Adolescence is a time when youth explore their relationships with peers, both as friends and potential romantic or sexual partners. Despite the excitement, flirting, dating and sexual experimentation can cause stress for young people. It can be more challenging when a young person is attracted to people of the same sex. Youth have a sexual orientation even if they are not yet sexually active. Although there are many possibilities between being totally heterosexual and totally homosexual, people are usually grouped in 1 of 3 ways:. Heterosexual: Those who are attracted mainly to people of the opposite sex.
What is sexual orientation?
As people pass from childhood into their teen years and beyond, their bodies develop and change. So do their emotions and feelings. It's common to wonder and sometimes worry about new sexual feelings. It takes time for many people to understand who they are and who they're becoming. Part of that involves better understanding of their own sexual feelings and who they are attracted to. Sexual orientation is the emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction that a person feels toward another person. There are several types of sexual orientation; for example:. During the teen years, people often find themselves having sexual thoughts and attractions.
More on this topic for:
Most adolescents and adults identify themselves as heterosexual. However, paediatricians and other health care providers must be aware of the significant psychological, social and medical issues that face young people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Almost all of these issues arise from the stigmatization that these youth face, rather than from the orientation itself 1 , 2. Rather, the practitioner must create an environment in which the adolescent can discuss any questions or worries that they have, whether they identify themselves as homosexual, have found that they are attracted to people of the same gender, have had a sexual encounter with someone of the same gender or are confused about their feelings. The present paper reviews the relevant definitions, epidemiologies and approaches when working with gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.
Sexuality refers to how you feel and act in terms of sex. There are some related terms that may be confusing to understand. Gender identity is different from sexuality. This refers to how you view yourself in terms of gender. You may see yourself as male or female. This can be the same as the genitalia you were born with or different. Or you may see yourself as both male and female, or neither.