ISSN on-line: 2358-288X
Reprodução & Climatério Reprodução & Climatério
Reprod Clim 2016;31:68-75 - Vol. 31 Núm.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.recli.2016.03.002
Original article
Homosexual orientation in childhood and adolescence: experiences of concealment and prejudice
Orientação homossexual na infância e adolescência: vivências de ocultação e preconceito
Maria Juscinaide Henrique Alvesa, Jeanderson Soares Parenteb, Grayce Alencar Albuquerquea,c,,
a Universidade Regional do Cariri (URCA), Crato, CE, Brazil
b Faculdade de Juazeiro do Norte (FJN), Juazeiro do Norte, CE, Brazil
c Faculdade de Medicina do ABC (FMABC), Santo André, SP, Brazil
Recebido 18 Fevereiro 2016, Aceitaram 16 Março 2016
Abstract
Objective

To identify how was the process of discovery of homosexual orientation in lesbians and gays.

Methods

Cross-sectional and qualitative study of homosexuals in Juazeiro municipality, Ceará, Brazil, by applying a semi-structured interview. Data were organized according to Bardin Analysis Technique and analyzed from the training category. It adhered to the ethical principles of research approval by the Research Ethics Committee.

Results

The participants were 27 homosexuals (gays and lesbians). The interviewees revealed that in childhood there were the first manifestations of sexual desires and curiosities with individuals of the same sex, and having during adolescence, the definition of homosexual orientation as result of the implementation of the first homosexual relationships. They revealed that the identity crisis they went through are not unique to homosexuality discovery process, but are also present in adulthood as a result of prejudice and social discrimination, resulting in health problems, especially the psychological.

Conclusion

Homosexual individuals have difficulties in discovery, definition and disclosure of their sexual orientation due to the prevailing heteronormative cultural patterns.

Resumo
Objetivo

Identificar como ocorreu o processo de descoberta da orientação sexual homossexual em lésbicas e gays.

Método

Estudo transversal e qualitativo realizado com homossexuais no município de Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, Brasil, mediante aplicação de entrevista semiestruturada. Os dados obtidos foram organizados de acordo com a Técnica de Análise de Bardin e analisados a partir da formação de categorias. Respeitaram-se os princípios éticos da pesquisa face aprovação do Comitê de Ética em Pesquisa.

Resultados

Participaram da pesquisa 27 homossexuais. Os depoentes revelaram que durante a infância ocorreram as primeiras manifestações dos desejos e curiosidades sexuais para com indivíduos do mesmo sexo, havendo durante a fase da adolescência, a definição da orientação sexual homossexual em virtude da concretização das primeiras relações homoafetivas. Revelaram que as crises de identidade pelo qual passaram não são exclusivas do processo de descoberta da homossexualidade, mas estão também presentes na vida adulta, como resultado do preconceito e da discriminação social, implicando em agravos à saúde, detidamente os psicológicos.

Conclusão

Indivíduos homossexuais vivenciam dificuldades para descoberta, definição e revelação de sua orientação sexual em decorrência dos padrões culturais heteronormativos vigentes.

Keywords
Sexual orientation, Homosexuality, Childhood, Adolescence
Palavras-chave
Orientação sexual, Homossexualidade, Infância, Adolescência
Introduction

Sexuality is considered a central aspect of the human being. It covers the sexual act, identities, social roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction; It is perceived through the thoughts, fantasies, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and practices, manifesting from the desire for affection, contact, warmth, affection or love.1

This statement defines sexuality as a fundamental and indispensable constituent of human existence, determining the ways of being, to see, to think and to prove to society because talking about sexuality is talking about history, emotions, relationships with other people, customs, and desires.2 Thus, discussing sexuality, among others, includes dialog about directions and inclinations of emotional desire, sexual and erotic individuals. In this sense, the term sexual orientation is used to encompass the diversity of possibilities that a person has to exercise their sexuality.3

Although the terms sexuality and sexual orientation being important, there are still matters of taboos and prejudices permeated as the central theme of discussions.4 Particularly in childhood and adolescence, periods that usually occur the first discoveries and experiences related to sexuality, this human dimension is little valued by parents and school.5

During childhood, the idea of the non-existence of sexuality in childrens cultivated.5 Sigmund Freud, publishing his first study on child sexuality shocked the society of his time, saying that from birth, the individual is endowed with affection, desire, and conflicts inherent in this dimension.6 Despite the brilliant contributions of the scholar, the theme of childhood is still little discussed, attributing to the asexual child condition.

This scenario becomes even darker when the awakening of sexuality and sexual orientation are beyond the current social patterns, which indicate relationships and heterosexual behavior, that is, heterosexual sexual orientation (sexual-affective attraction to the opposite sex) as anormal parameter for the exercise of human sexuality.3 Opposite behaviors to this definition as homosexual sexual orientation (emotional, sexual attraction to people of the same sex) then becomes considered deviant.7

Given the heteronormative social context, as soon as children are born are educated/disciplined to acquire a gender identity in accordance with the biological sex, that is, they should behave like a man or woman in society and mandatory in the sexual/reproductive phase, feel attracted and maintain emotional/sexual relationships with the opposite sex.8 In this condition, gender identity (man and woman) complies respectively with the biological sex (male and female) and heterosexual sexual orientation.

As a result of this condition, the typical behavior expected for boys and girls, definitely fixed at six or seven years old, could already be observed in children from two years old manifesting through the interests of toys and typical games to biological sex, by heteronormative9 and gender identity.10

The “unusual behavior” in children is thought as an indicator of childhood, a possible homosexuality in adolescence and adulthood; homosexual boys present traces of a “feminine” gender identity and homosexual girls present typical child behavior of a male gender identity.9

In this sense, the distinction between typical and atypical behaviors attributed by adults and experienced by children and adolescents, provide doubts and conflicts that face sexuality in childhood and adolescence, resulting in suffering and materialization of prejudice as result of their position of social rules directed to each biological sex. Social standards of masculinity and femininity linked to gender identity will harass the child and adolescent future and may result in psychological disorders.11

Thus, given the potential conflicts before association between biological sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, the study aimed to identify how was the process of discovery of homosexual orientation in lesbians and gays.

It is believed that this topic is relevant, since due to possibly experienced disorders during discovery and self-affirmation of homosexual sexual orientation, lesbians, and gay men can develop social, mental and behavioral problems, among them, high levels of attempts suicides, high substance abuse, symptoms of depression, sexual risk behaviors, including infection by sexually transmitted diseases/HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, physical or sexual abuse, eating disorders, among others.4

Thus, knowing the implications of the discovery process and experience of homosexuality becomes an important tool for targeting strategies to minimize potential damage to the health of sexual minorities.

Method

Cross-sectional, descriptive study with a qualitative approach, carried out in the period of July–September 2013, with residents lesbians and gays in the city of Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, Brazil.

For a selection of the study subjects, a partnership with the Support Group for Free Sexual Orientation Cariri (GALOSC) was held, which is an institution that militates in the municipality on behalf of human rights of sexual minorities. The association was responsible for the appointment of five key informants needed to start the recruitment of research subjects by informants chain or snowball technique, which is to obtain the first respondent indicating another and so successively until it reaches the theoretical saturation point.12

Lesbian and gay indicated received phone calls and an invitation to participate in the study. Those who agreed to participate, a meeting was scheduled for a personal contact. During the meetings, the subjects were assessed for inclusion criteria: (i) to be 18 years old and (ii) to be openly gay in society. Those who contemplate the criteria were asked to sign the Free and Informed Consent Form (TCLE). At the end of the meetings, each participant reported three to five contacts of other possible homosexual subjects to continue the chain of informants. In total, there were 27 lesbians and gays contacted who gave their consent to participate. There were no sample losses.

The data collection instrument consists of a semi-structured interview, containing guiding questions about the object under study and on the social trajectories, family, and cultural subjects, which were recorded on digital media device for later transcription of the speeches.

It was opted for the content analysis in the thematic mode to organize the data, which according to Bardin, it involves three steps: (1) pre-analysis readings without discarding any part by ensuring the overall grasp of the material; (2) exploration of material: scrapbook of speech excerpts and categorization; and (3) processing of information.13

The ethical principles according to the Helsinki Declaration and Resolution 466/2012 of the National Health Council (CNS) were respected to conduct the study. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee in Human Beings of the Faculty of Medicine of ABC (FMABC), SP under protocol number 200935.

Results

The participants were 27 members of sexual minorities, with the predominant sexual orientation of gay men (n=21), followed by lesbian (n=06). It points out that the total of gay men (n=09) was characterized as transvestites. Travesti is included as a feminization process imposed on gays (homosexuals) and not necessarily happen to everyone. Therefore, transvestites seeking to insert in their bodies symbols of what is socially considered feminine itself from the modeling of the bodies, but not uproot the male genitalia, with which, incidentally, live without conflito.14

Of the 27 participants (n=24) had the male biological sex, with (n=16) also being male gender identity. Importantly, gender refers to the social construction of sex on the distinction between cultural attributes allocated to each gender and biological dimension of beings. Complementary to these concepts, gender identity corresponds to the way the individual perceives and presents socially.15

The predominant age group (n=11) was concentrated between 38 and 42 years old. Concerning skin color, the participants were characterized as predominantly brown (n=12).

Most of them (n=22) said they were not experiencing amorous practices. Regarding school and professional trajectory, it was identified that (n=17) reported having an education higher than high school, but only five have completed higher education.

The majority (n=24) reported exercising any paid activity. It is worth noting that three participants, who declared transvestites revealed work as sex workers.

As for the said monthly income (n=11) claim to receive approximately USD 360.43 and 33.3% (n=08) less than USD 180.21. At the time of research, in the year 2013, the minimum wage was USD 181.21. It was also found that (n=07) of respondents received government benefits, especially Bolsa Família Program, having thus supplementary income. The value of this type of aid offered by the government ranged between USD 37.34 and USD 74.67.

As for the speeches of the deponents, there was a development of three core themes. In the first, there were speeches regarding participants’ perceptions about sexuality; in the second theme, there were aspects related to the discovery of sexuality/homosexual orientation in childhood and adolescence and the last theme category, there were the positioning of the participants about the implications of this discovery.

The concept of sexuality: understanding its complexity and the context in which it operates

The complexity of the multidimensional concept of sexuality could be identified in the statements of the participants. For some of them, sexuality is perceived in a broad perspective, which does not aim just for sex, but it is inserted in the social, moral, psychological and family context:

Not only sex but everything involving the sentimental part, a psychological part, the moral part, the social part, the family (gay, speech 3)

In sexuality, many people confuse most sexual part, but I believe it is not only this (gay, speech 12)

In another statement, a gay member reveals that sexuality is a synonym of gender relationships, to assign characteristics linked to male and female stereotypes.

I think sexuality is all that defines as a man and a woman (gay, speech 4).

Also, sexuality has been designated as the way an individual understands, being part and behaving in society.

Sexuality […] this is how we understand with himself, behaves himself, then, it is how you as an individual stands to society (lesbian, 18 speech).

Finally, sexuality was defined beyond the knowledge of the self, but also the knowledge of the other.

I believe that sexuality goes from the knowledge you have, psychological as physiological you and the other, right? (gay, speech 11)

The discovery of sexuality and definition of homosexual orientation: conflicts of social and sexual identity considered deviant

When asked about the discovery of sexuality and homosexual sexual orientation, some participants revealed that the first manifestations of the recognition of emotional and sexual attraction to people of the same sex (homosexuality) occurred in childhood. A gay deponent states that it was during childhood that he began to show typically feminine desires, such as “like to perform acts of girls,” pointing out that this will awaken to the self-definition of being gay.

I discover me over time, but in my childhood, I had an aptitude to awaken this gay, feminine side. So, I like things related to girls (gay, speech 1)

Other statements indicated that interest in the same sex, manifesting in childhood, creates identity crises in gender relationships and the current heteronormative culture, pointing normal and natural manifestation of emotional and sexual desire for people of the opposite sex. In this sense, a witness reported that he expressed feelings directed to the opposite sex, however, said that this empty, incomplete and not similar feeling to what is believed to exist between two people who like each other.

When I was a child I think I’ve had an identity crisis, I came to like girls, but I knew it was not, like fixed […] I knew what kind lacked a real sense, what is man for the woman or vice versa (gay, speech 20)

Another gay member reported that during childhood, he expressed sexual desires for people of the same sex, although not understanding what was happening.

As a boy, I could not look at a girl and this was blossomed with living with my cousins […] I already was attracted by my cousins men as a child […] I already feel like touching his organ and I never was attracted to women and did not understand […] (gay, speech 6).

Despite the manifestation of the first sexual desires happening in childhood, for some of them, the confirmation of homosexual orientation was defined during adolescence, when the first sexual intercourse occur. A witness reported that during adolescence, assuming his desire for the same sex individuals and maintaining relationships with them, he discovered the true feeling of liking someone.

The right age I saw that I was gay was 14 years old […] I said, I’m decided, since I started going out with men and discover things of men, relationships with men, how is to like (gay, speech 7).

Although teenage first sexual experiences with people of the same sex could happen to a gay member, this condition did not happen in its fullness because of the fear of discovery and prohibition.

It was with a boy. It was, well, before I was 13 years old I played a lot, I came to take the organ of my cousins under the sheet. I had a view of anal penetration, oral and when I went to the farm […] I have related with him, not in an intense way, it was very forbidden (gay, speech 10)

Also, driven by curiosity and desire, a homosexual participant revealed that, as a teenager, he tried to have sex with an older individual, as the culmination to the discovery and definition of his sexual identity.

My first relationship was with a 33-year-oldman, and it was me who wanted it, it was not pedophilia, he did not press me, it was me who wanted to see, the curiosity to lie, to be touched by a man (gay, speech 15).

Due to the heteronormative social rules, recognition of homosexual orientation was presented as frustrating for a lesbian member, consequent to the deficit of guidance and family support, leading to the doubts about the understanding of sexuality and definition of their sexual orientation.

Initially, it was frustrating […] and there were the questions in the air, so there was that person figure that completed or respond, to help understand the situations […] in much acylation times, there were situations that made me want to taste of both, the two situations […] it was uncomfortable, frustrating, traumatizing, and from there, the identification began, what I am, this is what I want, this is what I like, and it is until today (lesbian, speech 9).

Homosexual orientation: sociocultural prejudice implications

When they were questioned about the experience of homosexuality, a participant in the study said that the representative figure of the family nucleus appears as an obstacle due to the lack of support and the existence of fears of family exposure to social prejudice, by having a gay family member.

[…] Despite the family knows, it does not accept, is not something that is discussed in the house, it is something they know but do not want to see, or want me to show then that's a problem. […] Finally, it is difficult to them, and I know it (gay, speech 6)

For a lesbian participant, the society is an obstacle, hindering the exposure of homosexual orientation, to deride the actions of sexual minorities. This condition seems to have blocks to the experience of homosexuality against the lack of freedom for exposure of loving feelings directed to people of the same sex.

This is a problem, the society […] the lack of freedom for you to express your desires, your feelings, you cannot feel attraction, you cannot date, you cannot take in hand, you cannot be you, you cannot be comfortable anywhere, almost anywhere (lesbian, speech 9).

Another participant says the role of the media in the dissemination of sexual diversity. However, he criticizes the way of disclosure, as gay people are ridiculed and non-heterosexual sexual orientation wins a joking air. Although it is sound funny and possibly “allowed” in practice, the social context is still biased toward individuals who take their homosexual identity.

It is normal on television, and it is funny, to tell the truth it is ridiculed, most of the time, but when it is to live with seriousness, it is very complicated (gay, speech 3).

Finally, heteronormative cultural constraints (social and family) are identified by a lesbian as responsible for the emergence of problems for the exercise of homosexual orientation, to provide the appearance of psychological disorders that interfere with the behavior patterns and favor self-block to take actions that promote emotionally and personal satisfaction.

[…] Then, the biggest problems I have willy-nilly […] many blocks I have, is on relationship behavior, is precisely this cultural issue that exists within the society and automatically in my home […] so I think my biggest problem is the cultural issue that is imbued in me, I often have blockages to do some things as it is somewhere, behave in any way to express best my sexuality because of this cultural issue (lesbian, speech 18)

Discussion

If notice in a body that does not suit their personal, social and sexual desire at some point in life, whether in childhood, adolescence and even into adulthood, it marks the transition from a sexual identity marked by conflict. Looking at this issue, particularly in structured semantic fields in the construction of the identity of being, emanate anxiety, restlessness and unconscious emotional questions of sexual libido.

Thus, the revelation of the experiences and conflicts inherent in the discovery of non-heterosexual sexual orientation by the participants during childhood and adolescence, point out that it was considered difficult and disturbing, given the cultural and social heteronormative impositions.

Fig. 1 illustrates how were the discovery process of homosexual orientation and its implications for the life of lesbian and gay members. Initially, sexual minorities spoke about their conception of sexuality and pointed out that this human dimension to characterize sexual identity, is the result of gender relationships, responsible for the expression of feelings and emotions and not restricted only to the biological condition (sexual act).

Fig. 1.
(0.36MB).

Flowchart of discovery and experience of homosexuality. Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, Brazil. July to September 2013.

As for the experience of sexuality, conflicts arise from the incompatibility between the discovery of homosexual orientation and prevailing heteronormative standards. In this sense, behaviors considered non-typical for the gender are reported by some participants in childhood phase as in “I like things related to girls” also having in this stage, the initial manifestation of sexual desire for people of the same sex and misunderstanding these facts. In adolescence, though taken by feelings of fear by keeping sex relationships called as ‘prohibited’ and driven by curiosity, homosexuals reported about their first sexual experiences with people of the same sex and the subsequent confirmation of homosexual orientation.

Given the conflicts still experienced, they pointed the family and society as obstacles to assuming, without constraints and fears, their sexual orientation. Given this difficulty, they refer to sexual minorities evolving with psychological problems and health problems (Fig. 1).

When speaking about a broader concept of sexuality, beyond the sexual act, the deponents expressed this dimension as the defining of gender roles in line with gender stereotypes, to assign behavior patterns for men and women. Sexuality is a determining factor of human existence and involves the whole complex emotional and behavioral relationships.1,2,16 The data found in this study come to support its scope, to suggest that sexuality is all that defines the man and woman and not only for sex, but it is included in the social, moral, psychological and family aspects, and how the individual is understood and how it puts on society.1

In this sense, it is stated that sexuality is the way of the individuals to express their subjective construction, social identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, wishes, desires, thoughts, and projects. Thus, it involves the complexity of the human being from the most intimate manifestations to the public behavior, since it is directly and/or indirectly connected.2

Freud believes that sexuality is constructed, arbitrary, not determined and influenced by biological and environmental factors.2 It is an unconscious choice, for which there is no guidance that the subject cannot escape. However, if there is an external orientation that legitimizes the subjective choice, it is not possible to speak of normal or abnormal choice for the exercise of sexuality, but equally strange choices.2 The animal instinct does not guide the human desire, so all forms of expression of sexuality are explainable and should be accepted2 homosexuality as asexual orientation.

Thus, when it comes to discovery of sexuality/sexual orientation by the gay people, the awakening of emotional and sexual attraction to people of the same-sex still arises during childhood, although in the midst of an identity crisis. The heteronormative culture requires standardization of typical behaviors expected for child development of boys and girls. Failure to comply with this standard, that is, the emergence of atypical behavior for both sexes, indicative of homosexuality cause mixed feelings, especially when there is a lack of family support for the discussion of this issue.

It is known that in childhood, children begin to make discoveries about the physical differences between boys and girls.17 Along this development, the perception of sexuality sharpens and the child learns that certain sensations are very nice. They spontaneously and without malice, like to continue to try them.17 Childhood findings materialize with recognition of jokes of their body and the body of the other. Thus, the awakening of sexuality is part of the development process and the child's growth, from which, they will establish their social identity and sexual.17,18 This moment of discovery starting the first manifestations of homosexual desire, being in evidence a preference for characteristics games of the opposite sex and sexual desire for people of the same sex.7,17

Thus, during childhood, the child begins to awaken his desires and manifests them spontaneously. Later, he feels that the indicative atypical behavior of a sexual deviant took should be omitted because they are prohibited socially. Even like this, he will prefer to be in the company of the same sex, because he is identified with the conversations, games, behaviors, choices, attitudes and begin further to feel sexual desire and attraction for them.

The behavior and homosexual affective and sexual attraction, as manifested during childhood, has always intrigued scientists about human behavior. However, only since the 1990s, with the explosion of Neurogenetics, it was clarified that the genetic influences exist and are fundamental, but that geneconstantly interacts with the very complex, changing and unpredictable environment.18

Thus, it is currently believed that there are genes that influence this personality trait whose expression may depend on environmental, cultural and/or physical influences.18 The purely cultural influences of human sexuality should be discarded, since it only would not explain a lot of people that despite the huge effort to change the “sexual orientation” because of family, religious and social pressure, they cannot adopt a “standard” behavior sexual18 that fits the current mold of heteronormativity.

From this initial phase of discovery of sexuality/sexual orientation, homosexual people experience a complex process of construction of their sexual identity, until adolescence stage of life full of desires and transformations. This is the period where the individual usually experiences his first sexual experience.18

The acuteness of sexual desire is concomitant with the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics, and this interest will be influenced by profound hormonal changes of that period of life and psychosocial context. Thus, influenced by these factors, the adolescent begins to manifest the desire and curiosity to relate sexually.17 In this regard, to the deponents, the realization of sexual intercourse with the same sex individuals in adolescence is considered necessary to confirm homosexual sexual orientation.

Most of the participants revealed their first sexual experiences with people of the same sex at this stage. However, studies show that this is not a rule since the process of defining himself/herself is quite complex. It is necessary maturity and have a sexual identity defined.18 The identity crises also present in adolescence, seem to be fruits of that “immaturity” in which the individual cannot understand their desires and ends up relating to both sexes until their sexual mentality and fully defined sexual orientation are formed.19–21 The speech “I wanted to try the two things, the two situations” explains this condition.

Some studies on sexuality and homosexual sexual orientation point that is common for people to have heterosexual relationships, build families and have children, and only later, over the years, when they begin to understand and define sexual identity, they come upon the true wants and desires.21 The implicants factors of this reality are associated largely with thesexual immaturity of the individual; but also reflects the so-called social imposition that directly influences personal choices and promotes the membership to a major social group, heterosexual, that is not them.21

Thus, a sexuality definition process proves to be very complex and will portray exactly what level of sexual maturity of individuals and depend on the formation of a solid gender identity. This phenomenon pervades the entire development process of the human being, from childhood, when he begins to touch and experience the discovery of self and other, until the formation/definition/consolidation of their sexual identity,22,23 which comes usually happens in adolescence, when the sexual act is seen as the confirmatory way for the definition of sexual orientation.

Also, it is evident in the reports; the difficulty deponents have for personal acceptance of sexual identity, regarded as deviant. Internal and external conflicts were revealed that hindered the manifestation of sexuality, especially given the lack of family support, people with whom he lives and adequate guidance.24,25

Thus, the study revealed that families cannot provide gay individuals a sense of host during the discovery process of non-heterosexual sexual orientation. Assaults, threats and many other types of violence communicate intolerance, frustration and fears are those feeling family externalized when facing with the possible existence of a homosexual son.24,25

Many times, this behavior is related to the fact of their parents or other family members do not feel comfortable or able to deal with more intimate topics such as sexuality. Added to this, there are the individual idealizations that these families tend to project to their children, especially parents, who face the immediate break of “dreams” they have about them. Plans such as grandchildren, marriage, and family perpetuation are abruptly corrupt and threatened. What remains is simply the realization that they need to do something to rescue these individual projects, and this process triggers strong conflicts that make “home” a space marked by fears, mistrust and uncertainties.24,25 The deficit of family participation during the discovery of non-heterosexual sexual orientation is primarily responsible for the psychological breakdown of those involved and the difficulty in accepting this condition.

Not only within the family but also in the social environment, sexual minorities pointed their difficulties to disclose their homosexual orientation. Participants revealed that the biggest obstacle to experiencing freely sexuality is linked to cultural aspects that prevent them from being free to express their wishes and feelings, in the acts of prejudice and discrimination, a condition characterized by homophobia.

Faced with this reality, it is the common the development called internalized homophobia, characterized by fear and repulsion of one's acceptance of homosexual orientation, in which the individual will present homophobic attitudes seeking to repress the desire, which for many reasons is unacceptable for him/her.22 This behavior is identified in the search results when the appearance of blocks to take the homosexual condition is present in the daily lives of sexual minorities. This reality reflects, among the many consequences of social prejudice that lies on the relationships between people of the same sex and is the result of fear that people have to be victims of prejudice attitudes.24,26,27

Final considerations

The discovery process of homosexual sexual orientation of sexual minority individuals implies the emergence of identity conflicts and everyday living with homophobia. The first manifestations of homosexual desire and atypical behavior arise in childhood, with adolescence as the stage where homosexual sexual orientation is set from sexual experiences with people of the same sex.

The biggest conflict question presented by the study refers to the experience of sexuality, which is also carried by challenges, linked to the historical prejudice experienced by this group, which prevent them from being free and to express their wishes and feelings.

Although the data obtained are important, it is necessary to point out some limitations of the qualitative study. The first one refers to the number of participants in defined criteria after saturation of information. The data collected relate only to the life story of respondents and cannot be generalized to other members of sexual minorities. However, the qualitative research presents a unique condition to capture and understand subjective questions. Because of the dipping process and the use of categorization of data and information, the qualitative research offers the possibility of approaching issues sensitive to the interests of various actors such as the homosexual population.

Despite this limitation, it is observed that this population has an inestimable difficult to define, and then to accept and experience sexuality. All this context is directly related to the problem of prejudice and discrimination that accompany homo-affective relationships as a result of cultural and social impositions of gender stereotypes.

As soon as prospects, it is clear the need to rethink the boundaries imposed by social prejudice in their lives. It is necessary that strategic plans are launched to include this issue in the social sphere, including in school and the family. It must be revealed the other side of the story. The version of those who are stigmatized and excluded since centuries agodue to a heterosexual social pattern.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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A study conducted at the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brazil.

Corresponding author. (Grayce Alencar Albuquerque geycy@oi.com.br)
Copyright © 2016. Sociedade Brasileira de Reprodução Humana
Reprod Clim 2016;31:68-75 - Vol. 31 Núm.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.recli.2016.03.002