McNair Scholars Research Journal


Homosexuality has been a subject of controversy since before it was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in 1973 as a mental disease. Female homosexuality holds special significance because women have generally been victims of sexism, both subtle and blatant, which has led to harmful effects, whether through individual or interpersonal discrimination (Angela R. Gillem et al, 2000). These issues began to be recognized when the second wave of feminism came into play, also known as the Women’s Movement (Biaggio, 2000). There have been few investigative studies focusing on attitudes toward homosexual individuals, and fewer that look into gender differences in terms of how people perceive homosexuals. There are extremely few studies focused specifically on Lesbianism. This literature review will look at published research that focuses on female homosexuality and will examine shifts in perspectives that have occurred over the past thirty years. It will also provide suggestions for the next steps needed to increase acceptance of female homosexuality in American culture.