27 Jan Homosexual Men in the Headlines: The Age Gap
Two homosexual couples have made headlines recently. One is reported to be the first homosexual couple to be married in China; the other is two Italian men that have started a hunger strike in Italy, hoping to bring homosexual marriage to the attention of the Italian government.
Besides becoming widely known, these couples have something else in common—a huge age gap.
The couple in China is a 46-year-old man matched with a 27-year-old man. The Italian couple: 38 and 22.
In both cases, one of the men is almost twice the age of his partner.
There may be an explanation for this, as reported by Julie Harren, Ph.D.,
“A common contributor to same-sex attractions is a disruption in the development of gender identity. Gender identity refers to a person’s view of his or her own gender; that is, his or her sense of masculinity or femininity.
…For males, the relationship between a boy and his father is the initial source of developing a secure gender identity…
When the child reaches the age of five, he begins to face another task, that is, to begin to attach to same-sex peers…Through the relationships he forms with other boys, he continues to gain a sense of masculinity, discovering more about others boys and therefore more about himself as a boy.
Eventually, after many years of bonding with members of the same sex, the boy enters puberty. At this time he begins to turn his attention to the opposite sex…
Conversely, for the child who will develop a homosexual orientation, this process does not happen…Typically, for this child, there is something that prevents him from attaching to the father. Either he doesn’t have a father or a father figure, or he doesn’t have a father who he perceives as safe and/or welcoming.”
Harren concedes, “Of course, there are many children who grow up without fathers and yet do not develop a homosexual orientation…Human development is very complex…”
Family relationships are not the only indicator, but they do play a crucial role in gender identification. Statistics say so.
A study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior, done to determine the influence of family factors on sexual-orientation development.
It was done on a population-based sample of 2,000,355 native-born Danes between the ages of 18 and 49. Denmark — a country noted for its tolerance of a wide variety of alternative lifestyles, including homosexual partnerships — was the first country to recognize same-sex unions. The researchers assessed detailed marriage records for all Danish-born men and women marrying a same-sex partner from the years 1989 through 2001.
The study shows:
- “The shorter the duration of parental marriage, the higher was the likelihood of homosexual marriage…homosexual [”marriage”] rates were 36% and 26% higher among men and women, respectively, who experienced parental divorce after less than six years of marriage, than among peers whose parents remained married for all 18 years of childhood and adolescence.”
- “Men whose parents divorced before their 6th birthday were 39% more likely to [”marry”] homosexually than peers from intact parental marriages.”
- “Men whose cohabitation with both parents ended before age 18 years had significantly (55% -76%) higher rates of homosexual [”marriage”] than men who cohabited with both parents until 18 years.”
- Men who [”marry”] homosexually are more likely to have been raised in a family with unstable parental relationships — particularly, absent or unknown fathers and divorced parents.
- Men and women with “unknown fathers” were significantly less likely to marry a person of the opposite sex than were their peers with known fathers.
- Men who experienced parental death during childhood or adolescence “had significantly lower heterosexual marriage rates than peers whose parents were both alive on their 18th birthday. The younger the age of the father’s death, the lower was the likelihood of heterosexual marriage.“
Such extreme differences in age makes me wonder. Maybe these two young men are in relationships with older men in hopes to find some sort of father figures in their lives, or maybe to find their own gender identity.
The facts say to me, “it’s a possibility.”