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The Impact of Women Redefining Sexual Identity in Middle Adulthood It is becoming an increasing phenomenon that women are coming out as lesbians in their middle-adulthood While defining ones sexual identity is often a confusing time for youth it becomes that much more difficult for women as they get older As women age they are more likely to get married have children begin careers and settle into a lifestyle that is dictated to them by patriarchal rules The further they become saturated with the male dominated life the harder it is for women to become open to their own identity formation and needs It is instilled in women from an early age that it is expected that they learn how to cook and clean manage household bills raise children and be able to manage a home With increasing number of women having to work to help support the family they must also learn how to divide their time between career family and a husband For women who question their sexual identity the more familialprofessional commitments they have the more difficult it becomes for them to explore the possibility that they may be homosexual Other factors may also inhibit their identity formation process These include religious beliefs fear of rejection from family and fear of homophobia from friends and cowoorkers p 2 Research is indicating that women who come out as lesbians in their middle adulthood go through a second childhood These women go through Ericksons identity consolidation vs identity confusion and intimacy vs isolation stages all aver again Jordan Deluty 1998 They experience confusion and questions about their family life chosen job and their future career trajectory They
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