Are all girls a little gay?
Outing: is my child gay?
The sexual orientation
Puberty - the time of maturity and development. But now the anchors of sexuality are also falling. A big package full of fears, worries and uncertainties. Right now, young people often feel lonely and misunderstood. Especially when you find that your own gender is actually much more interesting than the other. Will it stay that way? Is my daughter really a lesbian? My son gay Countless questions arise: Should I speak to my child about it? Did I do something wrong in my upbringing? How should I handle it? In order to be able to answer these questions better, we called in an expert: Dieter Stieglitz is a psychological psychotherapist in Zeitlarn near Regensburg. In addition to the treatment of adults, his focus is primarily on the therapy of children and adolescents. Therefore, he knows both sides very well - parents and children - and was able to give us a few tips for you:
Homosexuality - are there any distinguishing marks?
A clear no from Dieter Stieglitz. Especially not during puberty, because now a certain infatuation with your own gender is quite normal and also important. When boys and boys - girls and girls - get closer, that is by no means an indication of homosexual tendencies, but rather the rule. After all, up to 40 percent of boys between the ages of 13 and 17 have sexual experiences with their peers, says Dieter Stieglitz. And in most cases, they would probably not even see it as a sexual act, but much more as a joke or a gimmick. The number of girls willing to experiment is probably even greater. Unfortunately, society with the hallmark gay or lesbian is quickly at hand. Which doesn't exactly encourage young people to make homosexual feelings public. Parents therefore seldom notice anything about these experiences. All the more surprising then is the outing.
How common is homosexuality?
Not least because of many social prejudices, there are no reliable values as to how many people in the general population are actually homosexual. The proportion of self-confessed gays and lesbians always fluctuates between five and ten percent - but in truth there are probably significantly more people: The Kinsey Report in 1948 classified between 90 and 95 percent of the population as bisexual to a certain extent. Because of the great fear of exposure, these inclinations usually remain secret. Ultimately, little is known about the unreported number of those who have not yet dared to take the big step towards coming out.
Suspicion! Should I speak to my child about it?
Here, too, a clear no from Mr Stieglitz. When you speak to your child directly about it, your own worries, fears, and insecurities will resonate. You won't open any doors like this - on the contrary. It is far more important to give your child a corresponding openness from the outset through an open-minded upbringing. Not necessarily for homosexual experiences, but rather that homosexual love is as much a part of our society as heterosexual love. And one thing is clear: with pressure you won't find out what you want to know. If your child finds that they are more homosexual, you won't be the first point of contact anyway. The person you trust is probably your best friend first, because here your child is on a level with the same questions and uncertainties. Don't be disappointed with that. It is important to let your child feel that they need not be afraid - fear that on your part the great disappointment will break in when they confide in you. Maybe you just tell him about your own experiences - for example one or the other experience from your puberty. Because: Nothing is more embarrassing for young people than talking to their parents about their own sexuality. And embarrassing situations are best overcome when the other person is also a little embarrassed and you can laugh about it together.
My child is homosexual - how should I deal with him now?
It is important to have a positive and above all open reaction. Your child must have struggled for a long time before they turned to you with their feelings. And there will still be some hurdles to overcome in the future. So what does it help if mom and dad fall from the clouds? You cannot influence your child's sexuality anyway. Why also? It has been proven that a person's sexual orientation has no effect on professional or personal success. Nevertheless: Adolescents in this situation have anything but easy: According to the statistics of Dieter Stieglitz, for example, homosexuals have a fourfold risk of suicide. And how well young people cope with their situation depends mostly on the reaction of those around them. This is why it is particularly important at the time of the outing that you have people who wear and support you. What Dieter Stieglitz reports from his practice underpins this: If young people got along well with their homosexuality and were able to deal with it calmly, then because parents and their surroundings were also open. Therefore: Be there for your child and show him that you stand by him - right now you are particularly important!
Did I do something wrong in my upbringing?
One thing is certain: whether your child is heterosexual or homosexual has nothing to do with upbringing. The causes of homosexuality have often been searched for, but nothing has been scientifically proven to this day. However, it is assumed that predisposition plays a major role: Using a sample of 40 identical twins, each of whom one brother identified as gay, the twin researcher Franz Josef Kallmann found out in the middle of the 20th century that the other was 100 percent of the time Brother was also homosexual. However, this was not the case with dizygoti twins. So genetics seems to play a role. Research based on learned behavior, on the other hand, could not find any connection between upbringing and homosexuality.
Will I never have grandchildren?
Difficult question! Many homosexual couples also raise biological children, but the fulfillment of a wish to have children is legally and biologically limited. For example, the legislature has not yet allowed artificial insemination in lesbian couples. However, there is nothing wrong with looking for a sperm donor. The question of whether or not to have children is a bit more difficult for gay couples, because surrogacy is still prohibited in Germany. Adoption law is also still under discussion.
You can also find out more about having children in homosexual couples in the article Happy as a rainbow family or in ours "Rainbow families" forumread.
Are there advice centers for parents?
BEFAH - the "Federal Association of Parents of Homosexual Children" offers help to parents, relatives and friends seeking advice. He also supports the formation of parent self-help groups and organizes joint weekends and conferences for information and exchange: www.befah.de
Recently, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs and the German Youth Institute published the results of the first nationwide study "Coming out - and then ??!" presented. Over 5,000 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 14 and 27 have reported on their experiences. Interested parents can take part in the study here see.
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