Studying the aging process of "gay men" and "lesbians" is problematic because it assumes that sexual orientation as such is a valid ontological concept and research category. As a master status, sexual orientation by itself is not a particularly useful explanatory variable. Objectivity is further limited by the sexism and homophobia of both the sociological profession and its "in-house" researchers and theoreticians. Perceptions of gay/lesbian aging are particularly colored by the heterosexist emphasis on family life. Arguments are made that institutionalization of the elderly is really the political manifestation of personal and social values which are insensitive to the needs of minorities in general and "same-sexers" in particular.

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