Sexual Development

Psychology 245
Final Paper #2
Harold Martinez
Dec-7-1998

Sexual development occurs when human beings define their sexual orientations and behavior towards society. Everyday before adulthood, our sexuality gets shaped by a handful of factors like family values, social and cultural expectations, gender, and peer pressure. Factors will define our sexual inclinations, will create taboos and will label us either as normal persons or degenerates.
Society labels people as normal or degenerates depending on their sexual orientation. If they are heterosexuals, which means that they have opposite gender orientation, they are normal. On the other hand, if they are homosexuals, they have same gender orientation and will be seen as different. This difference will be the cause of discriminations against them. Unfortunately our society is mostly not ready to deal with differences of sexual orientation, although same gender orientation is has been seen more often through years.
In my case, ever since I was born, I have been in a social circle that is mostly heterosexual and that condemns any same gender orientation behavior like boys holding hands, boys playing with Barbie\'s, or simply boys wearing women\'s clothes. I have been raised in a Catholic family that doesn\'t accept any "strange" behaviors within it. I had irrational grandparents that could even beat their children up if they saw they had engaged in such behaviors.
My parents have been more open-minded. They are happy with the way that my brothers and me have become oriented to our opposite gender. They have taught us that it wasn\'t bad to be oriented to our same gender. "It is just different," my father said. They also told us to respect homosexuals as human beings. Unfortunately most of our society doesn\'t think that way. Respect depends on if you fit the expectations society has depending on your gender.
If you are a boy, you are expected to play rough sports like baseball and basketball. You are expected to hang out with girls, and also, you are automatically labeled as "problem-solver," which is a characteristic you must have if you don\'t want to be labeled as a sissy. Girls have more chance to engage in male activities without being criticized. There are exceptions where girls really like acting like boys and that\'s where that girls will become a "Tomboy".
The way society labels those who show some kind of same gender orientation is degrading and also leads to shape your gender orientation in order to fit in. For those who are different it is really hard to get along with society, for example: A friend of mine, who is same gender oriented, has told me that it has been difficult for him to have a normal life because of his sexual orientation. It was a harder for him because he used to hide his sexual orientation from society as long as he could, however, everything changed, he started to be discriminated against ever since he stopped hiding his sexual preferences. He was fired from his job, and started getting insulted on the streets. It leaded him to an aggressive segregation that restrained him from having a normal life and interact with society they way he used to before he declared he was same gender oriented. Nowadays, he has his own place because of his family\'s treatment after he told them he was "gay.": Our society expects us to be heterosexuals.
It is also believed that one of the reasons that affect the most into one\'s sexual development is peer pressure. I am often pushed by my peers to engage in situations that will "prove", my manhood. There\'s always somebody telling me, "That girl likes you, what are you waiting for?" "What is wrong with you? Just enjoy the moment! Who cares if you like her or not?" It is amazing how they express themselves about getting together with somebody; it is like it is all about having sex. Nevertheless, it is my option to decide what I really what to do according to my manners and the way I feel about my sexuality and the way I behave. Most of the people who get pressure from their peers are mostly people who get convinced easily.
In short, I would say that I have been influenced the most by my family values and my society\'s expectations,