1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Impact of Childhood Experiences on Sexuality

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by BiBoyToy, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. BiBoyToy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Do you think our experiences growing up has an impact on our sexuality? No impact? A little impact? The main impact?

    I know some people believe it's genetics and that we are born LGBT, etc. Some people believe family issues can have an impact. Some people believe it's social and our experiences growing up dictates it. And of coarse, some people believe it's a combination of all three.

    As for my individual situation, I personally think my sexuality has a lot to do with my experiences growing up. I've had quite a few girlfriends throughout my life and enjoyed having sex with them. On the other hand, I've never had a boyfriend but have had a sexual experience with a guy and enjoyed it.

    However, the same sex experience I had was with my bestfriend when I was quite young. Being so young, I didn't understand my sexuality or even know what sexuality was in general.

    I personally think if it wasn't for this experience I might otherwise be straight.

    Do you think this could be accurate? What do you think determines a persons sexuality?
     
  2. QuietPeace

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2020
    Messages:
    1,706
    Likes Received:
    1,148
    Location:
    Northern Europe
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I think that who we are is ingrained. My childhood experiences both at home with my parents and outside with church and school influences made it much more difficult to accept who I am but did not determine it. I knew that I was actually female despite a male birth assignment from my very earliest memories.

    My experiences of abusive relationships has often made me want to shy away from certain people. For years I avoided men because they treated me so poorly and I went from thinking of myself as lesbian to asexual. The past few years and especially this past year I have found other people and I realize now that I can have a relationship with pretty much anyone who treats me decently regardless of birth assignment, gender expression or presentation.
     
    Kyrielles likes this.
  3. Kyrielles

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    56
    Location:
    U.S.
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think we are who we are and we were all born knowing inside who we are and sometimes that doesn't line up with the physical features we are naturally born with... In my opinion the only way childhood experiences impact sexuality is that it causes people to repress who they actually are, be ashamed of who they actually are, and just causes pain in general. So yeah I guess childhood experience does effect sexuality in the sense of holding people back from themselves. And I'm not trying to write pages, but should look into the depression and suicide rates for lgbtq youth or read some articles from older lgbtq people about their childhood experiences and trauma. Form your own opinion.

    I 100% do not think sexuality is dictated by society though. The only sexuality that's dictated are all the stereotypical straight people leading the lives that's basically been mainstreamed for them to live, and wonder how many of them are probably still repressing their sexuality because of childhood experiences of what people forced on them to be.
     
    Bud, BiBoyToy and QuietPeace like this.
  4. HM03

    Moderator Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    466
    Location:
    Pergatory
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Agreed. I didn't know a single out LGBT person until I was 15 or 16 and didn't have any romantic/sexual experience of any kind until I was in my 20s.

    I think childhood/teen experience doesn't *cause* anything, but is rather is a display of something that was there to begin with (whether or not the individual has chosen to accept it at that point or not)
     
  5. Rin311

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    Earth
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    It's a big question. I think it's natural for some kids to explore or play or try things out. Do these experience dictate who you'd become, or are just an outside expression of who you really are? I guess it differs for different people. For myself, I'm pretty certain I was born gay. I can't think of any experience that could/would cause it, and considering how much pain and trouble it brought into my life, it's very hard for me to imagne I unconsciously chose it or gravitated towards it in some way. I read some articles on the issue that point to an imbalance in the hormones the developing fetus is exposed to that cause homosexuality, and some that point to a type of antibody produced by the mother. I don't know. At the end of it all, this is the way it is, and there's nothing to do but make the best of it.
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  6. out2019

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2018
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    594
    Location:
    us
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Probably effect tastes but not sexuality. Maybe the type of partner you desire because you saw role models as a child.

    One thing that might cause confusion is if someone was sexually traumatized in some way- this can cause 'acting out' behavior later in life. Depending on what that behavior is it can cause some confusion, but best addressed by a professional.
     
    #6 out2019, Feb 4, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  7. BiGemini87

    Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    626
    Location:
    Pembroke, ON
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think external factors like upbringing and environment can impact how we process our sexuality, yes--but I don't believe it's a cause, as such.

    To clarify, I know from hindsight that I've always been bisexual. I didn't know I was attracted to both sexes when some of those attractions were occurring, because of said external factors. Firstly (when I was too young for the crushes to be sexual in nature) because I didn't know that same sex attraction existed (who typically does at the age of 6? At least back then?) and secondly because by the time I was old enough to know about it, I was deeply in denial that it could apply to me. At the age of 13, because I didn't even know bisexuality existed, and then in high-school because despite having a bisexual friend (who beyond having her first kiss with another girl later on, never really got to act on her desires due to upbringing/environment either) I couldn't allow myself to even consider the possibility.

    The denial wasn't consciously done, really. It was complex, and for a long time I thought I was only drawn to certain girls because I was finally entering into healthy female friendships. Despite thinking I was straight for all those years, I never was--looking back has confirmed as much.

    I digress, tl;dr: while I agree environment and upbringing can affect how, when or even if someone realizes their sexual orientation, I don't believe for one second those things can "make" someone gay, straight, bi or otherwise.
     
    #7 BiGemini87, Feb 4, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  8. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    It seems very biological for me. I never had any same sex encounters or experiences, only with the opposite sex. I spent years thinking that there must have been some external thing that influenced my sexuality but could never find anything that happened. Another thing that supports the biological factor is that my personality is quite a bit different from my brothers and we all grew up together under the same circumstances. In my teens I watched an educational show the talked about how different hormones effected girls and boys when growing up. After watching that I latched onto the idea that I had an over dose of feminine hormones because it would explain what I saw as girly tendencies in my personality.

    It there was any influence from childhood experiences they probably push women more into the picture.
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  9. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,007
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think I addressed this pretty well in another thread on a somewhat related topic, so you might look there for more info.

    It's a complex question, but what does seem pretty solid based on the research is that sexual orientation characteristics and behaviors frequently manifest very early (2-3 years). Additionally, an enormous number (40% according to one study) of boys play around and masturbate together at some point in their teen years. If masturbating with another boy caused a guy to be gay or bi, we'd have a much larger % of the population identifying that way than we actually do.
     
    BiGemini87 and BiBoyToy like this.
  10. BiBoyToy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    That makes sense. After coming to a better understanding thanks to your comment and everyone else's, I think I would phrase the question differently.

    I'm not sure what percent it is, but I'm sure there have been plenty of people that weren't straight but never accepted it and lived their entire lives in heterosexual relationships. Do you think having a same sex experience early on increases the probability that the person will accept their sexuality?
     
  11. Spaceseed

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2020
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    That happened to me with my best sane sex friend from age 12 to 16 maybe on and off , other than that I always fantasized about women , but the doubt is still here . It was more difficult to have sex with opposite sex at first, but I’ve had many since.

    I guess there may be a difference between fooling around and a natural pull towards that direction , hard to tell .

    it had made me wonder for years now
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  12. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,007
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    What we do know is that people who have had same-sex experiences are more likely to earlier explore and question whether they might have same sex attraction than those who haven't. But there's no correlation to it changing their orientation, if that makes sense. In other words, having the same-sex experience draws one's attention to the idea that one might be something other than straight. But there are lots of people who are genuinely gay, have had same-sex experiences, often multiple times, know they are aroused by the same sex, and nonetheless have difficulty accepting it. Does that help?
     
    BiBoyToy and QuietPeace like this.
  13. BiBoyToy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    It does. To me, it seems like it may just be different for everyone.
     
  14. BiBoyToy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I struggled with the doubt as well. I think the difference between fooling around and a natural pull towards the same sex was a large part of the doubt, considering it's been my only same sex experience and it was at such a young age.

    Thankfully, I fully accept my bisexuality now and don't struggle with doubt much anymore, if at all.
     
    #14 BiBoyToy, Feb 11, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  15. Kevins1197

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    It’s possible but I’ve always been attracted to both boys and girls growing up, and even though I probably did not recognize it until later but it was definitely a sexual or at least the beginning of feelings that have only grown as I’ve gotten older.

    Looking back there were definitely things I did that should have told me that I’m bisexual
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  16. Unsure77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I did almost the flip side of what you said because of my childhood. I’m a lesbian who grew up southern baptist in the state and culture that gave the world Tom Cotton and Mike Huckabee. I’m 43 years old and still know or zero other lgbt women from my graduating class (of over 200....that’s not mathematically probable...just nobody was or is talking). I still don’t know of any lesbian women from that town at all. I didn’t know an out lesbian until I was in my 30’s and in a different state.

    I have zero attraction to men. Not even enough to fake it when faced with having to actually touch or kiss one. And I was repressing the hell out of my attraction to women because of shame and horror (because of my childhood religious environment). So, I basically quietly lived as an asexual. I didn’t label it, but it’s what I did. Which, is a variation on what you’re suggesting. My childhood didn’t turn on my attraction to women, but it induced me to work really hard to ignore it.
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  17. Spaceseed

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2020
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    that’s good to hear ! I only had one same sex experience as well , I almost wish I was not in a hetero reliationship atm so I could find more , try to date etc ....at nearly 40 I would finally feel free enough to try it out again and hopefully know for sure ...
    It’s really confusing as I’m obsessed and very attracted to women’s beauty though the thought that I might be closeted never leaves me , and I have had a lot of dreams about cross dressing and my same sex fantasies get me off very strong ...who knows time will tell I guess. At least for now I accept myself better though still a straight stud out in the world.
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  18. Spaceseed

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2020
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Interesting tread and a subject I have wondered about a lot .

    It wasn’t easy to grow up a man in my family environment as a child ( traditional family , authority/strict , no father or male figure to look up to or identify with , catholic school with no girls ....so I blamed my family for my same sex experiences with my friend for years , but looking back I did try to fool around with other boys at a very young age , and also remember trying out my sisters bathing suits around 5 maybe or my moms lingerie growing up .
    So the tendencies have always been there, which is comforting to me in some ways.
    I like to think that I’m true to my nature not nurture .
    Now I don’t think that nurture influenced me into having same sex fantasies or fantasizing about being the opposite sex ,I now rather feel that nurture/environment restricted me from following my true nature if that makes sense.
    At least I’ve came to a deeper understanding of the importance of having a society sexually fluid and accepting to all in this sense.
    It blows my mind (and upsets me) to realize how one can go on totally different life path than the one meant to be just because of social pressure and shame for something that relates to our private lives only.
    Many people still have to hide like there’s à witch hunt outside .
     
    BiBoyToy likes this.
  19. BiBoyToy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Although I said I don't struggle with doubt much anymore, I also (similar to you) feel like I need to have another same sex experience to know 100%, without a doubt that I am bisexual.
     
    Spaceseed likes this.
  20. BiBoyToy

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    When I was a lot younger, I remember trying on high heels but it didn't really do anything for me and I think it was just me being silly. Although, I can relate to you in that I also have mild fantasies about being a woman. However, I've come to the conclusion that it only has to do with porn and nothing with reality and that it's just a result of my submissive and more feminine side. I'm sure it may also have something to do with me being bisexual.
     
    Spaceseed likes this.