Sexuality is one of the most important and defining aspects of our lives. The human experience of sexuality not only involves the aim of procreation, but has several other functions as well. Sexuality can strengthen and deepen a relationship; can serve as a method to relieve tension; is widely seen as a way of self-expression; and not to minimize it, it is usually a joyful activity.
Humans have a far more complex sexuality than any other species. This kind of complexity broadens the opportunities to have more fun and derive more pleasure from sexual activities, but it is also a source of problems associated with desires, wishes and actions associated with sex.
Adolescence is often portrayed as a critical period of life when youth must take a dangerous passage between childhood and adulthood, especially as it relates to sexuality. Research focuses on the turmoil and instability of teens. The behavior of youth is usually considered risky and tumultuous, rather than creative or inquisitive. Adolescents are depicted as troubled and in need of intervention. Gay and straight youth occupy different positions on the line of instability and risk.
Emotional crisis and turmoil is not as common for straight adolescents who usually end up in a “proper” adulthood, while gay youth are a subculture, and have difficult relations with adults and heterosexual peers. Gay youth are a population at risk, according to scientific opinion. They are more likely to develop mental health problems, commit suicide, have problems with substance abuse, and under-achieve in school. There should be more emphasis on the risk-identified specific problems of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning) youth. LGBTQ youth are no different from their heterosexual peers in the sense that they need to form their own identities, but they have a sub cultural need for information and community as well.
Here are some tips for parents, who have a child with sexual confusion, or an LGBTQ identity:
1. Your kid is yours, regardless of his or her sexual orientation.
2. Accepting the teen, providing love, caring and support is the best way to prevent negative outcomes.
3. Don’t unintentionally encourage your child to lie (encourage honesty).
4. Adolescence is the time of experimenting. Do not take that away.
5. Sexual orientation is not a choice. It cannot be changed by any “therapy.”
6. The aim of sexually confused or LGBTQ youth is the same as their heterosexual peers: they want to grow up into a happy adult. You can help them more than anyone else can.
7. Youth who belong to a sexual minority, can be very useful and honored members of the community.
8. Regardless of their sexual orientation, you should teach and encourage safe sex to your children.
9. Apart from safe sex, you should set an example of people who can have a long-term, happy and fulfilling relationship. Yes, non-heterosexuals can have such relationships as well.
Monitor the activities of your child. Encourage age-appropriate behavior, and discourage inappropriate or dangerous behaviors. Read more and become informed. The internet is a great source for information on Sexually Confused Teens or Teens with Gender Identity issues.
This article is taken from the book “Sexual Identity? From Confusion to Clarity,” by Dr. Richard L. Travis.
This book is part of a series of books called “Dr. T’s Living Well Series,” by Dr. Richard L. Travis.
The series contains books for Parents on ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Obesity, Anger, Drug and Alcohol Problems, Low Self-Esteem, and Trauma and Loss. There are also books on Addictions in Physicians, Nurses, Pilots and Pharmacists. There are also books on Sexual Identity, Gay Relationships and Guided Imagery.
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