elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Ritch C. Savin-Williams (born 1949)

Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Ph.D, (born 1949) is a professor of developmental psychology at Cornell University who specializes in gay, lesbian, and bisexual research. He is currently the chair of the Department of Human Development at Cornell.

Savin-Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri in 1971. He later earned an MA in Religious Studies in 1973 and a Ph.D in Human Development in 1977 from the University of Chicago. Savin-Williams retrained in Clinical Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1989 to 1993 before completing his residency at Children's Hospital of Michigan.

Professor Savin-Williams holds a Chair in Human Ecology at Cornell University. His research focuses on adolescent and young adult sexual identity development and sexual minority populations. In addition to his research, he operates a small private practice.

Savin-Williams has appeared on Good Morning America and served as a consultant for 20/20 and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In addition, Savin-Williams has served as an expert witness in court cases about gay adoption, same-sex marriage, sodomy laws, and the exclusion of gays in the Boy Scouts of America.

Savin-Williams has made a name for himself via his work showing the more positive aspects of LGBT young people's experiences. He has related this to a blurring of sexual identity, and its corresponding relaxing of oppressive attitudes. Using the name of the Hollywood film, The Kids Are All Right he has written about the improvements in experiences of LGBT youth.

In 2010 Savin -Williams was quoted in a New York Times article about sexuality. It read: "Pro­fes­sor Savin-Williams says that his cur­rent research reveals that the fastest-growing group along the sex­u­al­ity con­tin­uum are men who self-identify as 'mostly straight' as opposed to labels like 'straight,' 'gay' or 'bisex­ual.' They acknowl­edge some level of attrac­tion to other men even as they say that they prob­a­bly wouldn't act on it, but … the right guy, the right day, a few beers and who knows. As the pro­fes­sor points out, you would never have heard that in years past."

Commenting on the article, Mark Simpson the UK journalist wrote: "An A ++ to Dr Savin-Williams. Not so long ago, when Het­ero­sex­u­al­ity was a proper belief sys­tem that com­manded round-the-clock obei­sance, 'mostly straight' would have been a hereti­cal con­tra­dic­tion in terms – like half preg­nant. But in this Brave New World of male need­i­ness it's just a state­ment of where we're at."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritch_C._Savin-Williams

Further Readings:

The New Gay Teenager (Adolescent Lives) by Ritch C. Savin-Williams
Series: Adolescent Lives (Book 3)
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (November 30, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674022564
ISBN-13: 978-0674022560
Amazon: The New Gay Teenager
Amazon Kindle: The New Gay Teenager

Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager's mental health or sense of identity? In this down-to-earth book, filled with the voices of young people speaking for themselves, Ritch Savin-Williams argues that the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers--as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal--may have been exaggerated even twenty years ago, and is far from accurate today.

The New Gay Teenager gives us a refreshing and frequently controversial introduction to confident, competent, upbeat teenagers with same-sex desires, who worry more about the chemistry test or their curfew than they do about their sexuality. What does "gay" mean, when some adolescents who have had sexual encounters with those of their own sex don't consider themselves gay, when some who consider themselves gay have had sex with the opposite sex, and when many have never had sex at all? What counts as "having sex," anyway? Teenagers (unlike social science researchers) are not especially interested in neatly categorizing their sexual orientation.

In fact, Savin-Williams learns, teenagers may think a lot about sex, but they don't think that sexuality is the most important thing about them. And adults, he advises, shouldn't think so either.

More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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