As a teenager, your body goes through hormonal and physical changes during puberty. These changes often awaken, or heighten sexual feelings, and attractions. They can also cause confusing, and a lot of questions. Those with intense sexual feelings may find themselves unsure of whom they are attracted to, and whether or not their feelings are normal. Often teens will experiment with their sexual orientation, or will hide their feelings because of fear of prejudice, hate, etc.
The following is a look at some questions about sexual orientation:
What does “sexual orientation” mean?
Sexual orientation is a term used to describe the romantic and physical attractions you have. If you are romantically and physically attracted to people of the opposite gender, you are considered heterosexual, or straight. If you are attracted to people of the same gender, your sexual orientation is called homosexual or gay. Girls are often referred to as lesbians, and boys as gays, however, gay can be used to describe both genders. In addition, you can be characterized at bisexual, which simply means you are romantically and physically attracted to both genders.
There are a lot of terms used to describe people with varying sexual orientations. Most people would agree that the “norm” in sexual orientation is that of a heterosexual nature, or straight. This has lead to a lot of derogative terms to be coined for those with a homosexual or bisexual view. Terms such as fag, switch hitter, dike, etc. all refer to the sexual orientation of a person.
Do you choose to be “gay”?
This is a question that is often up for debate. Most scientific research is inconclusive, and most scientist agree that your sexual orientation is determined by genetic, environmental, and emotional factors. Thus, biology, psychology, and environmental factors all play a role.
Most gays would tell you that it is not a choice, that they would never choose to be outside the norm, to have people be prejudice against them etc.
However, many people feel that there is an element of choice to the situation. They often believe that we all experience some attraction to the same sex at some point on our life, and it is a choice whether to choose to focus on and act on that feelings. Many people believe that just like what you read, view, think about, etc. influence how you feel about the world, the same is true of whether or not you are attracted to the same sex or the opposite.
Whether or not someone chooses to be gay or straight, homosexual or heterosexual, or is predestined that way by their genetic wiring is not the question, however, most people simply want to know how to feel about it.
As a teenager it can be uncomfortable to know someone with homosexual feelings, or to have them yourself. The best thing to do is to find someone who will support you, trust you, and not judge you, and ask them what you need to know, and discuss your fears, feelings, etc. If you can’t be friends with someone because they are gay, that is your choice, but there are good and bad ways to handle it. If you are gay and are afraid to be open about it, you have to make a choice. If you have questions about sexual orientation, ask them!