Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Family Issues

By Joan F. Kaywell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Rights of Passage: Preparing Gay and Lesbian Youth for Their Journey into Adulthood

Patricia L. Daniel& Vicki J. McEntire


INTRODUCTION

The more we know about a topic, the more capable we are to fend off untrue statements and discount half-truths; however, conversely, the less we know about a topic, the more likely we will be prey to untrue statements and halftruths. In the past, people believed the sun revolved around the earth, the earth was flat, left-handed people were possessed by demons, slaves were inferior people, and slavery was even justified by the Bible. Today, in the technological and post-information age, we are living in a time when society is redefining how to treat homosexuals. Much of our society is trying to ignore the topic so that maybe it will go away. Some people are vehemently opposed to homosexuality based on their religious beliefs and fears that homosexuality will corrupt their children and all of society, while others believe that homosexuality is not at all evil and gays and lesbians should be protected by the same laws that heterosexuals enjoy.

Culture is subtly passed from generation to generation, and our American culture has taught us that homosexuality is unnatural, wrong, evil, and/or sick. Human sexuality is experienced along a continuum. At one end of the continuum are people who only have attractions and experiences with the opposite sex, and at the other end of the continuum are people who only have attractions and experiences with the same sex. Most people fall somewhere in between the two extremes, but approximately 10% of the population consider themselves to be homosexual and are having to make important decisions

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