GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 42



How and When to Tell Your Kids about Sex
A controversial potential contributor to the development of ­same-­sex
orientation is sexual abuse. The most common form of sexual abuse is
abuse by a male perpetrator on a female child, and much of this occurs
in the home, as we’ve discussed. Lesbians are more likely to report abuse
experiences than heterosexual women, and most of the abusers are men.
One outcome of such abuse could be a deep uneasiness with and anxiety
about male sexuality. Given the substantial number of women who experience some sort of abuse and the small percentage of women who become
lesbians, though, such abuse clearly does not directly or inevitably cause
abuse victims to become lesbians.
Gay men are more likely to have experienced abuse by male victimizers than their heterosexual counterparts, as well. Boys subjected to such
experiences may become prematurely sexualized in a way associated with
other men rather than women. Perhaps even more importantly, they are
highly likely to feel different from other kids, and to experience deep and
unwarranted shame about their sexuality, which can cause them to fixate
on physical attraction to other males.
Not everyone who experiences sexual attraction to the same sex feels
it with the same consistency and intensity; not everyone who experiences
sexual attraction to the same sex acts on it; and not everyone who acts
on it identifies as homosexual or gay. Feelings and even actions are one
thing; drawing on these to identify and embrace an identity is quite another.
Dr. Mark Yarhouse13 makes a helpful distinction between ­same-­sex attraction, homosexual orientation, and gay identity. ­Same-­sex attraction is not
uncommon, especially in adolescence. Many boys and girls, in the tumult
of puberty, have such attractions. Only some individuals who experience
­same-­sex attraction feel such attractions consistently enough over a long
enough period to be said to manifest homosexual orientation, and only
some of those who have fairly stable homosexual orientation actually go the
further step of embracing gay identity. Helping your child gain perspective
on the tumult of their feelings can be critical.
Problems Imported from School
Parents are increasingly encountering challenges from school systems as
teachers and school curricula and programs tell children to pick their own
sex and gender identity and normalize every imaginable variant. Policy documents like the Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe14 encourage this.
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