Gays/lesbianism: Analysis on sexuality
Discuss on Gays/lesbianism: Analysis on sexuality…………………
This article is about the developmental challenges of gay and lesbian adolescents otherwise known as the sexual minority youths and the need for continuity of care giving from schools and family. The articles are meant to analyze the aspect of sexuality on the young adults. As children grow up they experience body changes in each stage of the human development. Most of them start to become curious and would want to explore more. A majority of the young adults are in the state of confusion because they want to be identified with a certain clique or their peer group. These groups are likely to affect them positively or they end up destroying their reputation. In my own view, I would strongly agree for the continuity of care giving, support and encouragement from schools, authoritative figures such as the church towards the adolescent child. The growing child requires a role model or an individual to imitate and look up to. Most of the adolescents end up engaging themselves in dubious activities such as homosexuality simply because they no one was there to direct them in doing what was moral instead they look up to their own peers.
Culture has its own unique ways of distinguishing patterns of gender socialization. When a child reaches puberty, he or she experiences an identity crisis because the physical appearances in his or her body will tell whether their sexual organs are fully developed. In the traditional setup, the socialization progress of girls is narrower because they are highly restricted whereas for boys they are encouraged to have less contacts with their families and more contact with their peers (cite chap5.ppt (5)).
It is more pronounced that the behavioral and psychological difference between the females and males become more obvious at adolescence because of the intensifying pressures of socialization to adapt to culturally prescribed roles. Gender socialization in modern society has led to men taking up women’s roles and women undertaking men’s roles. Consequently, advocates of androgyny have argued that being androgynous is better than being feminine or masculine because an androgynous individual has greater character traits to apply in their daily lives. In addition, philosophers have argued that the most powerful social media is the magazine.
It is influential and it causes a lot of issues related to gender stereotyping. They display the most obvious focus on gender socialization especially for the adolescent girls. For instance, they stress the aspect of physical appearance as the target course for every girl pursuing a relationship with the male counterpart. An adolescent boy-girl relationship leads to feelings and emotions being exchanged. Sternberg, (1988, p.122) illustrates the latter using the triangular theory of love saying that it encompasses three fundamental qualities that is; intimacy, commitment and passion (cite chap 9 ppt (11)). Generally, sexual minority youths are aware of the same-sex attraction at the age of 10-12 years, they label their feelings as lesbians and gays at 15 years of age and they disclose their identity to their peers or parents at the age of 16 years.
According to D’Augelli (1998) more sexual minority youths at tender ages have become more aware of their sexual orientation because of the increasing social acceptance thus a context of gay and lesbian pride sets in. It is therefore presumed that gay and lesbian youths do not exist since the youths are merely sexually neutral and it is not until late adolescence that their sexual orientation forms.
In my own view, I agree that psychologists and educators ought to be aware of the challenges related to developmental changes present for lesbian and gay youths also the factors protective in agreeing for homosexual orientation. Families and schools have failed in addressing issues that arise from the sexual minority youths.
Issues that affect adolescent lesbians and gays are not given much thought, hence most of the adolescents live in denial and paranoia. There has been a total silence on this topic such that teachers are keen on punishing students for making racist remarks yet homophobic remarks on students go unpunished. The silence contributes greatly to the continual demonization of sexual minority youth. Sexual minority youths who struggle with homosexual interests long to explore their sexual attractions and feelings of love as they try to connect with their peer groups and community. According to Pollack (1998) they desire familiar places where they can derive their support, encouragement and love. Whenever they do not get this assurance, they end up being frustrated and negatively impacted. Testimonies presented by some of the sexual minority youths were submitted to the congress. A former high school student, Jamie Nabonzy from Wisconsin recalled on how he faced homophobic abuse and harassment,
‘I went through over four years of daily verbal and physical abuse…in the seventh grade, two boys wrestled me to the floor and acted out a rape on me while the rest of the class watched and laughed. In the ninth grade, two boys knocked me to the floor and urinated on me’ (Buckel, 1996a, p.2)
Benoit (2009) critically examines the impact of lesbians and gay practices in middle schools and estimated that a large percentage of teenagers are living in silence about their status. He recalled most of his interviews where the teenage boys raised concerned over rejection and attacks by friends upon disclosure of their status as homosexuals.Sex Researchers and Counselors indicated that most middle-school students nowadays are braving to come out in the public sphere to stand up for their rights as homosexuals. Youths in progressive cities still find it hard to expose their status unlike those in socially conservative areas. Geographically speaking, sexual minority youths in the rural areas and the south are reluctant and find it impossible to expose their identities as opposed to those living on the coasts. Middle school life for a teenage youth is characterized to be more of a “survival for the fittest arena” as opposed to a learning institution. A survey was carried out in 2007 0f 626 gay, transgender middle-schoolers and bisexuals across the country, reports of those sexually harassed as a result of their sexual orientation estimated to be 81percent while those who reported of physical assaults were 39% and those who claimed to be bullied were only 29%.
It is taking unreasonably long for educators and mental health professionals to be aware of the notion that adolescents are at a higher risk for failure in regards to their development process than their heterosexual counterparts. Peer counselors are not informed of the urgency they should place for the sake of these young adults otherwise the silence might creep in their lives affecting all areas related to their social, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being (Debra, T. and Greg, W. (2000)). Failure to take action by the educators and health professionals will result to youths facing risks such as substance abuse, psychological distress and suicidal attempts. When youths do not realize their sexual orientation they encounter a challenge which leads to them responding and recognizing their sexual orientation of a gay or lesbian person. They end up getting involved in activities that instigate intimate and sexual same-sex relationships.
In my own opinion, the homosexuals find it quiet challenging even as they venture to a world of self-exploration because they are faced with concepts of cultural denial, victimization, rejection abuse and stereotyping. Gays and lesbians have found it extremely stressful when it comes to self exploration since they experience cultural denial, victimization, abuse, harassments, rejection from peers and parents and stereotyping. From a developmental perspective, gays, lesbians and adolescents are in a ‘high risk” context since they are trying to make sense of their homosexual feelings within the context of homophobia and heterosexisms. It is unfortunate that minors who face high risk contexts are prone to parental psychopathology, child maltreatment, domestic violence and substance abuse.
In my opinion, school psychologists must have increasing knowledge of the unique developmental needs of lesbians and gays and responding to their needs with understanding and support. Furthermore they have an ethical responsibility to evaluate their beliefs and attitudes about homosexuality. They need to be equipped with issues related to sexual orientation. There is need for educationists and school counselors to examine their language on how they ought to communicate to the gays and lesbians so that they would not feel humiliated and dejected by the society. This can be made possible through seminars and educational forums for teachers and counselors on communication skills and awareness topics geared towards the lesbians and the gay.
Adolescents require parental guidance and support. Virtues are developed from the family institution then passed on from the school and later on from the entire society. Young adults learn a lot from their parents and peers therefore close monitoring and mentoring have to be implemented in order to guide them as they grow up it is evident that guardian, parents, and authorities have failed in the area of mentorship. Discussing sensitive matters affecting the sexual minority youths is a taboo amongst some cultures and no one wants to be seen participating in such. Unfortunately, many parents have threatened to chase away their children upon disclosure of such information and most of the young adults have opted to look for alternatives like running away from home so as to protect their identities. It is important for every parent and guardian to be aware of their child’s growth and behavior so that they may not compromise their academic achievement and future career.
Benoit, D.(2009).Coming out in Middle School: The School Issue,Juniour High: The New York Times,www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27
Buckel, D. (1996a). Stopping anti-gay abuse of students in public high school: A legal
perspective. New York, NY:Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Debra, T. & Greg, W. (2000). An Attachment Perspective on the Developmental Challenges of Gay and Lesbians Adolescents; The need for continuity of care giving from family and school.Vol 29.No.2 ( p158-172).
D’Augelli, A. R. (1998). Developmental implications of victimization of lesbian, gay, and
bisexual youths. In G.M. Herek (Ed.), Psychological perspectives on lesbian and gay issues. Vol. 4: Stigma and sexual orientation: Understanding prejudice against lesbians gay men, and
bisexuals (pp. 187-210). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Pollak, E, J. (1993). Homophobia in the high school: A problem in need of a resolution.
The High School Journal, 77,177-185.
Power point presentations: See cite chap 5& chap 9
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