Why Homosexual Identity Should Not be Applied to Children
A sound identity, one based on self-worth and self-understanding, is central to human happiness. Identity is not automatic, and personal choices, to one degree or another, help generate the end product of human identity. Both nature and nurture lend to the process of self-actualization, but some social-emotional pressures, when erroneously applied during sensitive states of identity development, can lead to a lifetime of confusion, dissatisfaction, and pain.
The common use of phrases, such as “gay boy scouts,” for example, identifying members of a group of children as homosexual, is troubling, and very damaging. Identity, especially sexual identity, is not fully determined until adulthood. All children experience emotional and social vacillations during adolescence, usually ages 12 to 18, during which experimentation with relationship roles and personal identity occurs. It’s not until early adulthood, and sometimes later, that individuals become set in the identity that determines personal direction, purpose, affiliations, and belief systems. According to Erickson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, “Teens need to develop a sense of self and personal identity. Success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and a weak sense of self.” In other words, the teenage years are an exploratory stage, and if children are not allowed to develop an identity without exterior pressures and influences, they may be beset with a lifetime of confusion and poor self-worth. This is one reason why the use of terms which assume that any child is genuinely homosexual by identity is extremely dangerous.
The recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America which allows for homosexual boys to become members of scout troops, should offend everyone, not because homosexuals can’t be successful scouts, but because to identify a child as homosexual negates the very process of emotional discovery and maturation. Homosexuality is an aberration, and though many children, both boys and girls, experience feelings of same-sex attraction during the developmental stage of “Identity vs. Role Confusion,” those feelings usually subside and heterosexual identity kicks in for the vast majority of people. Homosexual individuals make up between 2% and 3% of the overall population despite the fact that a far larger percentage of developing teenagers have feelings, at some point, of infatuation with someone of the same sex.
Modern American culture places a premium on “tolerance,” so for an individual to demonstrate tolerance by fawning over a kid who identifies him or herself as homosexual carries a lot of social capital. Political Correctness requires that people not merely “tolerate” and accept those who have an aberrant identity, such as “lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and trans-gendered,” but they must be treated with a level of admiration and respect that effectively raises the self-identified abberant individual above social and moral reproach. Not only are they put on a pedestal, but behaviors found unacceptable in the typical population are accommodated, and even encouraged, in those who claim membership in the “LGBT” community. It is now ultra-cool to be homosexual, or similarly sexually deviant.
This presents a grave danger to the mental health and future prospects for happiness of teenagers who either adopt, or are bequeathed by society, with the identity of homosexual. The chances that a teenager going through a very natural phase of identity exploration will be labeled homosexual are greatly increased when social groups and cultural influences confer a false, but inflated, value on the quality of homosexuality. Boys and girls alike may become trapped by social, cultural, and even familial pressures, to lock themselves into a homosexual identity, when in fact, their feelings of being homosexual or bisexual, are nothing more than a passing hormone driven, emotionally exploratory episode of adolescence.
The Boy Scouts of American has sealed its fate by equivocating the principle of “moral straightness,” and altering its traditional policy regarding homosexuals. The bigger mistake is actually falling for the lie that boys can authentically bear a homosexual identity that is permanently fixed and will determine their life’s course. All of modern society; especially parents, teachers, church leaders, and leaders of groups designed to help children grow up to become successful and happy citizens, needs to step back and correct the fundamental error and cultural lie that teens identified as homosexual are born that way and will not, at some point, discover that their true and permanent identity is heterosexual.