More Semantics

Yes, my last two posts were pretty boring, but some of you have asked what is keeping me so busy, so I offered a couple of short examples of my academic writing. Sort of. I actually tried to un-academize the papers in many ways to make them more interesting, while still maintaining the thesis. Boring? Yeah, but I am such a nerd I find that sort of writing to be kinda fun.

Okay, so today Bojo sent me some information on a local social service organization for teens that seems to be doing some great work. She is very passionate about becoming involved with them and I support her (and the organisation) wholeheartedly. While pointing out the wide range of programs, however, she mentioned something that gave me pause for thought. The organisation offers programs for "GLTQ" teens. G and L I have no problem with, though technically "gay" and "lesbian" are kind of redundant. Transgendered? Okay, I understand the inclusion. But "Questioning"? Really?

The use of the term "questioning" troubles me because it undermines the whole concept of sexual preference being inherent, rather than a choice. If one is questioning, doesn't that imply an uncertainty? And if there is uncertainty, then doesn't that in turn, imply a decision to be made?

I can understand a young person who feels attracted to the same sex and therefore dealing with the whole, "Wow? Am I really gay?" conundrum. But wouldn't that be included in the umbrella of of G, or L, or even in a basic human sexuality discussion?

Nope. I'm pretty sure that he use of "questioning" is a step backwards for gay rights.

One other thing about this group that troubled me was the idea that it is not just for "at risk" teens because, after all all teens are at risk.

I beg to differ. An at risk teen is one who, due to a poor home situation, or lack of education, or physical or mental disorder, or lack of role models, or history of abuse - I could go o and on, but you get the picture. At risk teens are at risk specifically because of some troubling aspect of their life.

The teen years may be dramatic, hormonal, emotional and confusing times, but I disagree that that they are troubling. Peer pressure is there, sure, but its mere presence does not set a "risky" stage.

I think a teen who has been raised to have a healthy self esteem; who feels secure and confident that they responsible people to protect and to care for them, and if they have positive healthy role models - they are not at all at risk. Let's not give up on teens in general and go ahead and just accept that they are all set up for prolems.

And before you go and get all irate with me, Bojo, I want to clarify that I do support the organisation.

I just have some problems with their rhetoric.


Anonymous said…
Sounds like you have done a good job! I'm sending you my teen-aged daughters!