In self-identity theory this is a process known as “self-categorization” and in identity theory the process is referred to as “identification” (Stets & Burke, 2000, p. 224). Sexual orientation is among the factors that come into play in the process of forming an identity. This essay takes the position that homosexual identity in teens is a life-time development process that is intricately tied to personal identity. In particular, gay teens in Western countries are predisposed to experience conflicts and a great deal of stress as a result of overwhelming homophobic cultural influences (Vare & Norton, 1998). Essentially, it is argued that the formation of identity in homosexual teens is fraught by a prevailing culture that discriminates against sexual orientation that is inconsistent with what the dominant culture views as “normal” (Vare & Norton, 1998, p. 327).
The Western media has played a significant role in the perpetuation of homosexual identity by portraying stereotypical homosexual males (Sutton, 2007). These stereotypical gay males are essentially cast by the media in fashion and primarily the creative arts. This portrayal of homosexuals creates the impression that gay men are creative and denies consideration of the possibility that gays may be from among the lower and higher sectors of the community (Sutton, 2007). ...Show more