their alternative yet parallel lifestyles (Friend 1993). A major developmental crisis can occur when gay and lesbian adolescents attempt to establish an identity in a society that devalues their sexual orientation (Anderson 1995). Consequently, many of them find their social, emotional, and physical health in danger. This type of persecution results in an increased risk of problems, such as substance abuse, depression, suicide attempts, and dropping out of school. This article discusses bibliotherapy, which is healing through literature. Guidelines for selecting and using books appropriate for gay and lesbian teens struggling with self-perception and homophobia are listed in this article. Recommended books and summaries are also presented.
Descriptors: Physical Health, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Sexual Orientation, Emotional Development, Depression (Psychology), Bibliotherapy, Homosexuality, Adolescents, Social Bias, Mental Health
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site: http://www.heldref.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States