" We all have a right and cosmic responsibility to seek purity in ourselves."
- Stephanie P. Bathurst
Many professionals in the field of direct human services (sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists) reject the dichotomous view of gender, in that the similarities between men and women significantly outweigh their differences (Epstein, 1988; Gerson, 1990; West & Zimmerman, 1991). There is more to a person’s sexual identity than just the labeling of their gender/expression, gender role, or sexual orientation. How is it evolved over time and through experience? Identity development is often molded through social pressure and expectation, modeling of relational structures and presentation of cultural norms in each individual’s environment. Societal and environmental processes mentioned above are some of the components that are more learnable as the events can facilitate or impede acquisitional processes through attentional, representational, productional, and motivational means (Bandura, 1999). This unique recipe for identity development enables individuation and creativity, and concurrently presents availability for discrimination and conformity. Humanistic concepts of curiosity, adventure, pleasure, comfort, exploration of erogenous zones, and physical developments during puberty all play a significant role in the attunement and application of sexual identity in oneself.
Stephanie P. Bathurst, MA, LCMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist