Culturally Competent and Diversity-Sensitive Practice and Cultural Humility 51 Individuals who identify as Muslim and practice Islam may share cer- tain beliefs, although the rise of radical Islam has obscured its basic tents, which emphasize • Living one’s life in service to Allah, the one true God • Valuing faith, humility, compassion, and family • Clearly defined gender roles A worldview that often has been overlooked is that of Native/Indigenous peoples. While each American Indian tribe adheres to its own set of values and beliefs, certain commonalties often exist: • An emphasis on spirituality and the belief that physical and mental well- being depend upon oneness with the physical and spiritual worlds • Respect for elders and one’s heritage and culture • Close family ties and emphasis on kinship networks • Fear, hopelessness, and mistrust resulting from the destruction of tribes, their lands, and their traditions Gender and Sexual Identity Students must understand the gender-based expectations that they and their clients are likely to have internalized and that guide their expectations for themselves and others. A gender-sensitive perspective also focuses atten- tion on institutionalized sexism and the ways in which women continue to be marginalized in contemporary U.S. society. Gendered expectations are deeply ingrained and exert a powerful influence on what is considered normal behavior for men and women. While many individuals’ internalized gender identity conforms to their assigned sex and gender role, many individuals refuse to be defined or identify with the gender binary identity of male or female. While individuals have been more will- ing to openly disclose their transgendered status (an umbrella term for a range of gender identities), they face discrimination and risk violence directed at them. Sexual identity (a term we prefer to the more widely used sexual orientation because we believe that it is more inclusive) is different from gender identity and refers to one’s sexual preferences and to whom one is attracted emotion- ally and romantically. Despite efforts to protect individuals whose sexual iden- tity does not conform to the accepted heterosexual identity, discrimination continues to exist, as does the risk of being targeted for violence. U.S. soci- ety remains deeply heterocentric, which may result in individuals remaining closeted and developing internalized homophobia and self-stigma.
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