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Why Are Kids Suddenly So Confused?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

I remember sitting in my Gender Studies class at UVA back in the mid-90s, truly wanting to understand the genesis of alternative sexual lifestyles, but also feeling incredibly awkward discussing a topic that was so foreign to me. Back then, I don't remember there being such a spectrum of sexual preferences. I only remember use of the words gay, homosexual, and lesbian, and those labels alone were plenty enough for me to absorb at the time. Did these people really exist? Where were they? Who were they? What did they look like? Were they happy or sad? Content or bitter? Were they voluntarily choosing to live this way? And if so, why?

In my adolescent years, homosexuality was rarely talked about, except in the ignorant use of the word "gay" by immature peers who were doing their best to ridicule a boring school activity, or to tease an unpopular or socially awkward classmate. I remember figuring out in my preteen years that being called a "les" was derogatory, though it took me some time to figure out what it actually meant. The ease with which these words were misused was representative of how uncommon the lifestyle was back then. No one was afraid of offending someone else, and no one was even aware of such a thing as virtue signaling. It wasn't that kids were embarrassed or secretly confused about their true identities, or that they were hiding anything in the proverbial closet. We just didn't even think about it. Girls were girls, and boys were boys, and there were plenty of other more pressing and relevant things to be concerned about than what other gender we might possibly be. As we say, it just wasn't a thing. To my knowledge, I didn't personally know a single homosexual person until maybe my early 30s. I'm now 50.

But something has changed drastically in the last decade. It's like a violent explosion of gender exploration that I've never witnessed before, particularly among young people. Have these longings and behaviors been with us all along, just simmering under the social radar until a time when true identities could be freely expressed and accepted? I don't believe so. I liken this flimsy explanation to those who say autism has been around for generations, and somehow - because of the lack of social awareness, developmental screening, medical expertise, or some other such thing - we just "missed it" until now. How does one miss something so profoundly out of the ordinary? Personally, I believe there are other explanations for the rise in alternative sexual lifestyles that have much more merit than these. And the reason we dismiss them is because we don't want to hear the truth about what we've done to ourselves, and what we are doing to our children. We don't want to be held responsible for the oppressive burden of that reality.

Much to my husband's chagrin, I've always loved psychology - trying to understand the motivations behind my own behaviors, as well as others. So this new social and political phenomenon is something I spend a bit of time thinking about. I don't claim to be any kind of expert as far as human sexuality or gender dysphoria. And I apologize if I've used any related vocabulary incorrectly in this writing. I am not trying to antagonize or offend. These are just my own personal thoughts put to paper. Take them as you will.

Why are kids so confused about gender? As a holistic wellness practitioner, deep thinker, and woman of faith, here's my take on it.

  1. EMOTIONAL TRAUMA: It seems to me, admittedly in my limited experience, that many individuals pursuing a homosexual lifestyle are those who experienced some kind of significant trauma as children or young adults. Specifically, I have noticed a pattern of females who, in some way, "lost" their fathers through death, neglect, abuse, abandonment, or dysfunctional relationship. In the same way, young men have either suffered through an abusive relationship with cold, domineering mothers, or fathers who were, in one way or another, cruel or absent. When parents and adult role models don't adequately care for and nurture us during our youth, it makes sense that there might be a severe disconnect with either or both genders. Because of what we've experienced in the past, we don't want to become them (same gender), and we would never want to be paired with and hurt by them again (opposite gender). But because we are all relational beings, we then seek out individuals who appear safe and comforting, and have historically treated us with kindness, love, and compassion. So many of us have been wounded, and in our quest to find healing, we might be drawn to any alternative that seems to promise hope, escape, meaning, or explanation. Are there exceptions to this generality? I'm sure that there are. I just feel it's too obvious a trend to dismiss.

  2. NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY: For those who don't know, our hormones - all of them - are made from the building blocks, protein and saturated fat. Our sex hormones - such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone (among others) - are also made from cholesterol. Isn't it ironic that these three nutrients (protein, fat, and cholesterol) are the very things that the health experts have told us to avoid for the past 5 decades? "Meat is bad for you and the planet!" "Saturated fat clogs your arteries!" "Cholesterol will give you heart disease!" Sound familiar? Research shows that Americans have been very diligent to follow the nutritional guidelines laid out by our governmental health agencies. Do you think our fastidious avoidance of these foods over a span of generations might impact the health, function, and biological manifestation of our children's sex steroid hormones, and thus their experience of feeling male or female? Could our sloppy, nutrient-poor diet over a series of decades be manipulating our children's hormones to the point of mass gender dysphoria? I believe it's a very compelling hypothesis, though probably not one that would garner any significant financial backing for scientific research. Too unpopular. Totally un-woke. But certainly plausible.

  3. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICITY: "Endocrine disruptor" is the umbrella term used to describe any dietary or environmental insult that interferes with the proper function of our endocrine system, which includes our hormones. A few of these destructive triggers include mold, plastics, pesticides, chlorine, fluoride, phytoestrogens like those found in soy and flax, medications, and various chemicals found in food, soil, air and water. With so many agents altering how our hormones are produced and how they act and react within the body, could there be a correlation between the pervasiveness of our youth's gender confusion and the mounting toxicity of their environment? And if so, why would we be celebrating this horrific realization with rainbows and inappropriate Target displays, when every single one of us should be brought to our knees by the potential possibility...are we, as a society, willfully poisoning our kids to such a degree? And if so, what might the next iteration of this progression be?

  4. SOCIAL PRESSURE: We live in an age where it's no longer acceptable simply to tolerate alternative lifestyles. We must vigorously promote and celebrate them, or risk being charged as bigoted homophobes, or worse. The person who openly espouses every form of sexual expression is deemed open-minded, accepting, full of love and virtue; while the person who expresses concern, hesitation, disagreement, or discomfort with these lifestyles is verbally abused and publicly ridiculed. In this sort of aggressive "hate speech" arena, who would be brave enough to go against the flow? Who would stand for something other than the vocal majority's version of the truth? What kind of person would dare risk reputation and social acceptance just to publicly affirm and uphold their own deeply-held values? I am guessing this would be a person of integrity and a person with a backbone. Sadly, there aren't many young people who have had enough time and experience to develop either of these traits, nor enough adults who have done the inner work to boldly point out the emperor with no clothes. Our kids are being brutally deceived, and we call it liberated thinking. It sickens me.

  5. SPIRITUAL EMPTINESS: The Bible makes it clear that our enemy is "...a liar and the father of lies." When he lies, he speaks his native language (John 8:44). We also know that he "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (I Peter 5:8). Do we not see the destruction of the traditional family? Do we not recognize the degradation of Godly male leadership in marriage, and the mockery of the dedicated stay-at-home mom? Are we blind to the ways in which our children are being targeted, hunted down, and emotionally/physically/mentally maimed by all manner of evil and perversity in the world? We have asked God to leave our marriages, leave our homes, leave our schools, leave our government, and leave our country. And what are we left with? Broken relationships. Dysfunctional homes. Toxic male role models. Anxious, stressed out women. A clown-show of a country. Troubled and confused children without a strong anchor of truth, or even a sense of their own God-given identity. We are launching our kids, unprepared and unprotected, into a hostile world, leaving it to them to figure out, with the aid of social media, some of the most complex and confusing issues of our time. Some can barely make their own beds or tie their own shoes. How in the world are they to sort out truth from lies about their sexual orientation? Is it any wonder they are desperately floundering, tossed about in relentless waves of doubt and insecurity? These are not young people expressing their authentic selves. These are young people responding to trauma in a spiritually-deprived culture devoid of truth.

Our children are vulnerable, impressionable, and lacking in higher level critical thinking skills. They are blindly following the lead of the influential peers and adults in their lives, and they are being led astray. How do we fix this? Oh my, where to start? I believe it begins with a return to God's word, and a continual affirmation of who we are in His sight. We are royalty, sons and daughters of the Most High King. We are overcomers. We are accepted, redeemed, chosen, forgiven, set apart, cherished, protected, and known. We are precious, worth fighting for, and made whole. THIS is our identity, and it comes from God alone. Let us stop looking to the world to tell us who we are. Let us look instead to our Creator, who loves us, and who has a glorious plan for our lives. And as we do, I believe we will see our children find peace, experience lasting security, thrive in their spiritual identity, and gain wisdom to distinguish truth from lies - just as God designed.

Matthew 18:6 NIV - “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

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