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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #293
CANCELED: New Perspectives on Change in Sexuality Over the Life Course
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
LISA DIAMOND (University of Utah)
Lisa M. Diamond is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. She studies the expression of sexual attractions and sexual identity over the life course, and particularly the phenomenon of sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience shifts in their pattern of same-sex and other-sex attractions over time. Her 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity, published by Harvard University Press, describes the changes and transformations that she has observed in the sexual attractions, behaviors, and identities of a sample of lesbian, bisexual, and “unlabeled” women that she has been following since 1995. Sexual Fluidity has been awarded the Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Study of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered Issues. Dr. Diamond is co-editor of the APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology and is a fellow of two divisions of the APA. Dr. Diamond has published over 100 articles and book chapters, and has received awards for her work from the American Psychological Association, the American Association of University Women, the International Association for Relationship Research, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Abstract: This presentation will provide an overview of the phenomenon of sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience change in their same-sex and other-sex attractions over time, often as a result of entering and exiting specific relationships, or undergoing changes in their situational contexts. Sexual fluidity presents important challenges to previous views of sexual orientation and its expression over the life course, and in this presentation I will present data from my 20-year longitudinal study of sexual fluidity which elucidates how sexual fluidity is experienced by different individuals, and the challenges it presents for individuals at different stages of the life course. I will also discuss the implications of sexual fluidity for some of the mental health issues facing LGBTQ individuals (family relationships, identity development, minority stress, stigma, parenting, relationships, spirituality) and will discuss different approaches to these challenges.
Target Audience: Any researchers and practitioners working on issues of gender and sexuality.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define sexual fluidity; (2) describe how it manifests in men and women, based on contemporary research; (3) apply research on sexual fluidity to their own practice by analyzing the potential implications of sexual fluidity for the clinical issues faced by LGBTQ individuals; (4) plan how to address these issues in their own work.



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