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Gay and Lesbian Youth
Living in fear. That is the statement of 65% of gay and lesbian adolescents today. Attending high school as a gay or lesbian is like going to war. There is always the possibility of physical and mental abuse. Not only do these teens have to endure abuse at school, they also need to deal with abuse at home. According to statistics reported by Remafedi (1987), 50% of gay/lesbian teens reported rejection and abuse by family. Being a teenager whether gay or straight is a confusing time. In most respects youths with same-sex attractions are similar to all youths, independent of sexual desire. That is, an adolescent is an adolescent. Regardless of sexual orientation youths need the love and respect of parents, must negotiate their on-going relationship as they move toward adulthood, are concerned with peer status, desire love and sex, and wonder about their future. These are adolescent tasks that, although affected by sexual orientation, are confronted by all youths (R.C. Savin-Williams, 2001). The need of feeling accepted is overwhelming. There are often moments of despair, however most teenagers find ways of coping with stress. Peer and parental support is key to developing healthy coping methods. Gay and lesbian adolescents don't always have those support venues. …
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