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Effects of Conservative Religion on Lesbian and Gay Clients and Practitioners
Practice Implications

Ski Hunter

ISBN: 978-0-87101-400-9. 2010. Item #4009. 202 pages.

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Heterosexism plays a key role in the views of conservative churches about lesbian and gay people. Effects of Conservative Religion on Lesbian and Gay Clients and Practitioners: Practice Implications offers a comprehensive study of the effects that conservative religious views have on gay and lesbian clients and on the social service practitioners who work with them.

The focus of this book is twofold:

  • Many lesbian and gay clients who come from conservative religious backgrounds are still religious, and religious organizations are prevalent in their communities. For these individuals, their religious background may keep them from completing the coming out process. This book discusses how many individuals cope with this conflict, providing a hopeful model for those still struggling. There are also chapters on working with lesbian and gay people who have little or no openness to a lesbian or gay identity, a group distinct from those who are open to a lesbian and gay identity and one that needs to be addressed in a different way.

  • Social workers who grow up in conservative religious environments can experience difficulties themselves – and create difficulties for those they serve – if they bring their religious views of lesbian and gay people into practice with them. To move toward affirmative work with lesbian and gay clients, they must be transformed. To date, little empirical work on how to change such practitioners has been done, but this book presents an important, novel program to transform heterosexist practitioners.

This insightful book will serve as a useful springboard for classroom discussions, and it constitutes a long overdue, invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned social workers alike.

Part I: Heterosexism and Religion

Chapter 1: Religious Views of Same‑Sex Attraction

Chapter 2: Views of Some Major Denominations

Chapter 3: Effects of Religious Condemnation of Same-Sex Attraction

Part II: Dealing with Conflict Between Religious and Sexual Identities

Chapter 4: Strategies for Reconciling Religion and Sexuality

Chapter 5: Unworkable and Unethical Cures for Same-Sex Attraction

Part III: Helping Lesbian and Gay Clients Work Through Conflict

Chapter 6: Working with Religious Lesbian and Gay Clients

Chapter 7: Clients with Little or No Openness to a Lesbian or Gay Identity

Chapter 8: Clients Who Are Open to a Lesbian or Gay Identity

Part IV: Working with Heterosexist Practitioners

Chapter 9: Conservative Religious Practitioners

Chapter 10: A Program to Transform Heterosexist Practitioners

Ski Hunter, PhD, LMSW, MSW, MA, is a professor in the School of Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington. She has written a number of books on LGBT people and done man workshops on the topic. She also teaches a course on this topic.