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Question
Posted by: Mon | 2011/08/11

Is this worth worrying about?

Dear Professor

I have a ten year old son who is troubling me. I am a single mom and he an only child. Except for alternate week-ends and alternate school holidays when he goes to his father, there is not much male influence in his life.

He has been through the dinosaur phase and the sharks, but he has never really displayed any interest in things that boys would normally be interested in like rugby, cars, cricket, motorbikes etc. He plays tennis at school and takes part in cross country.

Particularly concerning is that he has recently started taking cookery books out of the library. He seems almost obsessed with it. He copies the recipes over and wants me to buy the ingredients so that he can " cook" .

Is this normal? His father commented to him that it is " gay"  over the week-end which made me think - and worry.

Can you tell at this age whether a child will turn out Gay? Why do people go that way, and is there anything i can do to prevent it.

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

A great many entirely and utterly normal boys have no particular interest in sport or vehicles. It isn't compulsory, and any sense of pressing a boy to gain such interests is unhelpful a the least. It sounds as though you have an entirely normal and intelligent boy.
Its entirely normal that a boy may become interested in cooking - most of the greatest chefs in the world are mail and often aggressively heterosexual. The poor boys father sounds like one of the dinosaurs the boy used to be interested in - homophobic, prejudiced and ignorant. Does he really think Gordon Ramsay is gay ? Gordon would have a few choice words for him !
Cooks, ballet dancers, hairdressers, surgeons, circketers and rugby players all include gay and straight people among them.
There is absolutely no reason to suspect that your boy will turn out to be homosexual. Sexual orientation is largely present from birth or before that, and cannot be "prevented" nor should it.
Recognize that it would not be a disaster if your boy happened to be homosexual, except that it might expose him to the prejudices of people like his father.
The boys interests are normal and healthy and wholesome. The only risk he may run is from his father's old-fashioned and ill-informed prejudices. If anyone needs counselling, it's his dad

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7
Our users say:
Posted by: Jenni | 2011/08/13

Uh excuse me Anne, but what about the bits in the bible that state that you cannot judge others and to love others as you would want to be loved? Please keep your opinion to yourself. We''re taking about a 10 year old boy here.

Reply to Jenni
Posted by: Anne | 2011/08/12

What about the bit in the Bible that says its a mortal sin to be gay?????????????

Reply to Anne
Posted by: K | 2011/08/12

Peope who are unwilling to accept that some people are gay, should not have kids.

Reply to K
Posted by: Caro | 2011/08/11

Let the boy be who he needs to be. My 14yr old son loves to cook and has been baking cake with his sister and me since he was little. He cooks for my mother too because he sees my husband cook while I go out running. I earn double what my husband does and my children know that Mom is a career woman and Daddy cooks most days.
My son does not play rugby. He plays hockey. I also thought that he may be gay but that would be ok. I was not worried and we accepted him. He has suddenly however become interested in girls as more than just friends and that now is also fine. Either way, we love our children and do not judge them. At least their parents have to accept them - the world out there is unaccepting enough as it is. Tell his dad to grow up.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: Liza | 2011/08/11

The only thing worth worrying about is the gay comment from the father. It''s definitely uncalled for and judgemental. Parents shouldn''t push kids into doing what the parents want them to do. It''s not the way for the child to explore his own identity. Children need to be able to make their own choices (within acceptable boundaries) to help them grow as people. When parents don''t allow this, their children either become rebellious, or they don''t get to know themselves which can cause major problems in future.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Helen | 2011/08/11

Tell the father to please get a life- there is NOTHING wrong with a boy who wants to learn about cooking. Look at all the great chefs out there- does your ex comment on how gay they are? Little boys don''t HAVE to be interested in sports and action heros, etc. There are many that prefer reading, cooking, dancing, etc. Male ballet dancers don''t start late in life- they start when they are your sons age, younger even. You ex is close minded and, if he continues to make these kinds of comments to your son, he is going to end up with a major complex about himself. So, is the fact that your son like cooking something to worry about? No. But the fathers attitude to it is.

Reply to Helen
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/11

A great many entirely and utterly normal boys have no particular interest in sport or vehicles. It isn't compulsory, and any sense of pressing a boy to gain such interests is unhelpful a the least. It sounds as though you have an entirely normal and intelligent boy.
Its entirely normal that a boy may become interested in cooking - most of the greatest chefs in the world are mail and often aggressively heterosexual. The poor boys father sounds like one of the dinosaurs the boy used to be interested in - homophobic, prejudiced and ignorant. Does he really think Gordon Ramsay is gay ? Gordon would have a few choice words for him !
Cooks, ballet dancers, hairdressers, surgeons, circketers and rugby players all include gay and straight people among them.
There is absolutely no reason to suspect that your boy will turn out to be homosexual. Sexual orientation is largely present from birth or before that, and cannot be "prevented" nor should it.
Recognize that it would not be a disaster if your boy happened to be homosexual, except that it might expose him to the prejudices of people like his father.
The boys interests are normal and healthy and wholesome. The only risk he may run is from his father's old-fashioned and ill-informed prejudices. If anyone needs counselling, it's his dad

Reply to cybershrink

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