Nov 212012

Trouble viewing translation? Select your default language using Google Translate near top of page. Please be patient with machine translation as it is an evolving technology.

On November 6 the Constitutional Court It gave the "yes I want" to same-sex marriage, claiming that this is perfectly compatible with the Spanish Constitution. It seems that something is changing in the society. José Pedro Espadas, researcher and Professor at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (Alicante), He has seen that changeAfter a study on homosexuality in teens.

In his work, whose data have been published in the journal psychological "Anxiety and stress", analyzed the responses of 833 Spanish adolescents (aged 14-18 years) about their sexual orientation. Of them, 5% said to feel attracted to people of the same sex.

Researchers conducted a second questionnaire that 5% of young people and another 5% of boys who were recognized heterosexuals. The objective was to analyze the variables of social anxiety, mood and self-concept. "Variables so far never studied in Spanish teenage homosexuals", said sword

What could be verified is that levels of social anxiety and self-concept were similar in both sexual orientations, and only significant differences in mood, which resulted lower in homosexual teenagers.

Data that represent a quite substantial and positive change to the reflected in a previous study conducted in 2009, according to this specialist. In this research it was found that "22% of young homosexual men in Spain claimed having been the victim of physical or psychological violence in the family context; 56% in its Education Center and almost 70% in public places."

But despite the good results of this latest study, the reality still indicates that the process by which have to pass homosexual youth is long and complicated. It is not easy for a young person to say: 'Dad, MOM I'm gay', although experts suggest that increasingly occur more situations as well.

The role of parents

"Today, very few times is to a conversation in which parents take the initiative to help your son or daughter homosexual who trust them and express their doubts about something you can all suspect long time", says Mónica Poblador, psychologist specialist in sexuality of the Center Alava Reyes consultants in Madrid.

Adolescents often rely on friends and also tries to find social contexts where to find other boys and girls in the same situation.

Expert explains adolescent is often confront the confrontation of their suffering from sexual orientation, when it takes a while to feel bad or need to express their emotional needs because, for example, he is in love with someone and there is no denying any longer their feelings, either is the subject of bullying.

The psychologist says that the most important thing is that parents should treat their children in the same way trying them before knowing that they were homosexual. They are still the same people that they brought into the world, who love and care for. "The only thing that changes is already not they go to bed, or go to bed with someone of opposite-sex", says settler.

However, parents can recognize their fears and doubts before their children to be able to clarify them together and get a better understanding. "It is not an easy process for none"recognizes this psychologist, but share and communicate is key.

Parents, explains, they can defend their own ideas from her life experience and education acquired, from the open dialog, understanding can not impose their children their own model and respecting that things are now different. "What should not change, generation after generation, is the love, affection and the desire that their sons and daughters are happy and get to develop as individuals in society that has lived them", he claims.

Acceptance and process of 'making visible'

When are teens truly define their sexual orientation able? The expert says that sexual orientation is often defined in adolescence, although each person carries his pace in the process of own acceptance and social self-affirmation of his homosexuality.

"It is a complex process which has to go through different phases," he acknowledges. This road goes from awareness, assimilation of having sexual preferences other than those of the majority and make it public with greater or lesser social projection.

Finally, says settler, would be the full, natural and satisfactory integration of his homosexuality within the identity of the person.

Influence variables such as the family context, social reference models and own biographical experiences. That says that "some people, boys and girls, know that they are homosexual since very young and others discovered it already adult".

In addition, it points out that lesbian teens "it may face a double discrimination because of their sexual orientation and by being a woman, from the machismo that even prima in many contexts,"makes clear.

Similarly, he thinks Gabriel J. Martín, psychologist of the Coordinadora Gai lesbian of Catalonia. "It is most unusual to see two girls embraced by the street as two boys. Still prevailing machismo in many places".

For its part, says the expert that adolescence is a stage of life where the person is very vulnerable. 'Influences and social context is fundamental,' he says. For this reason, should take into account factors facilitators and those who, on the other hand, make it difficult for the way of the teenager.

Resident lists some of those factors facilitators who help the adolescent homosexual to accept their orientation:

    • That there are natural attitudes towards sexuality in family, school and social contexts.
    • That affection, love and unconditional acceptance of the boy and the girl is expressed by what is, not for what you get.
    • Respect for individual differences.
    • Open communication adapted to the age.
    • Share your experience with other guys who have gone through it.

In the United States are carried out campaigns, such as the popular ' It gets Better' (Improve), where several homosexual adults have their experiences in order to help and give hope to future generations. "The conclusion of the message that you want to convey is that the process is hard, but most everything is stabilized," points out Martin.

Conversely, inhibitory factors making the teenager from hiding itself can be speak evil of homosexuality at home, with jokes and jokes, or listen to the comments 'if my child goes gay I don't know what I would do'.

"The media are very important," adds Martin. Series of teenagers where they see homosexuality as something more than the "natural landscape of the people" are important for acceptance.

Martin recognizes with satisfaction that today things have changed a lot. In Barcelona, where he lives, ensures that it is normal to see boys and girls of both sexes of the hand perfectly integrated into his gang of the Institute. But it indicates that there is still a long way to go.

Thus also expresses it Poblador, who despite admitting the legal steps that have been taken towards the recognition of equal rights of homosexual persons, says they remain installed "harshly" ignorance and social discrimination. "Collecting the testimony of a young homosexual, it tells me that the big problem of society is that we think being gay and you're different", thus, it is the fear of the unknown, explains psychologist.


Beatriz G. Portalatín | Madrid