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Monday, July 24 • 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Identity, Ideology and Injustice: The Relationship Between Sexual Identity and Sexual Assault and Abuse

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This session discusses the intersections of sexual abuse/assault experiences and sexual identity development by reviewing a pilot study which utilized participant observation, interviews, and surveys to conduct exploratory research on how the self-identified sexual identities of female survivors of male-perpetrated sexual assault are lived, post-assault. This study highlights the social power dynamics surrounding perceptions and stereotypes about LGBTQ deviance; the notion that LGBTQ identities are caused by traumatic events and how these perceptions were largely reinforced by the medicalization of "homosexuality" and the inclusion of "homosexuality" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) until the 1970s, as well as the application of deviant labels to "homosexual behaviors" in modern history. While this study looked particularly at female identified victims of male-perpetrated sexual assault, this session will provide a platform for larger conversations about the implications of heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia on the experiences and views of child sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual identity development.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Develop an increased understanding of how myths and perceptions about LGBTQ identities and the application of deviant labels to "homosexual behavior" affects the lived experiences of sexual abuse and assault survivors

  2. Recognize how heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia creates barriers to disclosure and affects access to support systems and services

  3. Better prepare individuals working with sexual abuse and sexual assault survivors to approach their lived experiences and identities with humility and without presumption

avatar for Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson

Forensic Interviewer, Trainer, MDT Coordinator, First Witness CAC
Rachel Johnson is a forensic interviewer and professional trainer at First Witness Child Advocacy Center in Duluth, MN. She also works with the Safe and Strong Prevention® Program which educates children, families and first responders on how to recognize and respond to child abuse... Read More →

Monday July 24, 2017 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Room 204
  • Level Intermediate

Attendees (8)