Dr. Kimberly Balsam Concludes our Seminar Series!
Dr. Kimberly Balsam has been researching LGBT Psychology since 1999 with specific interests in victimization, minority stress, diversity within the LGBT community, health disparities, and same-sex couples and families. For our Seminar, Dr. Balsam was prepared to share some difficulties she’s come across for researchers in her field. First off, operationally defining and measuring sexual orientation and gender identities when they are consistently changing has proven to be a major issue when studying LGBT communities throughout the country. Secondly, overcoming individuals’ reluctance to participate can make or break the legitimacy of a sample group for any study. Thirdly, obtaining high quality samples of small populations is necessary for valid results. Although these are road blocks, for Dr. Balsam, LGBT research is important in order to counter myths and stereotypes with data, de-stigmatize and promote social justice. Over the past decade and a half, Dr. Balsam has conducted 5 studies that address sampling and measurements. From these she’s found it difficult to capture all intersections of an individual’s identity while also collaborating with members of specific communities due to finding someone with credibility that is willing to promote the cause.
Are you wondering if Dr. Balsam has any advice for future researchers in the field of LGBT Psychology? Of course she does! 1) Prepare for your ideas to be challenged by communities you are studying even if you have the best of intentions, and 2) advocate for more inclusion of sex and gender in records and trials.
Thank you to everyone who made our Seminar Series this Semester a success and we look forward to seeing you in Spring 2013!!