The effects of self-disclosure of sexual minority college students upon their relationships




Kenneady, Donna Ann

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The disclosure of sexual preference by sexual minority students can have both positive and negative on their relationships. My research focused on these effects among these nine college sexual minorities. Educational leaders in Gay Straight Alliances (GSA), Prekindergarten-College (Prek--20), and student affairs will be able to know the positive and negative aspects of self-disclosure to help undergraduates. Application of this study's findings may cause less negative effects such as suicide, dropouts, and bullying. The purpose of my study was to explore the self-disclosure process and how it affects college sexual minority lives. The primary theoretical frameworks used in my study were Queer Theory, which was combined with Cass's Homosexual Identity Format (HIF) model. The intersectional research was used to comprehend diversity. The study was conducted at a Hispanic Serving Institution's (HSI) Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). The key findings were that self-disclosure resulted in mostly positive effects upon participants' personal relationships with others. Recommendations from this study include gender-neutral bathrooms, GSAs, anti-bullying laws, guidance for fathers for Prek--20, and safe zones. Future research should include positive identity and self-esteem of sexual minorities in and out of GSAs at the middle and high school levels. More research is also needed on the effects of religion on college sexual minorities, especially in relation to racial/ethnic minorities. Implications of this study will help educational leaders provide better ways to help college sexual minorities feel physically and emotionally safe in their environment.


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Cass, college students, gender identity, sexual minority, sexual orientation



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies