Title

Intersectionality and Identity Configurations: A Qualitative Study Exploring Sexual Identity Development Among Emerging Adults Within the United States

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Emerging Adulthood

Volume

10

Issue

2

Publisher

Sage Publications, Inc.

Publication Date

8-12-2020

First Page

372

Last Page

385

Abstract

Although modern comprehensive conceptual models of sexual identity development acknowledge contextual factors, existing models have placed less emphasis on (a) the influence of multiple domains of identity on sexual identity formation and (b) centrality and negotiation of various domains of identity. The present study sought to explore processes, identity conflicts, and management of sexual identity relative to other identity domains among sexual minority emerging adults in the United States. Fourteen sexual minority emerging adults (20–25 years) with a diverse array of identities participated in semistructured individual interviews, and five participants engaged in two follow-up focus groups. Findings supported two broad categories with subthemes: identity conflict (unaffirming and oppressive contexts, lack of resources to explore identity) and identity coherence (resources used to manage and facilitate identity coherence; acceptance, affirmation, and harmony; and centrality and salience of sexual identity within identity configurations). Findings have implications for the study of sexual identity development within the context of other domains of identity.

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