As people pass from childhood into their teen years and beyond, their bodies develop and change. So do their emotions and feelings.
The teenage years are a time when many young people start to discover their sexuality. Sexuality includes feelings and attraction on all different levels – not just who you have sex with. While this is a common part of teenage life, it can also be a confusing time for young people and their families. Find out more about the concepts of sexuality that your child might be dealing with, how to support them during this time, and how to recognise any signs that they may need your support.
Sexuality is not about who you have sex with, or how often you have it. Sexuality is about your sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions and behaviours towards other people. You can find other people physically, sexually or emotionally attractive, and all those things are a part of your sexuality.
Sexuality is diverse and personal, and it is an important part of who you are. Discovering your sexuality can be a very liberating, exciting and positive experience.
Some people experience discrimination due to their sexuality. If someone gives you a hard time about your sexuality, it’s good to talk to someone about it.
Understanding sexuality and sexual identity – for family and friends
There are many ways to describe sexuality (and gender). Many of these are captured by the term LGBTIQA+.