from Gay Activism in the Schools
Cornell Psychology Professor Ritch Savin-Williams is encouraged by what he sees as a trend among teens to feel free to be sexually attracted to anyone regardless of gender.
April 28, 2005 - Professor Ritch Savin-Williams was recently interviewed by the Ithica Times on his new book, The New Gay Teenager.
In the interview, "Defining Me," Savin-Williams describes what he views as an encouraging movement among teenagers to view sexual attraction as fluid and not limited to an opposite sex partner.
Savin-Williams observes that teens are getting many diversity messages from media models as well as from their parents. These messages basically say: "That same-sex sexuality is not such a big deal -- not so much as in my generation, when it was hugely a big deal. In fact, if we gave high school kids the right to vote, we'd have same-sex marriage."
The professor says he hopes that "we can accept a wide range on the sexual spectrum -- most of us are somewhere in between [gay and heterosexual]."
In his book, Savin-Williams uses terms like "pre-gay" to describe kids who aren't yet aware they're gay; and "gayish," and "post-gay." He believes that love is situational, based on the person and not on the gender. According to Savin-Williams, "[Women] tend to be more fluid, not exclusively genitally focused. Increasingly, I'm finding boys who are of the same belief and attitude. This gives me hope."
He continues, "If we could build relationships on love rather than on genitals, that's probably more conducive to what we are or should be as human beings. In general, I'm not fond of boxes and categories. I like the concept that we as individuals have options and that we could be flexible."