Alderson, Kevin G.
June 2003
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2003, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p75
Academic Journal
This paper introduces the ecological theory of gay male identity. The model incorporates both developmental stages and process components in explaining identity formation, and it seeks to identify all psychosocial influences affecting the person, including internal psychological factors and external factors (social and environmental). The ecological theory addresses a number of the criticisms directed at stage models while also providing a psychosocial explanation for why some homosexually-oriented men eventually self-identify as gay. The development of a positive gay identity represents the final achievement in the model. Conceptual definitions for sexual orientation and gay identity are provided, in addition to implications for continuing research and counselling practice.


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