10 Gay Teen Myths and The Negative Influence They Have on Child Development


Friends at a coffee shop, by Helena Lopes

1. Poor parenting causes homosexuality

Parenting does not have an effect on sexual orientation. All the theories about overprotective mothers are myths because 90% of children with overprotective mothers are straight. This correlates with the general theory about the percentage of gay people in the population. Putting pressure on parents by stating that they caused their child's sexuality can have a devastating effect on the family and it can ruin a child's mental development.

2. Teens still have a choice in sexual orientation

Nobody has a choice in sexual orientation whether you aresixteen or sixty. You are born either straight or gay and it is neverbased on a choice. It is true that teens might not yet know what theirorientation is or might be unsure, but that doesn't mean that they canchange it. Telling teens that they have a choice can only damage thisfrail stage of human development.

3. Homosexuality is a mental disorder

No official psychological association sees homosexualityas a disorder, but by treating a gay teen as if he/she has a disorderyou could give him/her emotional and self-esteem problems.

4. Therapy can cure a homosexual teen

Since homosexuality isn't a disorder it follows that itcan't be treated. Trying to treat it with quasi-psychology is nothingelse than child-abuse.

5. If a teen feels attracted to someone of the same-sex he/she is gay

Before sexual orientation is settled a child might feel attracted to somebody of the same sex. This is at the stage where the line between a romantic relationship and friendship is still a bit fuzzy. Parents will do more harm by overacting if a friendship seems too strong between members of the same sex. Often we as parents are the ones with dirty minds while the children are just playing.

6. Adult gay people can recruit or change teens to become homosexual

It stands to reason that if being gay isn't a choice that somebody would not be able to change you. People are born straight or gay and all the recruitment in the world can't change a teen's sexual orientation.

7. Gay parents will cause their children to become gay as well.

Since nobody and no therapy can change your sexual orientation it should also be clear that parenting can't change a teen's orientation. If this myth was of children it should mean that straight parents would not have gay children.

8. Gay teen suicide happens because of gay relationships

According to a few websites it has been proven in Australia that teen gay suicides are caused by gay relationships and not by homophobia or family rejection. In the first place, research cannot prove anything. The only way to prove something is to go through every single gay teen suicide on the planet; the mentioned research only looked into 22 cases.

Secondly, suicides are caused by depression and depression is caused by a mixture of natural and nurtured aspects. The debate between nature and nurture has been going on for centuries and we are not sure whether nature (aspects you are born with) or nurture (things that happen with you) plays the biggest role. The idea that any research can pinpoint the exact universal cause of teen gay suicide is therefor ludicrous.

What we can say is that more stress can make depression worse and lead to suicide. Both family rejection and a failed relationship can play a part in giving a teen more stress. It isn't a question of one or the other. Both will play a role in causing stress that can ultimately lead to a suicide attempt.

9. Teen gay-boys have the largest risk of contracting HIV

According to statistics straight women are the fastest growing section of HIV positive people in the population. If that is to be taken serious it just follows that straight girls should be at risk

10. These days it is fashionable for teens to be gay

Again this is a stereotype that can only survive if you believe that being gay is a choice. The fact is that no responsible psychological scientist believes that anymore. At most we can say that homophobia has become unfashionable and there for there are more teens that feel comfortable to live outside the closet.

About the Author

Dr. Brand Doubell, is a sexologist, life coach, and relationship therapist in South Africa. He is co-owner and founder of the Cobrastone marriage program, the Cobragay group for helping gay people with rejection, and The Happy Clinic. He studied theology, philosophy, and psychology in South Africa and in the Netherlands. He has been a university lecturer for 15 years before he started to devote all his time to writing and his family. He has written numerous articles in academic journals, popular magazines, and the internet. Some of his books are available on Amazon and others are the intellectual property of the universities he wrote them for. His interests range from positive psychology to the effect of stories on healthy adapted individuals, and from gay-rights to gay spiritualism.

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