I have often been asked by women what about girls who grow up to be gay. I have told the women who have asked me that presently, I am not aware of any such studies, but that does not mean there are not any. However, we do need more research regarding early childhood psychological development growing up LGBTQ.
I was able to ask Jack Drescher, M.D. about what studies have been done regarding the early childhood psychological development of girls who grow up to be lesbian.
Jack Drescher, M.D. is one of the very few researchers who have addressed this area related to the early childhood psychological development of boys who grow up to be gay. He replied that studies about women are sparse compared to those about men; however, he suggested a reading list that may be helpful to the women who have asked me.
His professional career includes:
Jack Drescher, M.D. is Past Chair (2000-2006) of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues of the American Psychiatric Association.
He is also a Past President of the New York City District Branch of the APA.He is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Institute, Adjunct Clinical Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at both New York Medical College and the State University of New York—Downstate.Dr. Drescher has edited two volumes on sexual conversion therapies: Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives and Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics and Culture.REFERENCES
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Cabaj, R.P. & Stein, T.S., eds. (1996), Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Cohler, B. J. & Galatzer-Levy, R. M. (2000), The Course of Gay and Lesbian Lives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Crespi, L. (1995), Some thoughts on the role of mourning in the development of a positive lesbian identity. In Disorienting Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Reappraisals of Sexual Identities, eds. T. Domenici & R. C. Lesser. New York: Routledge, pp. 19-32.
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Herdt, G. & Boxer, A. (1993), Children of Horizons: How Gay and Lesbian Teens are Leading a New Way Out of the Closet. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
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Magee, M. & Miller, D. (1997), Lesbian Lives: Psychoanalytic Narratives Old and New. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.
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Schoenberg, E. (1995), Psychoanalytic theories of lesbian desire: A social constructionist critique. In Disorienting Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Reappraisals of Sexual Identities, eds. T. Domenici & R.C. Lesser. New York: Routledge, pp. 65-82.
Schwartz, A.E. (1998), Sexual Subjects: Lesbians, Gender, and Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.
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Vaughan, S. (1999), The hiding and revelation of lesbian desire in lesbians: The lasting legacy of developmental traumas. J. Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy, 3(2):81-90.
Wittig, M. (1981), One is not born a woman. In The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, eds. H. Abelove, M.A. Barale, & D. Halperin. New York: Routledge, 1993, pp. 103-109.
Written by Martin S. Kurylowicz, M.Div., M.S.
Edited by Madeline Wright, Ph.D., M.S.