Intergroup dialogue courses on sexual orientation: lesbian, gay and bisexual student experiences and outcomes.

Published: September 1, 2011

Abstract

Intergroup dialogue is a method of social justice education. Most intergroup dialogue research explores race and gender identities. Sexual orientation dialogues are uncommon and not yet examined empirically. This qualitative study explores sexual orientation dialogue courses from the perspective of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) student participants. Understanding target, or marginalized, group perspective of planned intergroup experiences is important given concerns raised in the literature. We document student motivations for participating in dialogues, core outcomes, and main challenges that arose in dialogue. Core outcomes include learning about and accepting one’s sexual identity and empowerment. Challenges include those stemming from invisibility of sexual orientation identity. Recommendations are made for intergroup dialogue practice and research.

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