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Sexuality Can It Be Changed

A person's sexuality is an integral and important part of who they are.

When people wonder about whether or not a person can choose their sexuality, they are often wondering about if they can choose or change their sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation is how a person identifies in relation to what gender(s) they are attracted to. As a rough guide, a person's sexual orientation may be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual. Today we use the initials LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual, and Trans - as a more inclusive abreviation for what once was simply called 'gay'.

We are not yet sure why someone has a particular sexual orientation as opposed to another, but one thing is certain: we aren't able to choose or control who we are attracted to.

Experts think sexual orientation is influenced by a combination of environmental, emotional, hormonal, and biological factors, but no one is completely sure. Each one of us undergoes different experiences as we grow and learn, and we are shaped by different factors. There is no one thing that causes a person to be straight, gay, bisexual or asexual. It's just part of life's wonderful mystery.

When people question choice in sexuality, they are most often referring to whether or not gay people choose to be gay. Very few people ask themselves if they 'chose' to be straight. Most straight people just take it for granted.

If you identify as straight or heterosexual and have wondered if gay people choose to be gay, take a moment to consider the following questions:

- Are you sure this isn't just a phase you're going through? - How do you know you aren't gay if you have never tried it? - When was the first time you realized that you might be straight? - What is your earliest memory of being straight? - Have you ever thought you might be confused regarding your sexuality? - Have you sampled the same sex as yourself in order to determine if you really don't like it?

These are all common questions that people often ask gay people when they learn of their sexual orientation. If you are heterosexual, these questions might appear ridiculous. You may have thought, "I never realized I was straight, I just am." Some people may even feel offended at the suggestion that they try to be anything other than straight. If you yourself felt any kind of offence because of any of those questions, consider for one moment how a LGBT person feels when asked the same kind of thing.

A gay person can no more alter who they find themselves attracted to than can a straight person, and what valid reason is there why anyone should be expected to be anything other than they are?

There are certain types of 'therapy' that promise to change a person's sexual orientation; they go under the name of 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy. The American Psychological Association (APA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS) has taken an official stand denouncing this kind of therapy. Both have categorically stated that there is no evidence that this sort of therapy is effective and it can lead some people to develop depression and suicidal tendencies.

Instead of trying to change a person's sexual orientation, it is much more healthy for him or her to learn how to come to terms with the way they respond to it. Here good counseling or an experienced therapist can offer guidance and support. Those close to the gay person--friends and family--who are struggling to come to terms with a person's sexuality can find support through organizations such as PFLAG in the US, and FLAG in the UK. Check online for your nearest group.

When everything is considered, life itself is crammed full of difference and diversity. Sexuality is simply a reflection of this.

About Author Peter James Field :

Peter Field is a UK psychotherapist. He conducts <a href="" target="_blank">hypnotherapy Birmingham</a> and London clinics, and is the best-selling author '<a href="" target="_blank">The Chi of Change</a>', a book on the fascinating world of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

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Article Added on Saturday, August 2, 2014
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