Sex Q&A: How To Approach My Son If I Think He’s Gay This week, Dr. Read shares stats from the Kinsey Institute and helps a parent communicate with their son about their sexuality. BY DR. TRINA READ
The Kinsey Institute found that there are a wide range of sexual activities, making "normal" difficult to define.
“ There is enormous variety in the average person’s sexual repertoires with more than 40 combinations of sexual activity.”
Sex and relationship expert, Dr. Trina Read, is ready to answer your questions, but first, let's start with some stats.
The Kinsey Institute asked more than 6,000 men and women aged 14 to 85 extremely intimate questions about their sex life. Here are a few highlights from the study.
There is enormous variety in the average person’s sexual repertoires with more than 40 combinations of sexual activity.
About 85 percent of men report that their partner had an orgasm; compared to 64 percent of women who report having had an orgasm. (Does this surprise anyone?)
Men are more likely to orgasm when sex includes vaginal intercourse; women are more likely to orgasm when there is a variety of sex acts, including oral sex or vaginal intercourse.
Many older adults continue to have active, pleasurable sex lives (hurrah!).
Adults over 40 have the lowest rates of condom use (shame, shame) and need to get some sex education on STI risks and prevention.
Most U.S. adolescents are not—I repeat not—engaging in partnered sexual behavior. While 40 percent of 17-year-old males reported vaginal intercourse in the past year, only 27 percent reported the same in the past 90 days.
Great Sex Tip: There is no "normal" or average amount of sex anyone is having. The Kinsey study proves the quality and quantity of sex you have depends on where you are at in your life.
I think my son is gay. What’s the best way for me to approach him?
First of all, know he’s normal. About 7 percent of adult women and 8 percent of men identify as gay.
Today, the average age for kids to come out is 17 years old. However, it’s important you do not confront your child with your suspicions until they have come to terms with their homosexuality. Chances are you will be told first.
It’s common for you and your spouse to adjust at different rates. If either are extremely uncomfortable vent to someone outside the family—not to your child—such as a therapist or trusted friend.
Parents who struggle the most worry they’ve done something wrong. Once upon a time psychiatry blamed parents, and in particular mothers, for their children’s homosexuality.
Parents who deal with this best believe homosexuality is inborn; that the child was born gay and this could not be changed.
Informing the gay child’s siblings should be handled carefully. For example, they might be stigmatized at school with peers taunting they are also gay.
Finally, some parents worry their gay child is "choosing" a path that will only create heartache and push them to go "straight." Trust me, this will only lead to many tears, and years of family conflict.
Dr. Trina Read is the founder of VivaXO.com; a leading relationship and sexual health expert and educator; and is a best selling author, media expert, syndicated blogger, international speaker, magazine columnist, and spokeswoman. Trina has just launched Sensual Tastes Events, an interactive workshop blending the pleasures of food and sex education. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.