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Multiple Threats: Accumulated Oppression in Sexually Diverse Youth - Essay Example

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Sexually diverse populations, both as individuals as well as entire sub-groups and communities, have long been the victims of derision, hatred, and discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation. The notion that the only appropriate sexual behavior socially permitted is between a man and a woman and all other forms of sexuality is deviancy, known as heterosexism, has been inflicted upon the LGBT community for eons…
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Multiple Threats: Accumulated Oppression in Sexually Diverse Youth
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Download file to see previous pages For example, lesbian adolescents of color face a quadruple threat of bias-sexism, ageism, racism, and heterosexism-that extends far beyond a single dimension and, if the individual happens to be poor or of a lower socioeconomic class, yet another significant oppressive dimension is added. An economically disadvantaged, lesbian adolescent of color faces a multiple range of potentially identity-crushing and emotionally destabilizing forces on a daily basis. The impact of this accrued negativism is relevant to social work practice because these young people often fall within the support network of the social system. Whether due to economic, abusive, or other domestic difficulties, the social work practitioner will likely encounter such an individual in a professional setting. The plight of the at-risk individuals must be well understood before it can be affirmatively addressed and attenuated.
The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the key issues, potential emotional and psychological impact, as well as the social practice implications facing adolescents who fall within this vulnerable population at risk on so many different levels. Once those relevant issues have been identified, established and clarified, this paper will seek to set forth learning outcomes that the social work practitioner can apply in a real-world setting. The methodology for this research will be focused upon the review of published academic literature regarding multi-tiered discrimination faced simultaneously with the inherent difficulties of adolescence; and logical conclusions supported by that research will be drawn. As noted in the discussion section, there is not a large body of research on the multiple threats faced by LGBT adolescents. The absence of thorough and specific studies investigating this condition gives rise to the call for more research in the field.
After analyzing the critical issues, the implications for social practice will be distilled. Understanding the difficulties faced by gay youth is not the same thing as proactively addressing them. The social work practitioner, therefore, must move beyond information processing and have a practical framework for professional care. Flowing from the assimilation of that data, the conclusion will digest this information into practical and objective learning outcomes for practitioners. It should be noted here that only the most critical issues facing adolescent LGBT persons of color will be highlighted; a comprehensive treatment of this subject is beyond the scope of this paper and, as noted by many of the researchers quoted below, there is a scarcity of clinical research in this area. That fact notwithstanding, there is sufficient data to provide an analysis of the top three critical issues as well as ample research to demonstrate that LGBT adolescents of color represent on e of the highest at-risk populations a social work pract ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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