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The place for young guys who like younger guys
Maybe you're not sure if you're gay, straight, or bisexual. Or if you're attracted to your own age or to people younger. Maybe you are pretty sure, and it scares you...
Regardless of your sexuality, you are entitled to respect, dignity, and compassion.

You have just as much potential as anyone else to be good and decent. Your character depends on your honesty, integrity, and caring for others, not on your sexuality.

You can have a fulfilling, rewarding life, full of love for others and from others, no matter what your sexuality is.
Only you know what you feel. Maybe you have little or no sexual/romantic interest in girls, and only (or mainly) guys stir up strong feelings - both sexual and affectionate. You might even feel like you can fall in love with some of them. Then you might feel like you're gay.

On the other hand, you may notice that you can have these feelings for both girls and guys, so you consider yourself bisexual.

Maybe you notice that you have these feelings for certain boys younger than yourself, and you can fall in love with them. Then you might feel that you're a boylover. Some men who are mainly attracted to teenaged boys consider themselves pederasts. Those who are mainly attracted to boys who haven't reached puberty label themselves as pedophiles.

You may have feelings for more than one gender and/or age group, and want to use a combination of labels.

Some people use labels because they give them a sense of identity as well as a feelings of fitting in with others who are like them. Others reject labels because they feel labels are too restrictive. Either the labels don't accurately describe their feelings, or they believe that labels imply their sexuality is static, when in fact their sexual feelings could change. And an emphasis on labels can reduce your whole identity to sexual feelings, which of course is inaccurate.

Whether you label yourself or not, if you're attracted to children or teens younger than yourself, one of the most important things to remember is that that doesn't mean you are a "child molester." Being attracted to a certain gender or age does not make your feelings more compulsive, addictive, or uncontrollable than anyone else's. It does not mean you can't live responsibly or have a rewarding and productive life. Most people have come to realize these things about gays, but unfortunately they don't when it comes to people attracted to children or teens.

Sexual feelings can be diffuse and fluid. You may have sexual feelings for people of different ages, and/or for both genders, but they may not reflect your future sexual orientation. Over time, your sexual feelings may change or become more narrow. Don't be too quick to label yourself.

In addition, many adults who are considered "normal" have sexual feelings for children or adolescents. Among different people, these feelings vary in how strong they are. They may be weaker than their feelings for adults, or just as strong.1,2,3 Some studies have found that 17% to 25% of heterosexual men have feelings for prepubescent girls that are as strong, or stronger than, their feelings for women!4,5,6 As far as we know, no such study has been done to look at gay men's feelings.

In fact, no one knows how sexual feelings develop over time. We don't know what causes sexual orientation (even in "normal" people who are attracted to the same age and opposite gender), or why it develops differently in different people. We still don't have a very accurate knowledge of what percent of the population is straight, gay, and bisexual, let alone what percent are attracted to people their own age or to people younger than themselves.

On the other hand, we don't want to deny the experience of some boys and men who say that they knew they were gay before they started puberty. Likewise, there are some men who say they knew they were attracted to younger boys at a very young age.
1V. Quinsey et al., "Penile circumference, skin conductance, and ranking responses of child molesters and "normals" to sexual and nonsexual visual stimuli," Behavior Therapy, vol. 6, 1975, pp. 213-129.

2Kurt Freund, "Assessment of pedophilia," in M. Cook & K. Howells (eds.), Adult sexual interest in children, London: Academic Press, 1981, pp. 139-179.

3Kurt Freund & R. Costell, "The structure of erotic preference in the nondeviant male," Behavior research and therapy, vol. 8, 1970, pp. 15-20.

4O. Fedora et al., "Sadism and other paraphilias in normal controls and sex offenders," Archives of sexual behavior, vol. 21, 1992, pp. 1 - 15.

5Kurt Freund & R. Watson, "Assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of a phallometric test," Psychological assessment, vol. 3, 1991, pp. 254-260.

6Gordon Hall, R. Hirschman, & L. Oliver, "Sexual Arousal and Arousability to Pedophilic Stimuli in Normal Men," Behavior Therapy, Vol. 26, 1995, pp. 681-694.

It may be too soon for you to know what your feelings are or will be, and even if you do know, you may or may not find labels helpful. Whatever you decide, we want Age Taboo to feel like a safe place for you. It is a place especially for male youth who find themselves attracted to boys, including those younger than themselves, and who because of that may feel out of place at other gay youth sites or organizations. Here, you can be honest about your feelings and get information and support that may not be available at other gay sites.

Remember: You deserve caring and respect. You can choose what kind of person you will be. And you can have a rewarding life. So how do you go about doing these things? We hope Age Taboo may help you figure that out. And we hope you can help us help others who face the same questions. Good luck, and let us know what we can do to help!

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