Questions Asked

There are many, many questions children may ask. Do not feel that you have to answer every question; especially questions that may be personal and private in nature. For additional questions, please visit the teacher portal on this website or visit one of the many recommended websites.

Questions About Puberty
Questions About Menstruation
Questions About Human Sexual Response
Questions About Intercourse
Questions About Pregnancy
Questions About Sexually Transmitted Infections
Questions About Birth Control
Questions About Sexual Diversity

Remember to answer questions appropriately according to your child’s age, and development.

Questions About Puberty

What is puberty?

Puberty is the period during which sexual organs mature and reproduction becomes possible. Boys usually begin to show signs of puberty at about 11 or 12 years of age, although puberty can start as early as age 10 or as late as age 16. Girls show physical signs of development on average, two years earlier than boys, but differences within the sexes also vary greatly. One teenager may complete puberty before another of the same age begins. Some boys go through puberty in a year, while others take five or six years to mature. Puberty usually lasts three or four years.

When will I go through puberty?

Puberty, and the changes involved, happens at different times for different people.

Generally speaking, girls tend to go through puberty earlier than boys. Girls may experience puberty changes between the ages of 8 and 16 while boys will go through it sometime between the ages of 12 and 18. Every person is different, and puberty can happen earlier or later. It may be a fast process for some people, and a very gradual one for others.

When will I get pubic hair?

Growing pubic hair is one of the many physical changes that happen to both boys and girls during puberty. The growth of pubic hair may be one of the earliest visible signs of puberty. Every person is different and pubic hair will appear at different times and grow at different rates for different people. Pubic hair will change in both quantity and texture as puberty progresses.

Why is the hair on a person’s head one colour, while the hair on the rest of the body may be another color?

A person’s hair color is not necessarily different than his or her body hair (chest, back, arms & legs) or pubic hair color. Every person is different. Some people have the same coloured hair, body hair and pubic hair, whereas other people have different hair, body hair, and pubic hair colors. All of these are normal.

Why is my voice changing?

During puberty, boys and girls voices change. The hormones that are released during puberty cause your voice box (larynx) to grow larger and your vocal cords get thicker. For boys, while this is happening, their voice may sound like it is cracking. It will fluctuate between high and low without warning. This process can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year. It is not nearly as noticeable in girls.

Why are all the girls taller than me?

Girls tend to go through puberty earlier than boys. As a result, girls often have a growth spurt before their male peers do. By the end of high school, the boys have usually caught up and passed the girls in height. However, everyone is different and there are many tall grown women as well as shorter adult men.

Why do I sweat more?

During puberty sweat glands start to produce sweat. This sweat or perspiration can smell offensive to some people if you do not keep your body and clothes clean. You may find that you need to shower more often particularly after sports, when the weather is hot and for girls, when you have your period.

Will I get acne?

During puberty your skin will become oily and you may experience spots, pimples, or acne. Acne occurs when the pores in the skin become blocked with oil and dirt. You may or may not experience acne. To keep your skin clean and healthy, use a mild soap and water to wash each morning and evening.

Is it safe to use deodorant?

Having a daily shower or bath will help you to keep your body clean and healthy. Some people choose to use deodorant which covers the odour produced by sweating. Others use an antiperspirant which is designed to stop the sweat glands from producing sweat. You may want to talk to your parents or a trusted adult about what they use.

What does circumcised mean?

A circumcised penis is a penis that has had the foreskin removed. The foreskin is the loose skin that covers the tip of the penis. Some boys are circumcised and others are not. Either way is normal.

When do breasts start growing?

Girls start developing at different ages, and continue developing at different rates. Breasts may start growing anytime between age 8 and 16. For some girls it could happen even earlier or later than this. Some girls’ breasts grow slowly and others grow quickly. Starting earlier or later does not have anything to do with how quickly breasts will develop, or what size they will eventually become.

Why are my breasts smaller than everyone else’s?

At some point during puberty your breasts will begin developing. Some girls develop quickly, while others develop more slowly. Breasts come in different shapes and sizes. How large your breasts will become, depends on two things: genetics (look at the size of your mom’s and your dad’s mom’s breasts as an indicator); and your weight (extra body fat can show up in your breasts). Every girl is different.

Is it normal for breasts to itch or hurt?

It is common for breasts to be sore and itchy as they grow. One of the first signs of breast development is the appearance of a small, tender bump behind each nipple. These are called breast buds. Nipples can also feel sore as a result of growth during puberty. As your breasts grow, and your skin stretches to accommodate them, it is not uncommon for them to feel itchy.

What if one of my breasts is bigger than the other?

It is normal for one breast to grow faster than the other. They will usually even out in size by the time puberty is over. Sometimes they stay slightly different sizes and this is normal too.

What are breasts made of?

Breasts are made of nerves, arteries, blood vessels, milk ducts, fat tissue, connective fibers, and lymph channels. There is no milk in the breast until a woman gives birth to, and is nursing, a baby.

Are there any exercises that I can do to make my breasts larger?

Breasts are not made of muscle, so you cannot increase your breast size with exercise. However, there is a layer of muscle on the chest wall just behind the breasts. These pectoral muscles can be developed through exercise and may lead to an increase in bust measurement (distance around your entire torso). Developing these muscles will not increase your actual breast size.

There is swelling under my nipples and they are sore to the touch. What is the matter with me?

Almost half of all boys experience a temporary swelling of the breasts during puberty because of hormones. This can cause the breasts to be sore and tender. This swelling goes away over time. If a boy is concerned about this, it is a good idea for him to talk to his doctor.

Questions About Menstruation

What is a period?

Sometime during puberty, girls bodies begin releasing one egg from their ovaries each month. If this egg were fertilized by male sperm, it would grow into a baby. In preparation for the fertilized egg, the uterus builds up a thick lining of blood and tissue. This lining is where the fertilized egg would grow into a baby. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm, the egg and the lining of the uterus leaves a girl’s body through her vagina and the process starts all over again. This is called a menstrual cycle. It takes place over a month (approximately 23-35 days). A period is a term that refers to the time during which blood and tissue are draining out of the uterus though a girl’s vagina. It usually lasts between 3 and 5 days.

When do girls start their periods?

Every girl is different. This process depends partly on a girl’s height and weight. There is no right or wrong time for when a girl should begin menstruating. Girls will begin getting their periods sometime during puberty.

Do boys menstruate?

Menstruate is another term for “getting a period.” Boys do not menstruate. Only girls menstruate.

Why do girls have to wear pads?

A girl uses sanitary pads or napkins to absorb menstrual blood, so that her clothing does not get stained.

Does it hurt when you have your period?

Some girls feel uncomfortable before and during their periods. They may feel bloated, puffy, tired, moody, hungry, and/or experience breast tenderness before or during menstruation. During menstruation, some girls may have menstrual cramps. Some things a girl can do to make her cramps less uncomfortable are: take a warm bath, do exercises, use a heating pad, or take pain medication to help the pain go away.

Once you start menstruating, do you continue doing it for the rest of your life?

No, women do not menstruate for the rest of their lives. Women stop getting their periods while they are pregnant and when they reach menopause. Menopause means that a woman is no longer producing eggs (ovulating) and therefore can no longer become pregnant. Menopause is a time when women permanently stop menstruating. This is a gradual process that happens anytime between the ages of 42-56. The average age of menopause is 52.

How should you act when you have your period?

When you are menstruating, you do not have to act any different than usual. You can play sports, dance, exercise and bathe like usual. If tampons are used, you can even swim. You should feel free to do whatever you want to do. Menstruation is a normal part of every woman’s life.

What if you get your period unexpectedly?

It is a good idea to always have a supply of pads on hand. If you are at school you can keep them in your locker, backpack, or purse. You can also ask a teacher or friend for a pad. If you can’t find a pad, you can make one out of toilet paper or paper towel to use until you get home.

How often should I change my pads?

Every girl has a different amount of menstrual flow (bleeding). Pads should be changed as often as necessary, before they become soaked with blood. There are many different thicknesses and absorbencies, as well as styles of pads. You may have to experiment a little to find the type that works best for you. Many girls find that they need thinner/lighter pads at the beginning and end of their periods, and thicker/more absorbent pads at night.

Can anyone tell when a girl is having her period?

No, they cannot. When you first start wearing sanitary pads it will be a new feeling for you. While you may be very aware of your period, other people won’t be. If you are concerned about your pads showing, you may want to choose looser fitting (and darker coloured) pants during your period.

How long does a period last?

Every girl’s body is different. Periods generally last from 2 to 7 days.

How much blood is there in a period?

The menstrual flow (meaning the amount of blood that comes out of the vagina) is different for everyone. Although it can look like a lot more, for most girls an entire period is about 4 to 6 tablespoons of blood.

How often will I have my period?

An average menstrual cycle is 28 days (about once a month). Everyone’s cycle is different. You may menstruate every 22 days or every 43 days. It may be irregular for the first couple of years after you begin your period. You may find it is helpful to keep track of your personal menstrual cycle by circling the days on the calendar that your period starts and ends. After a few months you should see a pattern and it will be easier to predict when your period is due.

What will it feel like when I get my period?

When you first begin your period, you may feel moisture in your underwear. It may not feel much different than the discharge you’ve had before. Sometimes you can feel the menstrual flow, especially if you stand up after you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.

What if blood leaks through my underwear and pants?

This is a concern for many young girls. If you are away from home, and can’t change right away, try tying a sweater or jacket around your waist. Then get a fresh pad. Change your clothes as soon as you can and rinse the stained items with cool soapy water. To prevent leaks from happening, you may want to keep track of your periods so that you can predict when they are coming, change your pad often, and wear dark coloured pants during your period.

What if I get my first period, and then don’t get one for a while? Am I normal?

It can take a few years for your body to settle into a regular cycle of periods. Some girls never develop regular periods. However, if you were having regular periods that suddenly stopped, you should see your health care provider.

What are menstrual cramps?

Menstrual cramps or period cramps can vary from girl to girl. Some girls hardly ever get them, while others feel cramps every time they get their period. Cramps usually occur just before or during the beginning of a period (the bleeding part of the menstrual cycle). They can feel like a dull ache or a sharp squeeze in the lower belly (the area between the belly button and groin). They can also come as pain in the lower back, hips and thighs. Menstrual cramps are caused by the uterus contracting to push out the menstrual fluid. The hormonal changes that naturally occur throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle can also contribute to cramping. Every girl is different, and will experience different amounts of cramping. The type and severity of cramps can also change throughout a girl’s life.

What can you do to reduce menstrual cramps?

Menstrual cramps can be reduced with gentle exercise, heating pads or warm baths. Girls can also try using over-the-counter Ibuprofen pain medication.

Why do my breasts get sore before my period?

It is normal for breasts to feel sore, from time to time, as they are growing during puberty. They can also feel sore near the beginning of a girl’s menstrual period because of rising hormone levels at this time. These hormones can cause water retention, making hands, ankles and breasts feel puffy. As the fluid causes your breasts to swell, it stretches the skin and nerves causing some pain. Wearing a properly fitted, comfortable, supportive bra may help ease the discomfort.

How will I know when I am about to start my period?

A small amount of bloody discharge from the vagina is usually the first sign that a girl has started her period, although many girls notice a feeling of wetness on the underpants. Most girls begin to have menstrual periods between the ages of 9 and 16.

Can the hymen be damaged using a tampon? How does the menstrual flow get past it?

The hymen is a slightly thickened layer of tissue stretching across the opening of the vagina that is usually present at birth. The function of the hymen is unknown.

The hymen can be broken when a female has her first sexual intercourse. Breaking your cherry refers to a girl or woman losing her virginity, or having vaginal intercourse for the first time. However, because of tampon use or active sports, many women have their hymen torn or stretched before this. In addition, some women are born with incomplete or flexible hymens which would not tear during sexual intercourse. The vaginal opening is not usually covered by the hymen so menstrual flow can leave the body.

Questions About Human Sexual Response

What is an erection?

An erection is when the tissues of the penis fill with blood making it larger and harder.

What is masturbation?

Masturbation is when you touch your own genitals to make them feel good. Some people choose to masturbate while others choose not to. Either choice is normal.

What are wet dreams?

A wet dream is when a boy’s penis gets erect or hard, and ejaculates or releases semen while he is asleep and dreaming. Wet dreams can happen to both boys and grown men. A sign that a boy has had a wet dream is waking up in damp pyjamas and bed sheets. This may be embarrassing, but it is normal. Wet dreams are a sign that you are growing up.

Can urine come out the same time as sperm?

If a man has a healthy reproductive health system, urine and sperm will not come out of the penis at the same time.

Is it normal to have sexual feelings?

It is normal for both boys and girls to have sexual feelings towards others. These feelings can make you want to be really close to someone and you may find yourself thinking about them a lot. This is called a crush. Crushes are a normal and healthy part of growing up.

Is masturbation normal? If I masturbate too much, can it hurt me?

Masturbation is when you touch or rub your genitals to make them feel good. Masturbation is normal. Whether someone chooses to masturbate or not is a personal choice. Masturbation is not harmful. It can be part of a person’s healthy sexual expression. The only time it might be considered a problem is when a person is masturbating so much, that it interferes with the development of healthy relationships or the involvement of other activities.

Questions About Intercourse

What is a penis used for?

The penis has two different jobs. One is urinating (peeing) and the other is sexual intercourse.

What does sexual intercourse mean? Does it hurt?

Sexual intercourse is something two adults do together to physically express their closeness. It can result in pregnancy. It usually involves placing the penis in the vagina. Sexual intercourse might hurt the first few times for some people, but normally it should not hurt.

Questions About Pregnancy

Where does a baby come from?

A baby is made when a man’s reproductive cell, the sperm, joins with or fertilizes a female’s reproductive cell, the ova or egg and implants into the wall of the uterus.

Does the egg have a shell?

No, the egg or ova does not have a shell, but it does have 2 layers that the sperm must pass through in order to fertilize it.

How long does it take for a baby to get ready to be born?

It usually takes about 9 calendar months, or 40 weeks for a baby to be born.

How can you tell if the baby will be a boy or a girl?

The only way to know if the baby will be a boy or a girl before the baby is born is if the mother has a test called an ultrasound. An ultrasound takes a picture of the fetus in the mother’s womb (uterus). By looking at the picture, the doctor usually can tell if the baby has a penis or not.

What decides if the baby will be a boy or a girl?

Both men and women have a reproductive cell. The male reproductive cell is the sperm, and the female reproductive cell is the ova or egg. Within each reproductive cell, there are sex chromosomes. The sperm sex chromosome is either an X (female gender) chromosome or a Y (male gender) chromosome. The egg only has one sex chromosome, the X chromosome. It is the male’s sperm that determines if a baby will be a boy or a girl. If the sperm that joins with the egg has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl. If the sperm has a Y chromosome the baby will be a boy.

How does a baby come out? Does it hurt?

When a baby is ready to be born, he or she usually comes out of the vagina. If the baby is having problems coming out of the vagina, sometimes the doctor will do a surgery called a caesarean section and take the baby out of the mother’s abdomen. Most women consider the birth of the baby painful, but there are usually doctors and nurses around to help the woman feel more comfortable.

Can you have a baby when you are 13 years old?

If a 13 year-old girl has started to ovulate she can become pregnant and have a baby. A sign that a girl has started to ovulate is that she has started to have menstrual periods.

Why are some babies born dead?

There are many reasons why a baby could be born dead. Some reasons may be related to the delivery of the baby (e.g. the baby may have the umbilical cord wrapped around his or her neck), while other reasons may be related to the growth and development of the baby inside the womb (e.g. the baby’s heart or lungs may not have developed correctly). If a baby dies inside its mother’s uterus before 20 weeks of pregnancy it is called a miscarriage. If a baby dies in its mother’s uterus after 20 weeks of pregnancy it is called a stillbirth. Both miscarriages and stillbirths are sometimes referred to as “losing a baby”.

How does milk get into a woman’s breasts?

When a woman is pregnant, there are hormones that get the breasts ready to feed the baby after it is born. Once the baby is born, the hormones signal the breasts to start making milk. When the baby breastfeeds, milk leaves the breast and the hormones continue to signal the breasts to make more milk.

Does sperm have eyes? How do they find the egg?

Sperm look kind of like tadpoles when they are seen under a microscope. Sperm have a head, a cone-shaped mid-piece, and a tail, but they do not have eyes. A sperm cell travels to the egg by moving its tail back and forth in a swimming motion. It is not known exactly how the sperm finds the egg, but some scientists think that the egg makes a substance that attracts the sperm.

Questions About Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

What is AIDS?

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is a very serious disease caused by a virus. HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes AIDS. A person gets AIDS when the HIV has damaged their body’s defenses or immune system, which fights off germs. Once these defenses have been damaged, bacteria and viruses may enter the body making the person very sick. When this happens, the person has AIDS.

How do people get AIDS?

People can get HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the virus that causes AIDS, if they are in contact with certain body fluids from a person who has the virus. Body fluids that spread the virus are: blood; semen (the whitish liquid that comes from a man’s penis and carries sperm); vaginal secretions (in a woman’s vagina); and breast milk. These infected fluids get into another person when a person: has sexual intercourse with someone who is infected with HIV; uses needles and syringes that have been used by a person infected with the virus (for tattooing, body piercing or intravenous drug use); or is accidentally in contact with someone’s blood who has the virus. Finally, a mother who has HIV can give the virus to her unborn child or to her baby when breastfeeding.

Is it safe to play with someone who has HIV?

Yes. HIV is only spread by coming in contact with certain body fluids from a person who has the virus. The body fluids that can carry HIV are: semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and breast milk. You cannot catch HIV from hugging, holding hands or being near someone with HIV/AIDS. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a door knob, dishes, drinking glasses, food or pets.

Can you get HIV from mosquitoes?

No, you cannot get HIV from a mosquito bite. HIV does not survive in insects.

Can my pet get HIV?

No, only human beings can get HIV. HIV cannot be spread to, from, or by cats, dogs, birds, or other pets.

Is there a cure for AIDS?

No, there is not a cure for AIDS yet. Scientists are working very hard in this area and there may be a vaccine someday.

How do you know if someone has HIV?

Usually you cannot tell if someone is infected with HIV. It may take several years before someone infected with HIV develops, and becomes sick with AIDS.

Does everyone with AIDS die?

People who have AIDS will eventually die. There is no cure for AIDS yet. Scientists are working hard to find a vaccine to protect people from the HIV virus.

Can you tell if you have an STI or if you need a check-up?

Sometimes you can tell if you have an STI, but many times you cannot. Many times a person can have a STI and not know it because they have few or no symptoms. Other times people have symptoms such as: discharge from the penis; different or heavier discharge from the vagina; burning or pain when peeing; itchiness or sores on or around the genitals or anus; or swollen glands in the groin. If you have any of these symptoms, you should be seen by a doctor for a physical exam and STI testing as soon as possible. If you have had unprotected sex, or think you may have been infected with an STI even though you do not have any symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or visit an STI clinic. If you are sexually active, it is important to be seen by a doctor for a complete physical examination.

Remember, a person can spread an STI without knowing it. The only way to protect yourself from catching an STI is by not having sex at all. If you do have sex, use a condom every time as it will provide some protection.

Are there different STI for guys and girls?

Girls and guys do not have different STIs; however, the symptoms of the STI may be different. For example, both genders can get an STI called Chlamydia. Symptoms in females include: burning when peeing; pain in the lower abdomen; pain or bleeding during or after sex; spotting or bleeding in between periods; and unusual vaginal discharge. Symptoms in males include: milky or watery discharge from the penis; pain or swelling of the testicles; and burning when peeing.

Can you get an STI if you’ve never had sex?

Most STIs are transmitted by having vaginal, oral or anal sex. However, some STIs are spread through genital contact (e.g. genital herpes or genital warts), or infected blood on needles and syringes, pregnancy and childbirth (e.g. Hepatitis B or HIV).

What is the difference between Hep A, B, and C?

The viruses (A, B and C) that cause hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, are all different. They all have very specific ways of spreading from person to person, and although they cause the same type of symptoms, what does vary is the severity and length of the disease. Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food and water. There is a vaccine for this disease. Hepatitis B is spread through both blood and bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal fluids. There is a vaccine for Hep B, and it is offered in Grade 5 to students in Alberta. Hepatitis C is spread only through direct blood to blood contact, or through bodily fluids that contain blood. There is no vaccine for this disease. Most people who become infected with the Hep B or C virus have no symptoms and are unaware of the infection. However, they are contagious while the virus is still in their body. If they do get sick initially, they experience flu-like symptoms, and often develop yellow skin and eyes for a few weeks. Ninety percent of adults who get Hep B recover completely. However, 75 – 85% of people infected with Hep C go on to develop a chronic, or lifetime, infection. In both Hep B and C, chronic infection can lead to cirrhosis or cancer of the liver later in life.

How old must you be to get a yeast infection and does puberty affect this?

Yeast infections affect nearly 3 out of 4 women at least once in a lifetime. This includes women of all ages from childhood (very rare) to beyond menopause. However, it’s during the childbearing years that women are most susceptible because changes in hormone levels during a woman’s menstrual cycle can contribute to the development of a yeast infection.

Other factors that can cause a yeast infection are: antibiotics, pregnancy, birth control pills, diabetes, using vaginal deodorants, perfumed soaps, bubble baths, douching and wearing tight clothing. Symptoms of a yeast infection include: mild to intense vaginal itching, lumpy white vaginal discharge, vaginal soreness, irritation or burning and redness around the vagina. Yeast infections can be treated with over the counter antifungal preparations and also prescription oral medication. It’s important to see your doctor for first time diagnosis of a yeast infection before self medicating.

Where can I find more information on STIs?

More information can be found on our consequences, risk factors, and prevention of STI section, or our STI fact sheets.

What is HPV? Where can I get vaccinated?

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada and around the world. Over 70% of sexually active people will get HPV in their lifetime. Most people who are infected with HPV never show any symptoms. Some types of HPV can cause cervical cell changes if the HPV infection does not go away. If untreated these cell changes can develop into cervical cancer over many years. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts.

 

The HPV vaccine can prevent two types of HPV that cause about 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. The vaccine is approved by Health Canada for boys and girls, and also prevents 90% of genital warts. The vaccine works best when given before sexual activity begins, before one has any exposure to HPV. In Alberta, the HPV vaccine is offered to all boys and girls in grade 5 and to eligible grade 9 students as part of the provincial routine school immunization program. For other eligible children and adolescents, the vaccine is available through public health clinics. In support of the HPV immunization program, Alberta Health Services has developed an interactive, online resource to provide parents with the information to make an informed decision for their child. The tool is available at: http://hpvdecisiontool.ca/

 

Learn more about HPV here.

 

Questions About Birth Control

Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?

Yes, you can get pregnant the first time you have sexual intercourse. It is important to protect yourself from pregnancy and STIs by using a condom every time you have intercourse combined with a hormonal method of contraception such as the pill, patch, ring or Depo Provera or combined with spermicide.

Is it okay to use more than one or two methods of birth control?

Yes, it is okay to use more than one or two methods of birth control depending on what the methods are. For example, it is recommended that a man wear a condom while his female partner is on the birth control pill. Doubling up in this manner not only provides extra protection against pregnancy, but it also provides good protection from STIs as well. On the other hand, male and female condoms should not be used together as they can stick to each other causing one or both devices to move or break.

Will it hurt you take the Pill for a long period of time?

Like any medication, there are health risks from taking the Pill (oral contraceptives). These health risks, however, are very rare. Most women can be on the Pill for years without any problems. Going to a doctor for regular check-ups are recommended after you become sexually active to track any health changes.

How do you ask your family doctor for the Pill?

Talking to your doctor about any health concern can be stressful. Clear and effective communication is important. If you are nervous about your visit to the doctor, tell him or her. Before you visit the doctor, prepare yourself by writing down your questions and concerns. Asking a parent or a friend to go with you might also be helpful and decrease your stress. If you are nervous about going to your family doctor, you can go to a sexual and reproductive health clinic instead for confidential counselling and low cost birth control. For information on location and clinic hours got to http://www.sexgerms.com

If a woman has her tubes tied, can she still have a period?

When a woman has a tubal ligation also known as having her “tubes tied”, she will continue to have regular periods. The unfertilized egg simply gets reabsorbed into the body instead of being sloughed off in the menstrual flow.

Questions About Sexual Diversity

What are homosexuals?

A homosexual is a person who has feelings of affection and attraction, both emotionally and physically to a person of the same gender. Female homosexuals are often referred to as lesbians and male homosexuals are often referred to as gay.

What are heterosexuals?

A heterosexual is a person who has feelings of affection and attraction, both emotionally and physically to a person of the opposite gender.

I think I might be gay. What should I do?

It is normal for people to question their sexuality. If you think you might be gay but are unsure, you might find it helpful to talk to someone about your feelings. Consider talking to your parents, a counsellor at school, a clergy person, a teacher or someone at a gay or youth community centre. It might also be helpful to read books or magazines that deal with gay issues. Doing these things may help you feel supported, less alone, and sure about your feelings.

How can a person be bisexual?

People may experience feelings of love and attraction for the other sex, the same sex or both. When a person is bisexual, it means they can have feelings of affection and attraction, both physically and emotionally, to both women and men.

How do gay men have sex?

Gay men, just like people who are heterosexual, express themselves sexually and express their love and affection in many different ways.

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