Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Homosexual Identity: A concept in need of definition

Cass, V.C. (2014) Homosexual Identity: A concept in need of definition. In: Dececco, J. and Shively, M., (eds.) Origins of Sexuality and Homosexuality. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis group, pp. 105-126.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Despite the fact that the concept homosexual identity has been used extensively in the literature on homosexuality since the late 1960s, investigators have shown little concern for defining or discussing the manner in which it is used. As a result, the study of homosexual identify has been characterized by confusion, disarray, and ambiguity. A multiplicity of terminologies makes comparisons between studies difficult. There has been little attempt to place theoretical proposals or data within the framework of existing psychological literature on identity.

A number of assumptions critical to an understanding of homosexual identity are commonly made, and several of these are discussed: The synonymity of homosexual identity and self-concept; homosexual identity as childhood identity; homosexual identity as sexual identity; and homosexuality as distinct essence. This review also considers the following issues: The distinction between identity and behavior; the utility of an identity construct as applied to the study of homosexuals; the definition of identity in developmental theories of homosexual identity; and homosexual group identity.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis group
Item Control Page Item Control Page