1 in 5 Teens Change Sexual Orientation During Adolescence

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I always think sexual orientation is a fixed thing. I just gave myself label like “gay,” “straight,” and “bi” before I even noticed it. And I probably would never remove that label. But psychologists suggest that sexual orientation is fluid, and that people may change their sexual orientations during adolescence.



1 in 5 teens report change in sexual orientation


To study how sexual orientation changes, the psychologists surveyed 744 high school students in the southern US over a three-year period about their self-reported sexual identities, romantic attractions and sexual behavior.


It turns out that 19% of teens changed at least once in self-labeled sexual orientation, like switching from heterosexual to bisexual. Some even changed their identity several times.



In addition, girls were more likely to change their sexual identity, with 26% reporting at least one change compared to only 11% of boys.


Changes in romantic attractions


Along with sexual identity, the psychologists also asked teens about the nature of their romantic attractions — that is, whether they were attracted to boys or girls. It turns out that 21% changed at least once. Specifically, 31% girls and 10% boys reported changes.



These results highlighted the fact that people may change their sexual orientations and who they feel attracted to during adolescence.


"Some adolescents shifted between sexual minority identities and/or attractions — gay or lesbian, bisexual, etc. as well as varying degrees of same-sex attractions — across all three years, others fluctuated between heterosexual and sexual minority groups,” said lead author J. Stewart.


Even among teens who said they were heterosexual, some boys and girls said they were attracted to the opposite sex or had same-sex sexual behavior over the three-year period.



Let me clarify it, the study does not mean that sexual orientation can be changed through some kind of therapy. That is harmful and useless. Instead, adolescence is an important time to explore one’s identity, including sexual orientation. So, parents out there should offer more care and attention to your kids during adolescence and prepare to help them.


4 Answers

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Can't believe this.
It' s common. I like men in high school, both men and women in univ, and men now. I'm a woman.
I just love pretty face.
and pretty figures.
Calling it a change in sexual orientation is not helpful and actually is totally the wrong word to use. Everyone has some natural variety of sexual gender attraction and also outside social pressure to be like other people. Adolescence is a time of discovery of what you are truly drawn to, but some will pursue a more acceptable gender in order to please their families or friends or just in order to see themselves as "normal". They may not be able to distinguish between their own inner desires and the pressure that others place upon them. Experimenting with what suits you best is normal during formative years,  but to call it a change in sexual orientation is damaging because it gives fuel to the religious groups who are trying to force a change on children, creating intense inner conflict and self-loathing which drives many young people to suicide because they are made feel there is something deeply wrong with them.                                                                               Some people may never have a clear-cut polar sexual orientation, they are called bisexuals and they may shift interest back and forth between men and women or both their entire lives. But just because someone who is bisexual dates a man one year and a woman the next year does not mean they are changing their sexual orientation.
You are saying something.
My grandkids are going through this. The info from elementary school, sex education, is their problem. They were shown a picture of a penis (ugly, looks like a mushroom). They were told it would go inside them to make babies.  Sex education was not only problem, overly 'masculine '  female teachers, wanting to pass on to their students the opinions that homosexuality is normal.  Took God and pledge out, put liberal gay teachers into schools. This is why we need more school choice and more parents in the classroom monitoring what our kids are taught and that they are taught without bias. My son has been raising 2 girls on his own since "egg donor or mother"  decided she preferred a life of sex and drugs over her 1 and 3 yo girls. She visited very few times and 14 years later we have no idea where she is. But both girls are confused about who they are, "I may be gay, or transgender,  or not, Grandma". Son didn't know that they had sex ed class until they told me a few years later about the penis picture.  I re-explained the subject (still too young for me but wanted them to not be scared if they got their period). I answered questions and said I would be here to answer any others bc being a woman was hard and confusing at times with people telling you how you should feel.  I think it was a better idea for a parent approved film to be used to remove teacher bias. I think parents should be aware that the kids are being educated on xyz day and given pamphlets on how you might discuss with your kids.  Freaks some people out, kids and adults. Doesn't matter why, some people are uncomfortable. Kids need some person to talk to, so parents have that support person lined up years before you think you will need it. Fortunately my girls feel good talking to Grandma about everything. I just wish I had known how early school was going to brainwash my girls against penises!
I’m very glad that your girls have you to talk to about everything and I’m totally agree with some parts of your opinion. Teachers influence the attitudes of students about sex and relationships more than they can realize, so it is crucial for them to guide the students appropriately and scientifically. Besides teachers, parents and grandparents also play an important role in the growth and education of kids. As a result, pamphlets should be given to them to guide them how to discuss sex with children. However, not only should the teachers not have bias, but also everyone should regard others as equals. Homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality, so it is indeed normal. In the similar way, gay teachers should be respected, too.
Complete honesty with hints of 100% reality. This person has seen and even more felt the damages caused by the vast minority controlling the ignorant majority. Long ago sexual perverts of (Hollywood,teachers unions, teachers, professors, etc on and on) have had their sickened proboscis' in societies young. This probably began in the hippy 60s when sexploitations were "cool" and the American youngsters were by peer pressure and movies of Hollywood tuned into the "whatever makes me feel good and is comeing from the left." counter culturing losers.  The bottom line is several generations of perverted citizens mixed all up by those with camera and mics in scenes of deviants forgetting anything they haven't learned about biology, genetics and the and or Bible..The end results were and are yet causing deeply felt heat pains lasting for generations. When will our learning youngsters revolt against teachers and professors exploiting their sexual identities hopeing to persuade another child to share their stained beds and bodily fluids.
God help us, please.
I’m not sure where you live, Junebug—but I live in California. Not far from Hollywood, as a matter of fact. You may know it better as “the cesspool of liberal indoctrination.” So, I can only speak to the reality of the educational issues you bring up as they pertain to my own experiences here in the most liberal state in the union. For one, the pledge is recited at the beginning of every single school day—just as it has since I was in school. I’ve never heard of any movement to remove it, at least not one with any legitimacy. Kids are also free to pray in public school— and always have been. This is especially important for our Muslim students, whose religion require them to pray at pre-prescribed times of the day, some of which fall within the school day. The public school my kids attend has active Christian, Jewish and Muslim clubs on campus where kids are free to discuss God to their hearts content. What is not allowed is for teachers to compel students to take part in a prayer against their will, or to inject their personal religious beliefs into the topic they are responsible for teaching. That would create bias in their teaching, with is one thing I agree with you has no place in our public classrooms!

When my kids were enrolled to take the required sex-ed class in the 9th grade— pamphlets were in fact sent home to the parents, explaining what topics would be discussed and in what manner. It was a comprehensive, science based sexual education focused on preventing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STD’s. Any parents who objected to their kids learning about these things—or would rather teach their children about sex their own way, were free to opt their kids out of the class—no one’s child was forced to learn anything against their will, or their parents will. I allowed my kids to take the class, and also chose to have open discussions with them about what they were learning in order to answer any questions or clear up any confusion they may have had. Funny thing— their sex ed teacher also happened to be a lesbian woman! She turned out to be one of the best teachers they’ve had at that school—in fact, she is a favorite among many students, has won district wide awards and is a treasure in the community. And, in case you’re wondering—never once did she try to brainwash any of her students and “turn them gay.” She did, however, provide a safe space and an empathetic ear to students who were struggling to come to terms with their own homosexuality—some of whom were made to feel worthless by their own ignorant parents and faith communities—who otherwise would’ve had no one else they could talk to. The kinds of kids who take their own lives in staggering numbers year after year—it’s beyond heartbreaking. At graduation last year, one of those students happened to become valedictorian. In his speech, he thanked that teacher for saving his life. Two years earlier he had planned to go home and kill himself after school. It was a conversation he had with her after class one day that made him realize his life was worth living— and thank God for that. Two years later he’s graduating at the top of his class. And for the record— the entire time my kids were in her class, she never once discussed her personal life in the classroom—it wasn’t until after my kids were out of her class that they learned of her sexual orientation (though there were clues, and plenty of speculation, truth be told). Regardless, she is well respected by students, teachers and parents—not because of who she’s married to, but because she’s a damn good teacher—and person. Who teaches the facts, without injecting personal bias (in addition to sex-ed, she also teaches Social Studies).

And to address one last thing you mentioned—parents have always been welcome in the classroom. As a matter of fact, here in California—state law gives parents (or any citizen for that matter)  the right to sit in on any public school class (so long as they do not disrupt the class)—as it is treated like any other public proceeding that citizens have a right to observe, such as court proceedings or city council meetings. After all, our tax dollars pay for the school to operate, we ought to have the right to see how those dollars are being spent. And many parents exercise that right—as have I on a couple occasions.

So, I don’t know where you live Junebug, but it sounds like you would be a lot happier if your grandkids went to school out here in the Golden State! And I assure you, all of us degenerate liberals here in California would welcome you with open arms :)