Have you ever been gay or lesbian?

Homosexuality in Adolescence. Developing and dealing with one's own homosexuality

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Explanation of terms

3 The Origin of Homosexuality

4 Homosexual Development and the "Coming-Out" Phase

5 Social framework

6 Development position of the educational cities School

7 Creation of the questionnaire on homosexuality
7.1 The questionnaire
7.2 Evaluation of the questionnaire

8 Conclusion

9 Bibliography
9.1 Books and magazines
9.2 Sources from the Internet

1 Introduction

Mario is madly in love with Anke, Stefanie is totally into Thomas and Katja has butterflies in her stomach when she is with Bernd or Maike. I beg your pardon, did I read that correctly? Back to the beginning quickly. - Correct! Katja is in love with both Bernd and Maike. Many a modern person will smile about it and think that Maike is open to everything. In addition, it can be very exciting in a certain way to discover new things and possibly pursue what is forbidden. Anyway, we might all be a bit bisexual - at least in theory.

In theory and in conversation, the topic of sexuality always sounds very simple. Only when things get serious and a boy tenderly puts his hand on the thigh of his neighbor do all the alarm bells ring. Those affected have many questions. “I'm not gay, am I? How do my girlfriend and my parents react to my emotional chaos? What do you think others think of me? " And always keep in mind - “I hope nobody saw it”.

Love creates a certain kind of confusion in everyone and at first you don't even know how to deal with it. "How was it then when I was in love for the first time?" Each of us knows the unknown, strange and yet so moving feeling of the first great love. In the course of time you learn to deal with it and you notice quite incidentally that you are not the only one who feels this way or has left it. Young people too must first get to know the feeling of being in love and learn to deal with it.

Homosexual adolescents are plagued by their sexual inexperience and insecurity even more than the average teenager. One thought chases the other and questions arise after questions. If rumors or vulgar sayings such as “Hey, you fagot!” Or “Hey, you stupid lesbian!” Are shouted through the classroom, this triggers a very uneasy feeling in the young person concerned.

'Youth in the midst of social change', this is a very hot topic with regard to homosexuality. In the youth drama 'Summer storm' by Marco Kreuzpainter, which was shown in cinemas in 2004, precisely this topic, the self-discovery of a homosexual youth, found its way into the German cinema mainstream for the first time. I beg your pardon? Such a film in the cinema? This is guaranteed to be a flop, right?

2 Definition of terms

The term ‘homosexuality’, or homophilia ’, originally comes from the Greek and describes a same-sex partnership in which love, romance and sexual desire of the same sex play a role. “In a narrower sense, the term homosexuality is used for relationships between adult men. The homosexual relationship between women is called lesbian love (...), between adult men and young men it is called pederasty. "[1] Homosexual women are referred to as lesbians or lesbians, and homosexual men are referred to as gays. "The adjective homosexual is also applied to same-sex sexual acts between people of the same sex who are not gays or lesbians."[2]

3 The Origin of Homosexuality

Everyone is talking about homosexuality. The media are reporting more and more frequently about gay men and lesbian women. Even television series such as 'The L-Word' or the counter-rotating gay series 'Queer As Folk' are dedicated to the topic and run in the weekly evening program. Suddenly it looks like same-sex love is something perfectly normal. But where does this social change come about? The willingness to tolerate people who prefer a different kind of sexual love is growing in the western world. But there is still a mysticism surrounding the subject of homosexuality that it by no means deserves.

If you look at the number of all men in the world, an estimated 3 to 5 percent of all men prefer relationships with only one other man. For women who love women, it is only 2 to 3 percent. To this day, scientists, researchers, physicians and psychologists argue about what trigger there could be for homosexuality and what causes it. They have all been looking for the answer to the explanations of the origins of homosexuality for a long time. Same-sex love has always existed, but especially in today's society it attracts a lot of attention and tries to squeeze every activity and every individual into a category.

“It is not by chance that the term homosexuality was first created as an artificial word by German psychiatrists in the 19th century. The sharp separation of people into exclusively heterosexuals and exclusively homosexuals, i.e. in people who can only feel erotic and sexual feelings either only for women or only for men, is a historical novelty. "[3]

If one looks at the explanatory attempts that are made to investigate the origin of homosexuality, these can be roughly divided into three groups.

The first group deals with the theory that there are genetic causes for homosexuality. According to this, there is a 'gay and lesbian gene' that makes people love same-sex. However, to date, it has not been possible to detect such a gene using scientifically based research methods. According to a study, American researchers were able to show that the genes for homosexuality cannot be located on the sex chromosomes, as originally assumed. Rather, they are on the so-called autosomes, the non-sex chromosomes.

The accompanying theory that the mother's hormonal balance is crucial during pregnancy has now been refuted. In further investigations, the scientists now want to determine which genes are hidden behind the identified DNA segments. It is also still unclear how strong the contribution of the individual sections is to the development of a homosexual tendency. Nevertheless, it seems certain that no single hereditary factor is sufficient to genetically define the terms homosexual and heterosexual. Brian Mustanski, geneticist at the University of Illinois in Chicago, also believes that it is very likely that environmental influences could also play a not insignificant role in the development of homosexuality.[4]

The second group is based on social factors and influences that affect people especially in early childhood through to the adolescence phase. Empirical studies have shown that in homosexual and heterosexual people identical factors, such as the divorce of the parents, the early death of one parent or certain parenting styles, exist with the same frequency and that this is not a clear attempt to explain the origin of homosexuality.

The third group is of the opinion that so-called co-factors, i.e. genetic predestination in combination with reinforcement by the social environment, cause a homosexual orientation in the first years of life. This method, too, has at times not received any scientific support.[5]

Apart from these three groups, there have been repeated attempts at explanations by research in the field of psychoanalysis. The best known was developed by Sigmund Freud. I would like to take up these briefly here and explain them in more detail. In his book A Childhood Memory of Leonardo da Vinci, Freud deals in depth with the subject of homosexuality from a depth psychological perspective and states as follows:

“The boy suppresses his love for his mother by putting himself in her place, identifying with the mother and taking his own person as a model, in whose resemblance he chooses his new love objects. He's gotten so gay; actually he has slipped back into autoerotism, since the boys whom the adolescent loves now are only substitutes and renewals of his own childlike person whom he loves as his mother loved him as a child. We say he finds his love objects on the path of narcissism. "[6]

The greatest criticism of Freud's views has been his overly one-sided consideration of external factors. According to his theses, the cause lies in a constantly dominant mother and a father who shines through absence. For Carl Gustav Jung, too, who rarely commented on this subject, the mother plays a central role in his attempts at explanation.

“For Jung, the heterosexual component in homosexuality is unconsciously attached to the mother. However, the projection-forming factor is not simply the real mother, as Freud's psychoanalysis assumes, but the mother-imago: the archetypal image that the son carries within himself. "[7]

If one tries to summarize all attempts at explanation, it becomes clear that no clear roots can be found for the emergence of the homosexual orientation. Ultimately, it remains questionable whether one has to dig that deep at all to be able to consider homosexuality and to be able to assess it objectively.

I have taken all these theories into account in the preparation of my questionnaire in order to be able to draw conclusions from a reality-based point of view, which the different models of shaping and upbringing entail.

4 Homosexual Development and the "Coming-Out" Phase

As is well known, the psychological identity of every person develops in the course of a so-called life process. That means that this lasts for the rest of your life. The same is true of sexual identity, which is an integral part of this process. For the development of sexual identity, it is precisely the aspects of the early stages of life that are of decisive importance.

According to a study that was carried out in Berlin in 1999, young people who later identify as gay or lesbian develop the feeling of being 'different' in sexual terms between the ages of 12 and 15. The 'coming out' does not follow immediately, however, but usually occurs between the ages of 16 and 20. The same study also indicates that adolescents and adolescents receive too little information and too little support from their environment.[8]

5 Social framework

In recent years, the general social conditions in Germany have improved significantly, which has simplified a coming-out, the ability to be open to one's sexual orientation. In direct confrontation and careful approach between homosexual and heterosexual people, one can see that almost exclusively the straight people show defensive insecurities. However, this reflects an authentic testimony to today's conditions. The times of systematic discrimination and prejudice against homosexuals are coming to an end more and more. The subculture, which is living more and more self-confident and openly, has almost completely put aside its fears and confronts homophobic, conservative ideas directly with their dreaded 'otherness'.

But even in familiar surroundings, homosexuals face many hurdles that have to be overcome in their lives. After recognizing themselves and admitting that they are attracted to their own gender, the second step for many is outing. This often happens during puberty. For many, even at an advanced age or never. Nevertheless, in such a case one always has to speak of an identity crisis. For many of those affected, this can even escalate into attempted suicide or actual suicide.

Many homosexuals only admit to their inclination in certain social groups, such as friends and close confidants, and avoid going out with other groups, such as family and work. Mostly this is done out of fear or as self-protection, as the environment could react unpredictably to this message.

The search for like-minded people or a partner is not quite as easy as with heterosexually oriented people. The difficulty here is that the search often has to focus on facilities specifically designed for homosexuals. Every major city now has a thriving gay scene. These have long ceased to use the clichés that were associated with such places at the time.

From 17-year-old teenagers to 50-year-old managers, you will meet all kinds of people here. Heterosexuals are also quite open to homosexual people. They seem to be very interested in getting to know this 'new world' with their own eyes. Even the stereotypical appearance of a lesbian or gay, matured by clichés and shaped by earlier films, is no longer true to life. It is definitely no longer the case that one could assign every homosexually oriented person to their respective orientation at first glance or by their external appearance.

There is just as little a homosexual as there is a heterosexual. Certainly some gays appear 'tuntig' and some lesbians as 'cheeky emanciers', but the vast majority of homosexuals cannot be recognized by their gestures and facial expressions, or by their clothing. The majority live and behave completely inconspicuously for a 'layman'. However, it is precisely the minorities that immediately catch the eye who also want to show presence.

As already mentioned, the media have also been dealing with the topic for some time. The actually prudish Americans produce programs like 'Queer As Folk' or 'The L-Word' and in doing so take on many topics that move the scene in a humorous yet sensitive way. Social acceptance, identity crises and positioning problems are just a few of the problems that are taken up. Both series give an insight into the real world of homosexuality. In the media world, these programs are good advertising space for more respect and acceptance. The willingness to accept arises from the fact that what was previously said and done apparently behind closed doors is made transparent.

As consistently correct as it is praiseworthy, the movie 'Summer Tower' shows that aggression against homosexuals in young people mostly results from sheer fear. This does not concern the fear of the homosexual counterpart, but the fear of questioning one's own sexual identity. In the film, no jokes are made at the expense of the homos. Rather, they keep addressing the straight people, because after all, it is they who act stubborn and embarrassing when they come into contact with homosexuality and that only because of their exaggerated fear of contact.

Hopefully all of these factors will contribute to the normal way of dealing with the issue of homosexuality in the future. In school, too, this topic should be integrated into the curriculum alongside the existing sex education lessons, without the teacher having to experience stigmatization of himself or individual students.

6 Development position of the educational cities School

According to various studies, the knowledge of homosexuality in German schools looks pretty bad. So believed in 2003, according to a Berlin study[9] 11 percent of the students said that homosexuality was a disease and 24 percent believed that homosexuality was an abnormal form of sexuality. These prejudices result from inadequate education. Due to the lack of information and explanation, despite the ongoing social change, gay students are still often referred to in public as fagots and ass-fuckers. The common straight schoolmate seems to assume that the gays have nothing else on their minds than 'doing it from behind'.

Since most teachers do not know much about the subject themselves, the subject is hushed up or simply looked the other way. Most people find it uncomfortable or embarrassing to talk about it. The fact that the topic is a vital aspect, on which much more depends than just sexual passion, is usually only noticed with a higher education or increased life experience.

The fear of reactions from teachers seems unfounded in everyday school life.Even if it should be so in theory, it should not be overlooked that it is usually difficult for teachers to keep personal attitudes and opinions out of school. A purely objective point of view therefore seems almost utopian. Of course, the teaching staff is only a mirror of society, with more or less tolerant attitudes. From a legal point of view, however, it is forbidden for a teacher to treat students unequally, in both a negative and a positive sense, because of their sexuality.

With regard to the curriculum and education plans, the issue of homosexuality is also left under the table. In June 2005 a motion was accepted in the Bundestag (by the way, according to the "GAB" against the votes of the CDU / CSU), which calls on the federal states to anchor content such as 'sexual orientation' in the curriculum, as well as in the training of all educational and social workers Include professions. In spite of everything, the type and scope of the teaching was left up to the teachers.

The amount of time for the individual topics is by no means stipulated in the curriculum and education plans, so that this is also the free decision of the teacher. Ultimately, the subject of homosexuality unfortunately falls under the heading of the educational freedom of every teacher. The Bavarian state government thinks this, after a request from the parliamentary group of the Greens, is perfectly fine. With regard to the question put in the Thuringian state parliament in October 2005, this is at least partially successful. Because in Thuringia everyone agrees that "special preparation of educators with regard to homosexuality and its various aspects is not necessary."[10]

In my opinion, a certain amount of sensitivity and pedagogical knowledge is required, especially when it comes to the subject of homosexuality. Generally speaking, students are very vulnerable in the pubertal phase. You should therefore be careful not to make them feel insecure or even inadvertently suppress them with regard to their own identity. Precisely because this feeling is not known to everyone, you have to develop a certain feeling and empathy for such situations.

An unsuccessful introduction to the subject of homosexuality would be an attempt to educate people on the basis of HIV documentation. Of course, the topic of HIV is very often associated with the term homosexuality, but it is precisely these that make young people shy away from it. The fact that heterosexual couples have at least as much a chance of infection is usually withheld. Therefore, one should find another suitable way of providing information.

The federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have shown that there are positive and far-reaching implementations of the subject of homosexuality in lessons. In 2003 the Hanseatic City of Hamburg brought a brochure on 'same-sex relationships' to schools. The teachers are also obliged to address and work on the topic in an interdisciplinary manner. While in biology, for example, the sexual aspects should be discussed, in the subject history it is made clear which discrimination gays were exposed to and in German the paths and ways of life of homosexuals are to be brought closer on the basis of books and biographies.[11]

7 Creation of the questionnaire on homosexuality

In order to find out about the subject of homosexuality in adolescence beyond secondary literature, magazines and the Internet, I created a questionnaire. With the help of the Internet platform StudiVZ, I made this available to 30 homosexual women and men. In order to be able to carry out the survey and to address the broadest possible audience, I have entered myself into the following groups: 'Gays @ StudiVZ' and 'Lesbian group'. I then started a call in the respective groups and asked to participate in my questionnaire. There was great interest and after a few days I had 30 participants.

I decided to ask the questions very openly in order to get the most diverse and wide-ranging perspectives from the individual participants. However, I also had to accept that some answers had to be completely disregarded (marked by no information), as they did not in any way fit into the categories I created during the evaluation. I then created the evaluation according to the given statements as a 100% mark.

I have of course presented the answers to the questions anonymously in my paper. The mean age of the female participants was around 24 years and that of the males 22 years. A scientifically conducted survey or study should normally have at least 100 participants. However, due to time constraints, I was unable to carry out a survey of this size. Despite the small number of participants, it is still possible to make very good comparisons with the other studies already mentioned.

Table 1: Average age of the participants.

Figure not included in this excerpt

In the following table 2 I have shown all ages in a bar chart. As you can see, every age has its own color. So you can easily distinguish the pillars. The male and female age information can thus be compared directly. The y-axis is representative of the number of specified ages.

Table 2: Breakdown of the number of participants by age and gender.

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7.1 The questionnaire

1. When did you first notice that you could be gay?
2 How did you deal with it?
3. When did you first reveal yourself to someone and why to that person?
4. How do you try to explain yourself that you are homosexual? (prenatal / due to upbringing / or similar)
5. Did you have previous experiences with the opposite sex before your experience with the same sex? If yes, which?
6. Describe the situation in your parents' home. (Was there a dominant parent, a rather absent one?)
7. In which social circles (friends, family, work, university, club, etc.) are you outed, in which not?
8. Why is that so?
9. How did most of them react to your outing?
10. Were there any negative reactions to your outing?
11. Have you ever been exposed to violence (verbal or physical) due to your sexual orientation?
12. How did you get into the scene?
13. How did you feel when you first walked away on the scene?
14. Would you say that homosexual men have a harder time in society than homosexual women?
15. Did you learn about homosexuality in school? If so, what exactly and in which subject?
16. Is the subject of homosexuality adequately addressed in school? If NO, how should it be addressed?
17. Can you tell a difference (then vs. now) in how you deal with your homosexuality?
18. What social changes do you hope for in the next 10 years with regard to homosexuality?


[1] Brockhaus Encyclopedia (1989), p. 219

[2] Online: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexualit%C3%A4t [as of 04/30/2007]

[3] Schellenbaum: 1994, p. 12

[4] cf. Online in: http://www.freenet.de/freenet/wissenschaft/mensch/genetik/homo_gen/02.html [as of 04/30/2004]

[5] Online in: http: //www.wien.gv.at/queerwien/theor.htm) [as of 04/30/07]

[6] Freud: 1976, p. 59f

[7] Schellenbaum: 1994, p. 70

[8] Source: Same-sex relationships, a handout for teaching in grades 9 and 10 of secondary level I and upper secondary level, published by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Authority for Education and Sport (BBS), Office for Education, 22083 Hamburg, 1. Edition, year of publication: 2003

[9] see GAB - Das Gay Magazin, topic "Homosexuality in School", March 2007 edition

[10] see GAB - Das Gay Magazin, topic "Homosexuality in School", March 2007 edition

[11] See Same-Sex Relationships, A Guide for Classes 9 and 10 of Secondary Level I and Secondary Level II, publisher: Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg Authority for Education and Sport (BBS) Office for Education Hamburger Straße 31, 22083 Hamburg, 1 . Edition: Year of publication: 2003

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