University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The loss of a spouse is different for everyone who experiences it. There is no universal pattern for bereavement, and there is a wide variation in what is considered normal or healthy grieving (Hooyman & Kramer, 2010). Researchers have found that spousal bereavement is associated with increased risk of mortality, decrements in physical health, and diverse psychological reactions; some experience ongoing, disabling levels of stress, some experience symptoms that gradually decrease over time, and many experience little to no interference (Bonanno et al. 2004; Stroebe et al., 2007). The loss of a spouse or romantic partner affects most individuals at some point in their life, regardless of sexual orientation. Despite the increased support for same-sex relationships, many still face bias and prejudice throughout all periods of life, and can be exacerbated during the loss of a spouse or life partner. However, little research has explored the differences in perceptions of bereavement experiences of gay and straight individuals. In addition, little research has explored the difference of experiences between perceptions of the perceptions of bereavement experiences between men and women. Using 160 participants, I will assess the perceptions of bereavement experiences of gay men, straight men, lesbian women, and straight women. I hypothesize that the experiences of women will be perceived differently than those of men. I also hypothesize that the experiences of straight individuals will be perceived differently than those of gay/lesbian individuals.
Funding was received from the SEARCH Award grant in the amount of $504. Special thanks to Dr. Ruth Walker for her assistance in completing this project.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Bereavement; Grief; Sexual minorities; Widows; Widowers
22 unnumbered leaves
Dickinson, John, "Effects of gender and sexual orientation on perceptions of the bereaved" (2021). Honors Theses.