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Heterosexual ally identity development for the non-heterosexual community

This thesis is an examination of the significance that both the development of heterosexual and non-heterosexual identity plays in the perceptions of the development of an individual’s identity labels, privilege, oppression, and sexuality. Firstly, through an extensive literature review, and secondly through an analysis of an in-depth survey which not only was advertised to those who self-identify as heterosexual but also to those who identify within other non-heterosexual identities. This thesis will provide an examination of the complicated process of identity development for both the heterosexual and non-heterosexual communities with a focus on the development of heterosexual allies for the non-heterosexual community. Heterosexual identity is often thought to be unmoving in nature however heterosexual identity, much like non-heterosexual identity, contains movement through statuses as the individual not only gains an understanding of their own heterosexual identity but also of alternatives. The results of some of the key identity theorists of the last century will be reviewed, as well as the relationship that social constructs, societal attitudes, and Heterosexism play in the creation of heterosexual allies for the non-heterosexual community. I propose that to understand the creation and development of heterosexual allies for the non-heterosexual community there must not only be a development in the way in which non-heterosexual identity development is researched but also in the way in which heterosexual identity is also developed. I also propose that heterosexual allies of the non-heterosexual community play an integral part in the way that society combats not only Heterosexism but also in the way that society gains a better understanding of what it means to be heterosexual. As society gains a more developed interpretation of the negative effects that Heterosexism has on the non-heterosexual community, research associated with the development of allyship towards the non-heterosexual community will continue to not only develop but also become more accurate.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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