Sexual identity development and heteronormativity

Rebecca Harvey, Linda Stone Fish, Paul Levatino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Sexual identity development has traditionally been theorized about from within heteronormative societies founded on patriarchal notions with links to misogyny, racism, and classism, among others. These forms of domination have constrained the way sexual identity has been conceived of, researched and written about within the mental health fields and limited the efficacy of clinical work with all people but especially sexual minorities and those who are gender non-binary. In this chapter the authors will deconstruct heteronormativity, examine the deleterious effect of it on mental health, and locate the influence of intersections of oppression on the field of SFT theory and in clinical work. An LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex) affirmative clinical framework developed from systems theory and queer theory will be outlined, and then a case study using the framework will be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy, Set
PublisherWiley Blackwell
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)9781119438519
StatePublished - Aug 26 2020


  • Family therapy
  • Heteronormativity
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Sexual identity
  • Systemic family therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual identity development and heteronormativity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this