New guidelines for working with sexual & gender minorities

The British Psychological Society have just published guidelines for psychologists working with sexual and gender minority clients (also of relevance to therapists, counsellors and other practitioners). The guidelines are freely downloadable and available to all.

The document includes guideline statements covering:

  • The socio-political context and attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities
  • Key issues in sexual and gender minority work
  • Children and young people
  • Schools and families
  • Education and training
  • Professional development

Regarding bisexuality, the guidelines (which were produced before the recent Bisexuality Report) says the following:

“Bisexuality can often be completely overlooked as a potential sexual identity because Western culture is still prone to see gender and sexuality as ‘dichotomous’ (you are either a man or a woman, you are either attracted to a man or a woman, see also section on gender minorities below) (Barker, 2007).Therefore, many people feel pushed towards a gay/lesbian or straight identity rather than feeling that bisexuality is a legitimate sexual identity in itself.

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Guidelines for researchers

We were just made aware that there is an Open Letter to Researchers over on the Asexuality Studies website. It is good to see other groups engaging with how research on their communities is conducted as we did when we wrote our Guidelines for Researching and Writing on Bisexuality (which will be published in the Journal of Bisexuality by the end of 2012). Jacob Hale’s suggested rules for writing about trans are also a useful resource which we found helpful when developing our guidelines.