Dr Vivienne Cass is a consultant clinical psychologist and specialist in human sexuality, who currently holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Health (Sexology Program) at Curtin University in Western Australia.
Her work in the area of sexual orientation emerged in the 1970s when she first began to develop her theory of homosexual identity formation. This theory was published in the Journal of Homosexuality in 1979. Based on this article, she was awarded the Theory Development Award from the Gay Academic Union of America (1979) and was nominated as a finalist for the Hugo Beigel Research Award offered by the Journal of Sex Research (1981). A number of other journal articles and book chapters followed this original article, further expounding the theory. Over the last thirty-five years, the theory has been cited consistently in research, used by health practitioners in their work with clients and taught by educators in the health and counselling fields. Dr Cass continues to engage in discussions on the topic of lesbian and gay identity formation with colleagues and students around the globe.
Dr Cass is also the author of two other BOOKS, The Elusive Orgasm: A woman's guide to why she can't and how she can orgasm (now in 7 languages) and There's More to Sex than AIDS: The A to Z Guide to Safe Sex (now out of print). She is the creator of a sex education APP, Explore Women's Sex, the first to be listed in the AppStore and has produced a set of sex EDUCATION POSTERS called The Illustrated Clitoris.
She also lectures in sexual therapy, presents conference papers, examines graduate theses, supervises other health professionals, reviews journal papers, mentors students and clinicians and provides media interviews. Dr Cass is currently working on a new theory in the area of attractions.
Why do you write?
I only write when I think I have something new to say. I am a clinical psychologist by training so of course I am interested in what makes people tick, what makes them behave the way they do. However, I seem to have a mind that often sees things from a different angle to others and when I think this different perspective is useful, then I am driven to write it down.
What do you mean when you say you feel 'driven' to write?
I mean that it's hard for me to say, "well, it would be good to write about that idea I just had, but right now I'll leave it and instead do something else (ie, relax and enjoy myself)". If I think the idea offers a new way of looking at things, or will help people understand themselves better, then I just HAVE to write it down. Believe me, there are plenty of times when I wish I didn't feel this way. Writing is still 90% sweat, regardless of how attractive the topic is.
In this brief overview of her theory, Dr Cass integrates, for the first time, the many facets of her theory that have previously been dispersed throughout various publications. This book will be an excellent resource for researchers, educators and health professionals, both those new to the theory and those wishing to confirm their understanding of it.