Homosexuality, unlike many other psychological issues, is not associated with starting at birth. For the most part, it is an issue dealt with mostly by adolescence and adults. That is not to say that it does not become an issue sooner, it is just to say that it most commonly occurs later in life. Homosexuals have been the subjects of many studies to discover their multifaceted lives. These studies focus on steps and problems that homosexuals undergo and encounter on their journey to acceptance.
According to Papalia, Olds, and Feldman (2001), sexuality may be influenced by a series of hormonal and neurological events during gestation. If the sex hormones are within the typical female range between two and five-month gestation, then the child, whether male or female, will be attracted to males. Similarly, if the hormone levels are within the typical male range during these same months of gestation, then the child, male or female, will be attracted to females.
Genetics may also play a role in sexuality. Evidence has shown that children of homosexuals may inherit homosexuality. An identical twin of a homosexual parent may have as much as a 50% chance of being homosexual as well. Even adopted children of homosexuals have as much as a 10% chance.
Remafedi, French, Story, Resnick, and Blum (1998) conducted a study that consisted of 29 white, middle class gay men. They found that 31% became aware of their attractions to males around age 6. The mean age of first awareness was 11 years old.
Another study showed that homosexuals go through four stages; sensitization, identity confusion, identity assumption, and commitment (Beaty, 1999). The ...
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...n, R. D. (2001). Human Development (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Remafedi, G., French, S., Story, M., Resnick, M. D., and Blum, R. (1998). The relationship between suicide risk and sexual orientation: Results of a population based study. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 57-60.
Rosario, M., Meyer-Bahlburg, H.F.L., Hunter, J., Exner, T., Gwadz, M., and Keller, A. M. (1996). The Psychosexual development of urban and lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths. The Journal of Sex Research, 33, 113-126.
Sell, R. L., Wells, J. A., Wypij, D. (1995). The prevalence of homosexual behavior and attraction in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France: Results of national population-based samples. Archives of sexual behavior, 24, 235-248.
Zera, D. (1992). Coming of age in a heterosexist world: The development of gay and lesbian adolescents. Adolescence, 27, 849-854.
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