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Sexual Orientation and Identity

Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Journeys

Heather Wishik & Carol Pierce

268 pages
1995
ISBN 0-929767-03-9
(Dimensions:7" x 9")

List US$18.00

Sexual Orientation and Identity by Heather Wishik & Carol Pierce

This book demonstrates

how information, attitudes, and values about sexual orientation, sexual identity, and gender emerge and are internalized.

It shows how they affect individual, organizational, and community development and behavior.

This thought-provoking model is a fundamental training aid. It makes sense of something very complex: the paths we take to understanding sexual identities--our own and those of other people.

The book is widely used as a basic tool for re-defining the study and understanding of human sexuality.

It takes into account differences of race, culture, and gender.

The four-color continuum graphic fold-out in the back of the book illustrates sexual orientation and identity development for heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.


Intended Audience:

  • Read by individuals;
  • shared with family, partners, friends, and work colleagues;
  • and used as a discussion guide in:
    • management programs in business, industry, and governmental institutions concerned with an inclusive work environment in the work-place.
    • college courses, such as sexuality studies, diversity studies, human resource management, sociology, family development, psychology, and law.
    • personal growth and therapy groups.


Authors

Heather Wishik is an international organization development and diversity consultant. She is an expert in the design and implementation of organization-wide strategic diversity plans and an experienced facilitator for developing leadership teams and change strategies. She has worked with clients in North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa, from many industries including retail, utilities, financial services, telecommunications, and manufacturing, and with major universities, police departments, and community service organizations.

Since 2001 Wishik has been a research fellow at the Batten Institute, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia.

She was the first director of the Tufts University Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Resource Center and the first lesbian liaison to the governor of Vermont from the Vermont Coalition of Lesbians and Gay Men.

Wishik graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law and practiced and taught law and law-related subjects for 15 years. She lived in Amsterdam from 1999-2004. In 2003 she obtained her certificate in group process facilitation from the University of South Africa, where she is pursuing her PhD in Organizational and Industrial Psychology.

She works in English and French and speaks conversational Dutch.

Carol Pierce is a founder in 1972 of newdynamics, an organization development firm. Her specialties are diversity consulting and training, process consultation, and strategic planning in flatter, less hierarchical structures. She has worked with a variety of clients in business, industry, human service, health, and educational and religious institutions.

Ms. Pierce is an innovator in the field of diversity education. She has been a creator of programs and writer in the areas of: gender; race and culture; sexual orientation; and the use of flatter, more egalitarian structures where power equity, partnership, and creativity are important.

Ms. Pierce’s work with newdynamics in the early 1970's focused on addressing the issues of gender and male/female partnership. In the 1980's the issues of race and culture, sexual orientation, and power equity were added. A distinctive feature of newdynamics ’ work is to perceive themselves on journeys of change, away from old habits and behaviors, to valuing a greater range of diversity. We challenge ourselves to experience and model changes we expect others to adopt. The understanding of such cultural journeys of change has been the basis of Ms. Pierce’s writing.

Ms. Pierce created newdynamics Publications in 1986


Table of Contents

Part 1 - Real Lives
     Stories for Understanding Our Journeys

Chapter 1 - Journeying:
     Eight Sexual Orientation and Identity Journeys and an Invitation to
     Your Own Journey

Chapter 2 - A Journeyer’s Guide:
     Assumptions, Context, and Frameworks

Part 2 - The Journeys

Chapter 3 - Rejecting, Denying, Tolerating:
     Early Journeys of Heterosexual and Heterosexually Identified
     Bisexual People

Chapter 4 - Struggles for Survival and Identity:
     Early Journeys of Lesbians, Gay Men, and Lesbian/Gay-Identified
     Bisexual People

Chapter 5 - To Live, to Love:
     Transitions for Gay Men, Lesbians, and Gay/Lesbian-Identified
     Bisexual People

Chapter 6 - Reconstructing Identity:
     Transitions for Bisexual Men and Women

Chapter 7 - Questioning Assumptions, Expanding Ourselves and
     Relationships:
     Transitions for Heterosexual and Heterosexually Identified Bisexual
     People

Chapter 8 - Where the Journeys Lead: Imagining the Possible

Appendix A -
     Definitions and Categories

Appendix B -
     Childhood Experiences

Appendix C
     An Overview of Scholarship about Sexual Orientation History,
     Psychology, Frequency,Causation, Lesbian and Feminist Theories

Bibliography

Index

Sexual Orientation & Identity Continuum Diagram (Chart)
(also available as a full size, teaching wall chart - click here)


From the Preface

"It is time we all pay attention to and take responsibility for changing the troubled ways in which human sexual diversity is understood and treated in contemporary society ....

In order to work toward respecting sexual diversity and managing it well in our organizations, it is crucial to understand that such work involves for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, experiential journeys that can be acknowledged and described ....

The sexual orientation and identity diagram included and explained in this book provides individuals the opportunity to see where they are in relation to a diverse group of others ....

We believe most people and organizations want to find ways of interacting respectfully with one another. To do so we must find ways of talking with one another across the barriers many of us have been taught to make of sexual orientation. This book is about how information, attitudes, and values about sexual orientation, sexual identity, and gender emerge, are internalized, and affect individual, organizational, and community development and behavior."


Reader Comments about Sexual Orientation and Identity:

"The authors bring insight, objectivity, and compassion to the highly taboo topics of sexual orientation and sexual identity. Their inquiry and findings prove them to be on the cutting edge of diversity studies, especially with regard to heterosexism."
Lennox Joseph, President, NTI Institute for Applied Behavioral Sciences

"This book presents a thought-provoking model for making sense of something very complex: the paths we take to understanding sexual identities, our own and those of other people."
Robyn Ochs, speaker, author, and editor of The Bisexual Resource Guide

"The author's continuum model and diagram are incredibly helpful - a revelation! For anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, there is much to learn here about how we may become allies in creating a world that values and cherishes us all."
Warren Blumenfeld, consultant, author, and editor of the Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity

This book contains a four-color continuum diagram which illustrates sexual orientation and identity development.

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