Think about the moment in which you became aware of your sexual orientation. Do you recall making a conscious choice to be gay or straight? Some believe that gender identity and sexual expression is a choice, or more likely, that “people choose to be gay.” The counter to that belief is that one does not “choose” his or her sexual orientation; it simply is. This week you consider how people’s reactions to someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation impacts his or her environment and experience.
When adolescents question their sexual orientation or gender identity, they encounter various reactions from individuals in their environment. For this Discussion, consider how people’s reactions to someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation may impact his or her environment and experience.
Post your answer to the following question:
- How might potential reactions to an adolescent’s questioning of their sexual identity, or gender role, impact their social environment, behavior and self-esteem?
- As social workers, what role can we play in assuring the best outcomes for these adolescents?