Anne, i have a problem. When i was young my cousin touched me in my private areas. He was a guy. I have had 3 sisters so I connect with girls more and now I’m made fun of and people think I’m gay. I don’t know if i am or not, and I’m struggling with my girlfriend over this problem. Why do i feel this way? Please help me.
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Being sexually abused at any age can create problems – sexually abused people sometimes have difficulty feeling good about their sexuality. But then again, we live in a culture that both pushes us to be increasingly sexual and at the same time tells us that it is slutty and dirty to be that way. Consequently, even people who haven’t been sexually abused often end up feeling bad about their sexuality. I wouldn’t worry too much about whether you are scared for life by having been inappropriately touched by your cousin. Chances are good as you mature you’ll be able to adjust and compensate for whatever damage was done. As to whether you are gay, I think you will know sooner or later if you are. Being gay is largely a matter of genetics and hormones; things we have no control over. Gayness is for the most part a normal variation of sexual development, just as handedness (whether you are right or left handed) is a normal variation of brain development. There is nothing wrong with being gay, just as there is nothing wrong with being left handed. People are born gay; they don’t (usually) become gay because of abuse, and they certainly don’t become gay because they grew up in a family with a lot of sisters. If you are gay, you’ll know because you’ll start finding yourself fantasizing about being sexual with other girls more than with boys. If you are straight, you’ll know because you’ll find yourself fantasizing about being sexual with boys more than girls. It’s no big deal if you do find yourself fantasizing about girls. There are many gay people out there, as you’ll discover as you grow older. Don’t worry so much about all of this gay stuff. It will work itself out, and you’ll be okay.