Thursday, January 03, 2008

Setting The Agenda

I'm a recent subscriber to Murdoch's Notebook (one of the only women's magazines on the market that doesn't double as a second rate gossip rag).

I generally love every article but I'm rather disappointed by psychotherapist Carolyn Parfitt's rather one-sided feature on teenage homosexuality.

It is somewhat fallacious to suggest that a 15-year-old girl has the emotional and psychological maturity to be sure that she is a lesbian.

To immediately come down on one side of the equation smacks of agenda setting.

Many teenagers and young adults experience a period of same sex attraction, particularly in the early days of determining their adult identity and when the flux of hormones come on stream. This often makes early sexual attraction unfocused and somewhat random.

To promote this natural process as evidence of homosexuality is doing this girl and her mother no favours at all.

It is important for parents to guide their children during this time, exploring with their child why they have these feelings. Considering that less than 4% of the population is homosexual, it is more likely that the attraction this girl feels is less sexual and more emotional. It may also be that this teenager is looking for a peer identity group that is outside the mainstream because she herself feels alienated from her 'normal' peers.

This is quite normal too.

Unpolitically correct as it may be, it is a fact that experimenting too early with sexual behaviour, whether hetero or homosexual, has profound psychological consquences and health risks.

-- Nora

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