Identity development in non-binary teens.
During adolescence, sexual orientation is integrated into gender identity as sexual maturity emerges. For heterosexual teens, public expressions of their sexuality expand as romance and dating often preoccupy the life of an adolescent. As stated in the chapter, dating serves many functions, including recreation, intimacy, companionship, and learning adult standards of behavior. For the non-binary adolescent, opportunities for development via the dating experience may be severely limited or unavailable. In addition, non-binary teenagers may face other challenges, including harassment and risk of suicide (Russell & Joyner, 2001). Despite the risks, non-binary teens do not show lower self-esteem or evidence greater emotional distress than a matched sample of heterosexual teens (Savin-Williams, 1995). Read the following articles, and discuss factors of resilience in psycho-sexual development in adolescence. Do you think research methods may contribute to the disparity?