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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Paper [clear filter]
Saturday, March 7
 

10:45am

A new look at well-being: Assessing positive well-being among lesbians of color
The process of restorative justice involves healing and creating conditions for optimal well-being. Merely the presence or absence of mental illness does not accurately gauge the presence or absence of optimal health or well-being, as mental health and mental illness are posited to be along two separate continua (Keyes, 2005; Bhullar et al., 2013). While research on well-being in a psychological context has become an increasingly visible topic in the last 30 years (and has been particularly burgeoning in the positive psychology literature since 2000); Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), human diversity has received little attention. Cross-cultural differences between countries accounts for most of the studies incorporating diversity. However, well-being and resiliency in an intersectional identity context has been the focus of very few studies. Therefore, this research study examines the construct of well-being utilizing a recently developed instrument, the Multidimensional Well-being Assessment (MWA; Harrell, 2013), in an ethnically diverse lesbian sample. The preliminary study sample consists of a minimum of 32 self-identified multicultural (primarily identifying as non-Caucasian) lesbian or queer females over 18 years of age. Data analysis will include descriptive and correlational analyses to examine at five dimensions of well-being (psychological, physical, relational, collective, and transcendent) within a sample of adult lesbians of color (LOC). Descriptive statistics will present levels of well-being for the total sample, as well as across demographic variables. Correlational analysis will be performed to identify significant correlates of well-being among lesbians of color in this sample. Extant literature and resilient and risk factors for this population will be discussed. Implications for the facilitation of optimal well-being among lesbians of color will also be presented.


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Washington

10:45am

LGB Experiences in Cross-Orientation Therapeutic Dyads: Discussion & Recommendations for Practice
Despite some indications that treatment experiences have been improving (Liddle, 1999), lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) clients still receive discriminatory and inadequate treatment (Bieschke, Paul, & Blasko, 2007). Because of the continued prejudice and discrimination that LGB individuals experience, facilitation of safe and affirming therapeutic encounters is among key social actions that can be undertaken by feminist psychologists. However, little continues to be known about how LGB individuals themselves perceive their experiences of therapy, and ways that they themselves define their therapeutic encounters. This presentation will highlight results of a study regarding experiences in therapy from the perspective of LGB clients. Specifically, I focus on therapeutic dyads that represented divergent sexual orientations, although experiences in therapy with shared-orientation dyads have also been also examined. Therefore, this paper presentation will provide suggestions for facilitating effective therapeutic work with sexual minorities, regardless of the clinician’s sexual orientation. Key factors discussed in this presentation will be (1) reflections on the impact of categorical views of sexual identity, (2) the influence of heterosexism on expectations in the therapy, and (3) ways in which clients tend to assess the safety and acceptance of their practitioners. Furthermore, underlying principles of competent cross-cultural therapy with LGB clients will be shared, emphasizing the importance self-reflective work on the part of the clinician in order to provide nonjudgmental acceptance, discuss sexuality with ease, value different ways of approaching relationship, and decrease therapeutic defensiveness. This presentation will also introduce the notion of the reparative potential embedded in cross-orientation therapeutic dyads. Participants who described transformative therapeutic experiences with heterosexual therapists discussed the benefit of experiencing an accepting member of the dominant culture. This experience provided a counterbalance to internalized homophobia and a corrective emotional experience to familial rejection based on sexuality. Thus, therapeutic dyad work will be viewed as holding potential for restorative justice in the microcosm of the therapy room through witnessing and acceptance.


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Washington

10:45am

Voice of the Mind: Heterosexual Male Subjectivity During Sex
Based on the depth interviews with 13 heterosexual men, we studied masculine sexual subjectivity through exploring the discourses that men draw on during sex. The rationale of our study is based on the theory of “voices of the mind” of Wertsh (1991), work of Hollway (1984) and Wetherell and Edley (1999) on masculine subjectivity and discourses of masculinity employed by men while talking about sexual experiences. Our approach to studying male sexual subjectivity is based on the idea that men engage in an active process of positioning themselves as masculine and reflecting on their subjectivity during sexual experience. We also see subjectivity as constructed through the interviews that we conducted. The themes that appeared in our analysis also reflect the ways men make sense of their subjective experiences. We asked men questions relating to three descriptions of sexual experiences with another person: recent, adolescent, and troubled. The questions included one specifically on masculinity: “Did any thoughts and feelings you had during sex relate to your being a man?” The discursive themes we found are: “sex as performance,” “knowing without communicating,” “male desire is natural,” “control over the female and the sexual act,” “others in the head,” and that “intimacy is not masculine”. Of interest to women at this conference, may be insight into the way hegemonic masculinity ideals as well as the social demands of adjusting to contemporary views on gender equality produce “voices in the mind” that determine and reproduce heterosexual sex. We offer insights into how this knowledge can be used to inform social change to benefit women and men.


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Washington

10:45am

“Girl’s Like Talking About Serious Things”: Sex Segregation in Lesbian Emerging Adult’s Friendships
Sex segregation refers to the tendency for men and women to primarily associate with same-sex peers. Sex segregation is perpetuated by the homosocial norm that suggests “appropriate” friendships are same-sex friendships (Werking, 1997). Consequently, heterosexual emerging adult women have more same- than cross-sex friends (Didonato & Strough, 2013). As the majority of sex segregation research has focused on the experiences of heterosexuals, little is known about the homosocial norm and sex segregation in lesbian emerging adults. In the present study we qualitatively investigated sex segregation in 15 lesbian emerging adult women aged 20-23. Women were asked about the sex of their friends, friendship enjoyment, and preferred activities with their friends. Themes were extracted from the data using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four main themes were extracted from the data (representative quotes are in parentheses). First, women discussed having sex segregation in their friendships (“My friends are mostly female”; “I have a bunch of friends, they are obviously mostly girls”). Second, women reported feeling more comfortable with same-sex friends (“I am more outgoing around girls because they understand me better than guys”; “I feel like they (women) are easier to talk to”). Third, while women preferred same-sex friends, they also reported enjoying their cross-sex friendships (“Guys just want to chill and do things”; “Its never a stressful hang out”). Fourth, and finally, women discussed the impact that their feminist beliefs had on their friendships (“I can like see now how sexism has, like, impacted our friendships”; “Men that I am friends with are men that are incredibility vocally interested in talking about gender”). Overall, our qualitative study suggests that sex segregation exists in lesbian emerging adult women’s friendships. Similar to heterosexual emerging adults, sex segregation in lesbian emerging adult’s friendships may contribute to the socialization of gender-stereotyped attitudes and interests.

Speakers
CM

Clare Mehta

Emmanuel College


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Washington