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At what age is a person aware of their sexuality
Posted: 29 September 2013 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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It’s all desire man. Everyone has it but for different things. I have met several who feel the way that I do and focus on living the life and looking the part, no mater how long it takes. I was, personally bitter about my situation. Mine was made more complex by the fact that my dad was a red neck and my mom was and still is a Jehovah’s Witness. You can imagine how pleased they were when they caught me in a one piece bathing suit with toilet paper breasts.

I’m lucky they didn’t burn me at the stake.

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Posted: 29 September 2013 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I agree that the preference to be one or the other sex is quite different from being attracted to one or the other sex.  I had no interest to the point of zero awareness of the sexuality of my companions until I was about fourteen.  I was only interested in science and chose my friends who had similar proclivities.  It happened that most but not all of them were male.  It was only when I was fifteen that a female member of our group who was both far more mature and more intelligent than I, jolted me out of my innocence.  I could probably have gone another two or three years of not seeing sexual attractiveness in anyone if it hadn’t been for her.  smile

As such, I find that picture incription to be that of an adult interpretation of both a kid’s liking his friends who happen to be male, and the kid’s trying to make sense of the adult converstions his parents and their friends have.

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Posted: 29 September 2013 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I think we need to understand that the answer will be different for different people. In all likelihood there is a standard bell curve distribution for the age at which a person realizes their sexual preferences. What you really want to know is the youngest age at which someone might already know their preference.

Already the answers from several people on this thread show a scattering of ages. I think I must be a bit of an early bloomer because i remember having impure thoughts about Annette Funicello when I was watching the Mickey Mouse show around age 5. I also remember tripping and falling on purpose the following year in kindergarten when the girls would chase the boys and try to kiss them. Of course I pretended to hate it and fight them off when I got caught and just assumed the other guys were pretending as well but who knows.

At any rate, the lower limit is at least 5 yrs old but possibly lower unless I’m the extreme end of the spectrum.

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Posted: 30 September 2013 02:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I remember being much more interested in the rough and tumble toys of the boys. We used to play ‘war games’, baseball, basketball. football etc with me usually organizing the games. I had no interest in dolls, I thought they were a waste of time, but I was also aware I was a girl, and had no desire to be a boy. I was also not a lesbian although i can’t remember being interested in boys until I hit my teens. I still liked to play ball with them rather than the girls, and all through high school, I had many more male friends than female friends.

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Posted: 01 October 2013 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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TimB - 27 September 2013 12:39 AM
Lois - 26 September 2013 10:39 PM
TimB - 25 September 2013 09:00 PM

Also, just from the picture, I don’t think that we know the dad’s motivation for posting it with the accompanying message.  I don’t think that we can safely assume that the dad is an ideologue on the level of those in Westboro Baptist or PETA.  For all we know, he could just be a father resolving his own sense of discomfort with homosexuality with his love and his protective paternal instincts for his son.

I think someone posted that with the nefarious intent.  I don’t know what it is yet, but I can’t imagine that an actual parent would have posted a picture of his child with those words. I smell a rat.

Lois

If you smell a rat, perhaps there is one.  (I don’t know what a rat smell’s like.)

But I can imagine a Bubba who has always had underlying homophobic feelings, upon being told by his 7 year old son, that he (the son) is gay, going overboard in his reactions, in trying to relieve the cognitive dissonance of loving his son who, he has just learned, or thinks he has just learned, is gay. (Who knows if the kid is really mature enough to know if he really is gay.)  Hence, he (the father) highlights his son’s self confidence as his own (the father’s) accomplishment, and can then feel okay about his son’s “gayness”, and yet can still resolve any underlying anger by kicking the ass of anyone who says anything bad about his son.

Just a hypothesis.

No, I can’t see a Bubba doing that. History has shown he would fight tooth and nail to deny it, even to the point of putting the kid in military school to “make a man out of him.”

The rat I smell is a homophobe who put that picture and text on the Internet thinking it would shame people who are not homophobes because he thinks he is making them look ridiculous. In fact it only makes homophobes look ridiculous, but, of course, homophobes would never understand anything that subtle.

Lois

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Posted: 01 October 2013 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Lois - 01 October 2013 03:58 PM

The rat I smell is a homophobe who put that picture and text on the Internet thinking it would shame people who are not homophobes because he thinks he is making them look ridiculous. In fact it only makes homophobes look ridiculous, but, of course, homophobes would never understand anything that subtle.

Lois

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Excellent point.

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Posted: 03 October 2013 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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macgyver - 29 September 2013 07:30 PM

I think we need to understand that the answer will be different for different people. In all likelihood there is a standard bell curve distribution for the age at which a person realizes their sexual preferences. What you really want to know is the youngest age at which someone might already know their preference.

Already the answers from several people on this thread show a scattering of ages. I think I must be a bit of an early bloomer because i remember having impure thoughts about Annette Funicello when I was watching the Mickey Mouse show around age 5. I also remember tripping and falling on purpose the following year in kindergarten when the girls would chase the boys and try to kiss them. Of course I pretended to hate it and fight them off when I got caught and just assumed the other guys were pretending as well but who knows.

At any rate, the lower limit is at least 5 yrs old but possibly lower unless I’m the extreme end of the spectrum.

How impure can a five year old’s thoughts be?

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Posted: 03 October 2013 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Lois - 01 October 2013 03:58 PM

The rat I smell is a homophobe who put that picture and text on the Internet thinking it would shame people who are not homophobes because he thinks he is making them look ridiculous. In fact it only makes homophobes look ridiculous, but, of course, homophobes would never understand anything that subtle.

Lois

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It’s probably less complex then that.

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Posted: 03 October 2013 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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mid atlantic - 03 October 2013 04:00 AM
macgyver - 29 September 2013 07:30 PM

I think we need to understand that the answer will be different for different people. In all likelihood there is a standard bell curve distribution for the age at which a person realizes their sexual preferences. What you really want to know is the youngest age at which someone might already know their preference.

Already the answers from several people on this thread show a scattering of ages. I think I must be a bit of an early bloomer because i remember having impure thoughts about Annette Funicello when I was watching the Mickey Mouse show around age 5. I also remember tripping and falling on purpose the following year in kindergarten when the girls would chase the boys and try to kiss them. Of course I pretended to hate it and fight them off when I got caught and just assumed the other guys were pretending as well but who knows.

At any rate, the lower limit is at least 5 yrs old but possibly lower unless I’m the extreme end of the spectrum.

How impure can a five year old’s thoughts be?

I only have a vague recollection of it. Impure was probably too prurient a term. I wasn’t picturing her naked but I definitely recall it being a romantic attraction if not actually sexual or physical. There was no question at the age of 5 which gender I was attracted to.

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Posted: 03 October 2013 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Some expert information might be helpful - or at least Wikipedia.

Several attempts by me to give links or quotes have been labelled spam by the forum security program. Hm. Just google ‘gender identity’; there is a basic article on that and gender confusion at a site called healthychildren dot org, and a pile of the usual at Wikipedia under the same phrase.

Chris

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Posted: 03 October 2013 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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inthegobi - 03 October 2013 09:23 AM

Some expert information might be helpful - or at least Wikipedia.

Several attempts by me to give links or quotes have been labelled spam by the forum security program. Hm. Just google ‘gender identity’; there is a basic article on that and gender confusion at a site called healthychildren dot org, and a pile of the usual at Wikipedia under the same phrase.

Again, I suggest using a URL shortener like bit.ly with recalcitrant URLs.  I don’t know that it’s foolproof but it has worked for me in the past.

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Posted: 08 October 2013 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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TimB - 27 September 2013 12:55 AM

Or, the father truly thinks that this is a way to express his feelings about his son’s perceived homosexuality in a way that will promote society’s acceptance of homosexuality, in general, and in particular, acceptance of his son’s homosexuality.

Just another hypothesis.

Or as Wu suggests, the father is an ideologue using his son as a pawn to promote the issue of society’s acceptance of homosexuality.
Also a hypothesis.  Not my first hypothesis, as it is also difficult for me to conceive of a parent that loves an ideological agenda more than his own son.

Or, as Lois implies another hypothesis, someone got a picture of some anonymous little kid, put the caption on it, and posted it on the internet, to promote their own agenda.

It’s a mystery.  Will we ever truly know?

No. We only know that some people have little knowledge and very ugly opinions about sex (and probably a lot of other things).

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Posted: 11 October 2013 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Well, I am gay and well before puberty or any pronounced sexual awakening, I was aware of some “gay” tendencies. Even more significant, I recall having “childhood crushes” (probably somewhere around the age of 7) and they were NOT for girls. So, how do you respond to that? There are many many other anecdotal stories from other gay people with similar stories (and some I know who are are “closeted” and have no interest or political agenda (as you suggest) for making such assertions.


Also, the picture you posted may not be real. On many social media sites there are pictures an GIFs with captions saying just about anything, so I wouldn’t let something like that be the impetus for your “irritation.”

Also, there was some discussion above…sexual orientation and gender identity are absolutely different but there is no need for me to post a wall of text regarding the differences when you can simply google it and research it for yourself, if it is of interest.

[ Edited: 11 October 2013 06:09 AM by FinallyDecided ]
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Posted: 11 October 2013 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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FinallyDecided - 11 October 2013 05:36 AM

Well, I am gay and well before puberty or any pronounced sexual awakening, I was aware of some “gay” tendencies. Even more significant, I recall having “childhood crushes” (probably somewhere around the age of 7) and they were NOT for girls. So, how do you respond to that? There are many many other anecdotal stories from other gay people with similar stories (and some I know who are are “closeted” and have no interest or political agenda (as you suggest) for making such assertions.


Also, the picture you posted may not be real. On many social media sites there are pictures an GIFs with captions saying just about anything, so I wouldn’t let something like that be the impetus for your “irritation.”

Also, there was some discussion above…sexual orientation and gender identity are absolutely different but there is no need for me to post a wall of text regarding the differences when you can simply google it and research it for yourself, if it is of interest.

The topic is not what you know of being gay now. It is what you knew then. No one is saying you didn’t have feelings then, but what you understood about the feelings you had at the time and age you had them. I don’t think I can be more clear than that. If someone can be, please do so. Thank you.

As far as the picture goes, it may very well be fake, but the question still remains about the childhood recognition of degrees of attraction.

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Posted: 11 October 2013 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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WuCares - 11 October 2013 06:38 AM
FinallyDecided - 11 October 2013 05:36 AM

Well, I am gay and well before puberty or any pronounced sexual awakening, I was aware of some “gay” tendencies. Even more significant, I recall having “childhood crushes” (probably somewhere around the age of 7) and they were NOT for girls. So, how do you respond to that? There are many many other anecdotal stories from other gay people with similar stories (and some I know who are are “closeted” and have no interest or political agenda (as you suggest) for making such assertions.


Also, the picture you posted may not be real. On many social media sites there are pictures an GIFs with captions saying just about anything, so I wouldn’t let something like that be the impetus for your “irritation.”

Also, there was some discussion above…sexual orientation and gender identity are absolutely different but there is no need for me to post a wall of text regarding the differences when you can simply google it and research it for yourself, if it is of interest.

The topic is not what you know of being gay now. It is what you knew then. No one is saying you didn’t have feelings then, but what you understood about the feelings you had at the time and age you had them. I don’t think I can be more clear than that. If someone can be, please do so. Thank you.

As far as the picture goes, it may very well be fake, but the question still remains about the childhood recognition of degrees of attraction.

You must account for the historical context and social milieu in which a 7 year old is making such declaration. A gay youth thirty years ago vs. a gay youth in 2013 are likely going to produce two very different levels of understanding. Seven year olds in present day society are likely to be much more aware of what the term “gay” may mean. Obviously there are levels of attraction based on age and a prepubescent individual is going to lack the actual sexual portion, so there is your answer…they can only know they are gay to the degree to which they are developed and no one can give you an age as you originally ask. In addition, there are various psychological theories that likely require consideration such as Fredian theories which seem to assert sexual development extremely early with very slow and gradual development, but that is going to depend on what theories you buy into. Aside from the original question, would you apply the same logic to a similarly heterosexual framed situation? If a male child said, “I think (insert female name) is pretty and I want to marry her”? Would you stop and ponder, “now how can he be certain he is heterosexual?” You must ensure you’re not applying heteronormative thinking. And, if you are wondering why a 7 year old may actually declare or use the term “gay,” it is most likely because we live in a heteronormative society where heterosexuals don’t have to “come out” or declare their orientation (so there is no attention given to it); however, the homosexual is a minority and is more likely to make declaration of their status as not to be mixed into or presumed to be something that he or she is not. And again, kids now are more aware of the term “gay,” so naturally it is going to be applied. In conclusion and to relate back to what you just asked, “...but the question still remains about the childhood recognition of the degrees of attraction” well, it is just that…a 7 year old is going to understand the terms of being gay to the fullest degree he or she is aware of his or her attractions (this may just be simply feeling someone of the same sex is aesthetically appealing in a non sexual way) ranging all the way up to an 18 year old who is most likely fully sexually developed with a better understanding and actual sexual attraction to someone of the same sex.

From the perspective of a gay man, that’s the best explanation I can offer. Hope it helps. smile

[ Edited: 11 October 2013 07:45 AM by FinallyDecided ]
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