The disadvantages of sexuality changes

People’s sexual feelings change as they grow. In the teen years it’s normal to feel sexually intense at times and at other times sex might seem like the last thing on your mind.

Some right-wing religious groups promote so-called “reparative therapy,” which claims to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Research shows these efforts aren’t effective and can cause harm, especially for minors.

Gender identity

Gender identity is the deeply-held inner sense of being male, female, both or neither. This can match the sex assigned at birth (cisgender), or be different, such as transgender, agender, gender nonconforming, gender fluid or a mix of many genders.

Gender expression is how a person presents themselves publicly, including their behavior and personal appearance like clothes, hair style, makeup and body features. A person’s chosen name and pronouns are also common ways to express their gender.

Some people may wish to make their gender identity and/or sex match up more closely, with or without surgery. This is known as transitioning. This can be social, like changing how you are addressed, or legal and/or medical, like taking hormones.

Sexual orientation

Sexual orientation describes the physical, emotional and romantic attraction to people of the opposite sex. It is an enduring pattern of feelings and behaviors. It is not a conscious choice and has nothing to do with a person’s gender identity or gender expression.

Studies show that sexual orientation is influenced by genetic, hormonal and developmental factors, but it isn’t affected by early life experiences. Likewise, there is no evidence that a person can be taught to change his or her sexual orientation. Efforts to do so may cause harm.

Despite the medical and scientific evidence, some people continue to experience prejudice and discrimination because of their sexual orientation. The impact of this stigma is exacerbated when it occurs in combination with other factors, such as race, religion and disability. For example, African-American girls who act in ways that are deemed “gay” or “heterosexual” are more likely to be disciplined by their teachers than white girls who exhibit similar behavior.

Attitudes and expectations

It’s often said that the only constant in life is change, and this certainly applies to attitudes about sexuality. Gallup’s recent update of polling on the public’s views on the moral acceptability of a series of behaviors related to sex, divorce and marriage indicates that Americans are becoming more tolerant in their acceptance of a range of sexual behaviors.

However, a number of factors can impact the overall social acceptance of sexual behaviors, including age, gender, current relationship status and sexual orientation. For example, studies have found that people without a steady partner have more positive attitudes toward frequent dyadic sexual behaviors with a casual partner and unconventional sexual behaviors than those who have a steady partner.

In addition, some lesbians and gay men may experience prejudice and discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Other characteristics, such as race, religion and disability can exacerbate the negative effects of stigma. Prejudice can be especially harmful to individuals and communities that are disproportionately affected.


People change many preferences and interests throughout their lives. They may become attracted to different kinds of partners or adopt new political ideals. Those changes may affect their relationships with those close to them. But, fortunately, no one can force someone else to change their sexual orientation. In fact, forcing someone to change their sexuality can cause lasting harm. Attempts to do so are known as conversion therapy, and they have been associated with physical and psychological abuse.

A person’s sexual feelings can be affected by many factors, including health conditions. For instance, stroke can reduce a person’s libido and impact his or her sexual desire. Research has shown that sex satisfaction contributes to overall relationship happiness, and having less than you want can have negative consequences for your relationships. It is important to understand what factors are impacting on sex and to find ways to improve them. It can help to talk about these issues with a sex therapist or sex educator.