Authentic Self-Expression: Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture
Justice and Society Studies
self-silencing, culture, sexual orientation, high-risk sexual behaviors, gender, interpersonal violence, silencing the self scale
This chapter explores the portability of the self-silencing construct across a range of contexts and cultures. The authors present findings from their studies investigating correlations between depression, self-esteem, relationship adjustment, role taking, conflict tactics, and social class across diverse ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender. These studies included samples of ethnic minority college students; community samples of young club-going singles and female dancers; urbanites in western India; Pakistani and Indian women immigrants to America with arranged marriages; and community samples of gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals in committed relationships. The results of these studies demonstrate the multifaceted nature of the self-silencing construct, as well as its relevance to topics such as violence and high-risk sexual behaviors. The authors suggest topics for future investigations that grow out of their research.