Event Title

Lesbian Coming-Out Experiences: Using Affect Control Theory to Examine the Context of Same-Sex Disclosure

Presenter Information

Sarah Groh

Mentor 1

Celeste Campos-Castillo

Location

Union 344

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:20 PM

Description

Research documents the importance of coming-out experiences for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. Unfortunately, few studies assess the experience for lesbian women coming-out to their families because limited data exists. This study uses affect control theory and its computer program, Interact, to simulate how family members respond to lesbian women coming-out to them. The simulations consider historical (three time periods: 1978, 2002, and 2015) and interpersonal (family member: parent or sibling) context in modeling the experience. Results indicate the importance of historical and interpersonal context overall, as well as the interplay between the two: 1) experiences are more positive over time; 2) experiences are more positive when coming-out to siblings than parents; and 3) the more positive experiences with siblings are a recent phenomenon. These findings compliment the limited information about lesbian women’s coming-out experiences and show the utility of simulating data when traditional data sources are unavailable.

Keywords: Affect Control Theory, Interact, LGB, lesbian, coming-out, disclosure

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Apr 27th, 12:20 PM

Lesbian Coming-Out Experiences: Using Affect Control Theory to Examine the Context of Same-Sex Disclosure

Union 344

Research documents the importance of coming-out experiences for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. Unfortunately, few studies assess the experience for lesbian women coming-out to their families because limited data exists. This study uses affect control theory and its computer program, Interact, to simulate how family members respond to lesbian women coming-out to them. The simulations consider historical (three time periods: 1978, 2002, and 2015) and interpersonal (family member: parent or sibling) context in modeling the experience. Results indicate the importance of historical and interpersonal context overall, as well as the interplay between the two: 1) experiences are more positive over time; 2) experiences are more positive when coming-out to siblings than parents; and 3) the more positive experiences with siblings are a recent phenomenon. These findings compliment the limited information about lesbian women’s coming-out experiences and show the utility of simulating data when traditional data sources are unavailable.

Keywords: Affect Control Theory, Interact, LGB, lesbian, coming-out, disclosure