by Nima Reza
The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) is sending a letter to school superintendents asking that they not tell students who may experience same-sex attractions to simply accept that they are homosexual.
The group has launched the Web site FactsAboutYouth.com with material for educators and students. The letter cites studies that "demonstrate most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25."
One such study shows as many as 26 percent of 12-year-olds reported being uncertain of their sexual orientation, yet only 2-3 percent of adults actually identify as homosexual. Therefore, the majority of sexually questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity. Many schools, however, tell such questioning students that they should embrace homosexuality and identify themselves as gay.
Tom Benton, president of the ACP, said even children with Gender Identity Disorder, will "typically lose this desire…if the behavior is not reinforced."
"It is clear that when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to ‘come out as gay' and be ‘affirmed,'" he explained, "there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students who may merely be experiencing transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation. Premature labeling may then lead some adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue."
Joseph Nicolosi, founder of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, said that many studies show early intervention has an impact.
"Once you discover it, there are things you can do to diminish those attractions and to develop your heterosexual potential," he said.
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