Ep 199: What the Science Says About Sexual Identity
Talking to kids about gender and sexuality isn’t easy. Maybe you want to start the conversation but don’t know how to approach it, or maybe teens are dropping some terminology about their identity that you don’t quite understand. These days, kids seem to have an entirely new language to label their sexual preferences and gender, and it can make parents feel confused or alienated. Not to mention, it can be pretty awkward to discuss sex, no matter who or what our kids are interested in!
But starting this conversation signals to kids that you accept them–which can be incredibly powerful. A recent study by the Trevor Project found that 42% of gay teens have considered suicide…and in many of these cases, parents didn’t even know their own child was gay. Whether your teen is out and proud or struggling in silence, they’ll certainly benefit from an open conversation around sexuality and gender in your home.
So how can we get our teens talking about sexuality? Well, we can start by reminding them that it’s totally natural! This week, we’re sitting down with Eliot Schrefer, author of Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality. Eliot is a New York Times bestselling young adult novelist and book reviewer for USA Today. While getting a Masters in Animal Studies at New York University, Eliot learned the fascinating ways that the natural world defies heterosexuality and gender binaries–and decided to write a book about it!
In our eye-opening interview, Eliot dives into how various species exhibit homosexuality and gender-bending behaviors in the wild! We also talk about how we can start breaking down heteronormative narratives for our teens, and how we use certain language to help teens feel comfortable opening up about their own gender and sexuality.