Sexuality - Talking about sex: is it taboo?
What is the difference between sex and sexuality? The word sex can refer to gender, meaning whether an individual is male or female. It can also refer to the physical act of having sexual intercourse with another person. But sexuality encompasses much more. Sexuality includes how people learn to define themselves as sexual beings in the world. It includes desires, wishes, and dreams as well as relationships with others. It is a lot more than the physical act of sex.
Sexuality is often a difficult topic for many people to discuss, and talking openly about sexual feelings or the changes one's body is going through can make some individuals uncomfortable. Sometimes, due to a lack of open communication, young adults may receive negative or confusing messages concerning sexuality. It is important to remember that sexuality, and all of the thoughts and changes that develop as a result of growing up, are all very natural, and that everyone has questions and worries about this topic. Many teens think, "I'm the only one in the entire world with zits," or "My breasts haven't started growing yet, and I feel like an outcast," or "All the other guys in gym class seem to have bigger penises than I do," or "Why do I masturbate?" The common theme among all of these questions is, "What's wrong with me? Am I normal?" The fact is, however, that most teens are normal. They are not weird for wondering, nor are these thoughts unique to any young adult.
Sexuality is an individual experience, but the fear and frustration adolescents may feel is quite common. It's all a part of the process of growing up. Parents, teachers, and older siblings experienced many of these very same feelings, and they managed to survive the growing-up process. Armed with the proper knowledge and outlook, most teens are capable of surviving, too.