Homosexual Identity Expression among Lesbian and Gay Adolescents: An Analysis of Perceived Structural Associations


Justice and Society Studies



Document Type



conformity, cultural influences, gay teenagers, group identity, homosexuality, identity formation, identity models, ideaology, lesbianism, lesbians, political influences, sexuality, social science research, socioeconomic status




Theoretical and empirical analysis of homosexual identity neglects the influence of structural factors on identity expression. The Negotiated Identity Model proposes that perceptions of external forces influence adolescents through supportive resources and obstacles that may inhibit identity expression. Snowball sampling provided 172 self-identified homosexual adolescents, including 85 lesbians and 87 gay males. Perceptions of structural associations tested included religiosity, importance of school, political ideology of parents, socioeconomic status (SES) of parents, importance of heterosexual friends, frequency of heterosexual sexual encounters, importance of heterosexual sexual encounters, and gender nonconformity. Multiple regression analysis explained more of the variance for gay men than for lesbians. Variables important for gay males included political ideology, SES, heterosexual friends, and gender nonconformity. Significant variables for lesbians included religion and importance of school. Gender differences are discussed as well as implications for adolescents.

Published in

Youth and Society

Citation/Other Information

Waldner-Haugrud, Lisa K. and Brian Magruder. 1996. “Homosexual Identity Expression among Lesbian and Gay Adolescents: An Analysis of Perceived Structural Associations.” Youth and Society 27(3): 313-33.