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Gay, lesbian and bisexual survey promises new insights on sexual identity


28 February 2013

James Morandini: "Our nationwide study will explore how beliefs about sexual orientation are associated with the development of sexual identity and attitudes to sexual orientation."
James Morandini: "Our nationwide study will explore how beliefs about sexual orientation are associated with the development of sexual identity and attitudes to sexual orientation."

What beliefs do same-sex attracted people have about the nature and origins of their sexual orientation?

"Surprisingly almost no research has looked at this area," says James Morandini, from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Science, who is currently inviting same-sex attracted people to undertake a survey to help bridge this gap in our knowledge.

"A lot of studies have investigated beliefs about the nature and origins of same-sex attraction held by the heterosexual community."

Only one previous study, however, undertaken in America in 2008, has looked at the beliefs same-sex attracted people have about their own sexuality. It looked at the extent to which sexual orientation was viewed as biological and fixed, as compared to socially constructed or chosen.

"Our nationwide study will extend this previous research by exploring how beliefs about sexual orientation are associated with the development of sexual identity and attitudes to sexual orientation," said Morandini.

"We are also investigating how sexual orientation beliefs are informed by popular scientific and psychological theories."

People aged over 18 who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and otherwise same-sex attracted and residents of Australia are invited to participate in the online survey, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

"You will be asked to respond to statements regarding your beliefs about sexual orientation, your attitudes regarding your own sexual orientation, how you manage stigma, your experience of intimate relationships, and your mood and self esteem," said Morandini.

The data collected will not be personally identifiable and all aspects of the study, including results, will be strictly confidential.

"A report of the study may be submitted for publication. People taking part will be contributing to a rare academic attempt to discover the foundations of the same-sex community's beliefs about their own sexuality."

Morandini is conducting the research to complete his Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science.


Take part in the survey. 

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Media enquiries: Verity Leatherdale, 02 9351 4312, 0403 067 342, verity.leatherdale@sydney.edu.au