Common processes in the homosexual identity formation of women in Japan

[Speaker] Nonaka, Mariko:1
[Co-author] Okamoto, Yuko:1
1:Hiroshima University (Japan)

In recent years, Japan's first same-sex partnership ordinance was established in the Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, Japan. Despite this progressive movement towards ensuring gay rights, the prejudice of Japanese society towards gays remains deep-seated. It is not easy to achieve an identity as a homosexual in such a society, and finding ways to support those undergoing developmental processes of sexual identity poses an urgent challenge. However, there is a paucity of empirical research dealing with this problem in Japan. Therefore, this study aims to elucidate the common processes of sexual identity development in Japan, with a particular emphasis on lesbian identity. As a result, most lesbians notice their sexuality in puberty and face confusion which is caused by environmental factors peculiar to Japan in between adolescence and adulthood. This results will ultimately contribute to consider better support systems for homosexuals in the Japanese context and augment their self-knowledge.
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