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Confusion Over Sexual Orientation

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Does thinking about gay sex make you gay? What about experimenting with same-sex sex?

Your sexual orientation is a reflection of your sexual and emotional feelings toward people of the same or opposite gender. Although some people know early on that they are homosexual, others go through a confusing period where they wonder: Am I different? Could I be gay? Are my feelings just a passing phase?

The answer is there is no single answer. Your sexual orientation will emerge over time, probably little by little. You shouldn't label yourself as gay just because you've had homosexual feelings or even homosexual encounters. These experiences are very common among people your age. Or, you may realize over time that you're only attracted to people of your own gender. Or maybe you'll find that you're into both guys and girls - that you're bisexual.

Right now the best thing you can do is give it time and explore and experience your sexual feelings with an open mind. If it turns out you're gay, you'll probably face some unique challenges but you'll also get a lot of support along the way. The world's come a long way. It's still not perfect, but these days most people know that it's okay to be gay, and homosexuals have more social freedoms and legal protections than ever before.

You may have wondered what causes homosexuality. Why are some people gay and some people aren't? Truth is, nobody really knows for sure. Researchers used to believe that homosexuality stemmed from improper parenting (some people still believe this), but this just isn't the case. As best we know, what "causes" homosexuality is the same as what causes heterosexuality: the roll of the biological dice.

Today, sex researchers and doctors view homosexuality not as a sexual problem but as a normal sexual difference, much like green is a normal - if fairly unusual - eye color.

What all this means is that homosexuals are no more responsible for their homosexuality than heterosexuals are for their heterosexuality. It is not a "lifestyle" you choose for yourself as much as something you discover in yourself. Which is not to say it's an easy discovery. Even if you know that homosexuality isn't a disorder or a flaw, you may fear that your family and friends won't accept you if you come out to them.

Visit HealthyPlace.com Gender Community for comprehensive GLBT information.


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APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 30). Confusion Over Sexual Orientation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/psychology-of-sex/confusion-over-sexual-orientation

Last Updated: November 25, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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