Unifying Model of Sexual Identity Development

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The Unifying Model of Sexual Identity Development, developed by Frank Dillon, Roger Worthington, and Bonnie Moradi, is a sexual identity model that draws from previous identity models such as the Homosexual Identity Development Model,[1] the Life Span Model,[2] and the Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Development[3] to create a model that can be applied to varying sexual identities.[4] Dillon, Worthington, and Moradi[5] described sexual identity development as dependent on three factors: biopsychosocial processes, individual identity, and social identity. The model uses five non-linear statuses that can be used to demonstrate individual and social identity.

Five Statuses[edit]

Compulsory heterosexuality[edit]

This status consists of an individual’s commitment to heterosexuality within the lens of the culture that the individual is a part of.

Active Exploration[edit]

This status consists of an intentional exploration of an individual’s sexual identity both cognitively and behaviorally.

Diffusion[edit]

This status consists of the lack of intentional exploration or commitment to an individual’s sexual identity.

Deepening and commitment to status[edit]

This status consists of an individual committing to a sexual identity that involves being able to better identify things such as one’s sexual orientation or preferences.

Synthesis[edit]

This status consists of an individual achieving a sexual self-concept.

Research supporting the Unifying Model of Sexual Identity Development[edit]

This model was developed by “teams of scholars working in various combinations over time to collaborate and develop ideas to provide empirical support for a new theoretical model”.[4]

References[edit]

  1. Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 4, 219-235.
  2. D’Augelli, A. R. (1994). Identity development and sexual orientation: Toward a model of lesbian, gay, and bisexual identity development. In E.J. Trickett, R.J. Watts, & D. Birman (Eds.), Human diversity: Perspectives on people in context (pp. 312-333). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  3. Fassinger, R. E., & Miller, B. A. (1997). Validation of an inclusive model of homosexual identity formation in a sample of gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 32(2), 53-78.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Patton, L. D., Renn, K. A., Guido, F. M., Quaye, S. J., Evans, N. J., & Forney, D. S. (2016). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. John Wiley & Sons.
  5. Dillion, F. R., Worthington, R. L., & Moradi, B. (2011). Sexual identity as a universal process. In S. J. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, & V. L. Vignoles (Eds.), Handbook of identity theory and research (pp. 649-670). New York: Springer.

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