At 11 years, your daughter has started discovering her sexuality, and in many cases, is not sure of her feelings. At this age, she could be attracted to both girls and boys, but with time, she will settle and know her sexual orientation.
There are various sexual orientations; bisexual, homosexual, and heterosexual, among others. It is crucial to have a candid, honest, and truthful conversation with your daughter at this age. This article seeks to help you handle the sexuality issue with your 11-year-old daughter.
My 11-Year-Old Daughter Likes A Girl: Possible Explanations
What Does She Know About Sexual Orientation
In the modern age of technology and information, children learn a lot at an early age. They are exposed to sex education early, and at the age of 11, your daughter knows pretty a lot about sexuality.
However, it is important to talk to her candidly about sex and sexual orientation to ensure she has the correct information. In a society where people hold diverse views on sexuality, she might get insufficient information on sex which can be misleading. Listen to her opinions without judgment and help her understand what she feels.
Could She Be A Bisexual
Your daughter could have feelings for both boys and girls. This is common in preteens and usually settles by the time they get into their teenage years. It could, however, drag into their adulthood. You must explain to your daughter the challenges she might face and how to handle them. For instance, in many societies, bisexuality is frowned upon and such people are likely to be discriminated against or stigmatized.
She May Be A Lesbian
With the emergence of LGBTQ rights advocacy, girls attracted to fellow girls have come out and expressed their sexuality without fear. If your daughter is lesbian, you could be disappointed, especially if you live in a community where such sexual orientation is looked down upon. For instance, in religions such as Islam and some extent, Christianity, lesbianism is not acceptable. Prepare your daughter for what she is likely to face.
Can You Change Your Daughter’s Sexual Orientation?
Whether sexual orientation can change or not has remained controversial, with some people holding the view that you can influence and change her sexual orientation, while others swear that you can’t change. Proponents of this argument, any behavior, including sexuality, can be remodeled. In their support, individuals have come out to claim how they changed from one orientation to another.
On the other hand, the antagonist claims that sexual orientation is not a matter of preference but biological. They claim one cannot change because it is a gene-influenced behavior. They trash claims by people who have changed their sexual orientation.
Possible Challenges Your Daughter Will Face When Attracted To A Girl
A major challenge your daughter is likely to face is rejection, especially in a society where people have not accepted LGBTQ+. The people may not tell her on the face, but their actions can betray them. For instance, she can be excluded from family meetings, religious functions, and social functions. Such rejection could lead to depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Support your daughter and show unconditional love despite what others think of her, after all, she is your daughter.
You may assume your daughter is okay, but deep inside, she could suffer from an internalized phobia. She has heard a lot of condemning messages from religious organizations, families, schools, and the community at large. She may feel sinful, dirty, unwanted, and to some extent, abnormal.
Though the world is slowly accepting LGBTQ+ members, some stereotypes still exist about lesbians. Such stereotypes include; that all lesbians are tomboys, hate men, dress like men, and have male genes. If your daughter is not well prepared, such stereotypes could disorient her.
Discrimination and Violence
LGBTQ are likely to face discrimination more than non- LGBTQ members. They are more likely to be victimized in many communities that have not yet accepted such practices. In less developed countries, discrimination is higher than in developed ones.
Rejection, discrimination, violence, and phobia could lead a lesbian to drug abuse. It is paramount to help your daughter deal with the challenges they are likely to face and seek professional help when need be.
Starting A Family
Most people would wish to start a family and become parents. We understand for one to conceive, they must receive sperm from a male. Now, there might be issues when a lesbian couple decides who to choose as the father of their child. They could also face challenges when bringing up a child who might be stigmatized and rejected by society.
Coming out as a girl who likes other girls could be a challenge. She could be shunned and lose a few friends who may not want to associate with her.
How To Help Your Daughter Who Likes A Girl Cope
The following tips could help your daughter cope with the fact that she likes a girl;
- Support your daughter in her sexual discovery journey. You may be against the idea, but the best thing you could do to her during this time when she is likely to face rejection and discrimination is to give her a shoulder to lean on.
- Enjoin her in a support group.
- Prepare her for the challenges she is likely to face. Give her room to come up with workable solutions.
- Communication plays a key role in keeping your daughter afloat.
- Learn as much as you can about her sexual orientation.
- Avoid criticizing her. It is normal for you to be disappointed and want to talk her out of the behavior, but remember negativity will help. She might already be condemning herself; adding more condemnation may not work.
- If you are a religious person, pray for her.
In conclusion, your 11-year-old daughter may be attracted to a girl. This could be a passing cloud as she discovers her sexuality or sticks to adulthood. Whatever the case, support your daughter and help her navigate her sexual orientation.