October 29, 2009

When Did You Know if You Liked Girls or if You Liked Boys?

Earlier this month, Sam (pronounced KEER-sten) wrote a post about her son Chicken (pronounced SOO-doe-nim): Chicken is thirteen and knows if he likes girls or if he likes boys, but sometimes when he mentions it he gets a reaction like he's too young at thirteen to know that information.

I am very interested to know if my kids like girls or if they like boys, and I would like to know how much more time I have to wait to find out. So my question for today is: How old were you when you knew?

My mom says I had boyfriends as early as kindergarten (I do hope Alfie still regrets dumping me), but my own personal memory of actual attraction starts in third grade. I liked boys. I didn't even have that early stage a lot of girls have where they develop a few crushes on girls or female teachers: I went right to crushes on boys and never stopped. So for me, the answer was clear at age 8 or 9. By age 13, it couldn't have even been raised as a topic of discussion, it was so set. BOYS BOYS BOYS BOYS BOYS. Boys!

But I know people develop at different rates, and I had classmates who didn't show any interest in boys OR girls even in high school, and I also know a lot of people are more of a mix and so need more time to figure it out, so I'd like to get a bigger sample than just me and Chicken. How old were you when you knew what was what?

75 comments:

Cherish said...

Can I say that I still dont know? One of my brothers is gay and the other four are straight. Although the gay brother didnt come out until his late teens, we all suspected it from around age 15 or so, maybe earlier. He says that it was around grade 7 or 8 that he started to really have crushes on some of the boys in his class. Now Im sure social norms came into play, making his feelings harder for him to interpret at first. But for the most part I think he knew by the time he became a teenager. As for me, I think it wasn't until I was a teenager that I started to wonder. I remember when I was maybe 14, having the conversation with my brother that I wasn't sure which way I leaned.

Denise said...

I didn't turn boy crazy until 7th grade, about age 13. Other girls seemed to like boys earlier--like 4th grade but yuck. No thanks. So for me it was middle school.

Leah said...

I started having crushes on boys in 4th grade. I wish people wouldn't dismiss the feelings children have, my deepest feelings have never changed much from childhood.

el-e-e said...

Kindergarten for me. Derek was my one troooo luvvvv in Kindergarten. Mark in first grade. Matthew in third. Et cetera.

Anna said...

I remember my kindergarten attraction to boys. David Seacrest (oooh, I hope he doesn't read your blog!) and a cute little redhead named Mickey. Mickey and I shared a propensity to bite our nails and a rebel streak. I have recently cured my nail biting with energy tapping; I really wish I could tell him.

Virginia Ruth said...

I was engaged to a boy when we were three. At seven, I contracted a crush that lasted four years. It was rare that I was without some male object of attention. But, while I might have expected some kind of change in the quality of my interests to happen around puberty, it really didn't, and in some ways still hasn't. I have always been intensely drawn to men, but my initial attractions always have that kind of proto-sexual quality you get in childhood. It's never, "OMG, he's HAWT" but, "Ooh, he seems like a really interesting person that I want to be closer to."

There was a phase, shortly after college, where this really bothered me, and I started to wonder if I was really hetero. I did a lot of questioning, investigating homo-, hetero-, and asexuality, and what I came to understand was that everyone's a little bit different, even those that go under the same label.

To answer your question, you probably won't know for sure until they start dating. And even then, things may change. Some people know for sure at an early age. Some don't figure it out till later. And some will change. And even kids like me who were ALL ABOUT boys might not be sure, later, what that means.

So... hang on for the ride! It sounds like your kids will have a supportive mum whatever they figure out about themselves, and that's awesome.

Fran said...

I can remember a boy in my Kindergarten class that I thought was the most handsome I had ever seen. But as far as wanting a "boyfriend" and understanding what that was I would say that was in 5th grade so I was..9?

d e v a n said...

I always ASSUMED that I liked boys, even in KDG and elementary school. However, it was about 6th grade that I had my first actual crush on a boy - so I'd say that I knew by age 11-12.

Jenni said...

I think I was around ten. His name was David Leonard and we played footsies like there was no tomorrow.

Giselle said...

I always had crushes on cute boys...or in one case a boy that knew all the words to Beach Boys, "Kokomo" (I have really high standards). But I never had any desire to touch or kiss or do anything remotely physical. Even in high school. I found it terribly awkward and I tend to be a very guarded person physically anyway. I even wondered if perhaps I was looking at the wrong gender...except that I'd never had even a crush on a girl.

So I spent the end of high school/beginning of college wondering if I was the only A-sexual on the planet...not attracted to either gender. And then I met my husband (in college). And almost immediately upon starting to date, he completely and definitely answered my questions about what gender I prefer ;) So I guess that's a long way of saying that I always ASSUMED I would be attracted to boys...but I never actually felt it until I met that certain someone.

stephLove said...

I was 15 when I fell in love with my best friend and started to think I must be a lesbian. Then the next year I fell in love with a boy and decided I must be bisexual. That was the correct conclusion. My parents suspected I wasn't straight sooner, though. My mom when I was 5, my dad when I was 8. I'm not sure how they knew. I was a tomboy but I know a lot of tomboys who grew up to be straight so that's not foolproof.

Leeann said...

It is so funny you ask that! I was VERY aware of boys at a young age. In fact, my first kiss was in Kindergarten. I have yearbooks clearly starred with who the cute boys were in first grade on. My brother (straight) showed no real interest until his teens.

For my three kids, my daughter was VERY interested in boys VERY early. She had a mad crush on a boy in four-year-old preschool that was so shockingly intense that my Dh and I used to secretly call her The Stalker. I felt bad for the poor kid. Luckily, she settled down as she matured. She is now 14 and a half and hasn't even had a first kiss yet (Yay!)

DS11 had his first crush in Kindergarten but he was MUCH more quiet and less overt about it. Then all was quiet until Grade 5, when he became boyfriend-girlfriend with a little blond. Which is hysterical because it means that he can hardly look at her or speak to her. lol

DS7 said nothing through high school and DH and I kind of wondered about him. What would be his attraction? Then, one morning when I was backing the car out to take him to Kindergartenl, he piped up from his carseat: "I'm in LOVE with Demcy G!" I mentally checked him off the list.

So, all my kids seemed to be aware of an attraction to a gender by Kindergarten, in sum.

Rolling Off The Edge... Together said...

John Burrows - first grade. I used to chase boys around the play ground and try to pin them on the chain link fence to kiss them. Never any doubt and like you I never had a crush on any females. I liked certain women a lot but more in a respectful way like I knew they were super women and I wanted to emulate them.

My four year old likes girls. I mean that not in a "OMG he will only like girls" but in a I have no doubt about it way. Since he was a tiny baby he has flirted with girls and I can remember standing in line at the grocery with two college girls giggling behind me because my son was making googly eyes at them. To this day, he digs girls, especially cute blond girls which is funny and a different subject I think.

Megan said...

I too knew that I liked boys in kindergarten. I had a boyfriend and we even went on "dates". So I think you can definitely know at 13, and even 5.

Omaha Mama said...

I had a boyfriend in kindergarten. And continued to have a boyfriend each year of school. It sort of marks my school years. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to think about how much time I spent on all of that. Sheesh.
That being said, I have a friend who never dated or talked about boys through grade school, high school, or even college. She thought we were all crazy. Then she met a guy after entering her career and married him a year later. They now have a baby boy named Max and are doing awesome. So whether or not she knew which she liked, it took her a loooooong time to act on it.
I think a kid's feeling should be honored either way, they are feeling whatever they are feeling, even if they change their mind later. But maybe I'd feel differently if it was my own kids, I'd like to think not.

allstarme said...

Interesting topic. Looking back, I can see how a lot of people may have thought I batted for the same team due to my tom-boyish dress. But I think I knew from probably as young as second or third grade that I was all about boys. There was never a second guess, actually.

Tess said...

I can't remember ever NOT liking boys or having crushes on certain ones.

However, one of my best friends from high school never dated or expressed interest in ANYONE, male or female all throughout high school(he is gay).

I guess romantic relationships/feelings are just not a priority for some kids? Sort of how some people are adult-onset athletes or crafters or children-likers.

Marie Green said...

I had "boyfriends" a few times throughout elementary school, but I also developed "crushes" on adult females in my life... that was more about looking for a nurturing mother-figure, however.

I had a few tiny crushes as a little kid, but my first all-consuming, can't sleep, can't think crush wasn't until 10th grade.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to embarrass him, but my three-year old son already goes up to girls (especially redheads) and says, "Hi! What *your* name is?" My mother is excited by the possibility of redheaded great-grandchildren.

As for me, my first crush on a boy was in Kindergarten.

--Sarah

CAQuincy said...

I was chasing boys around the playground in kindergarten. And my first taste of "unrequited crush" was around grade 2. Yeah--I knew EARLY.

My female "crushes" were more about--oh! I so want to be friends with her!

-R- said...

I remember having a crush on a neighbor boy when I was in kindergarten.

Sixminutes said...

I love your attitude about this. Like it's a present not yet opened, whatever their preference. You have lucky kids!

C @ Kid Things said...

I had "boyfriends" all throughout elementary school. I never even thought about being attracted to anyone but boys until around high school. Then it was just in a "she's pretty" kind of way. So I guess you just know from the start?

beyond said...

thirteen is not too young to know. i had crushes when i was younger than that and these crushes were always on boys. my first crush was probably at eight. these are crushes, not "boyfriends", and i think that's a big difference. i dated way later, i was a bit of a late bloomer in that respect.

Shelly Overlook said...

I had crushes on boys/"boyfriends" when I was in first and second grade. I never had crushes on girls at all. To me, it was just innate and there was no figuring it out, it just was.

Jess said...

I started liking boys in first grade. The angsty diary entries about crushes on various boys start in second grade.

Jenny said...

I started having crushes on boys in kindergarten. I remember playing "catch 'em and kiss 'em" in second grade (damned if the boy I liked was too speedy for me). So I knew very early that I was all about boys.

Lauren said...

I discovered boys in fourth grade, when I transferred from an all girls school to co-ed.

I always wonder how many kids have same sex crushes when they're young and don't realize it because it's less socially acceptable. It's great that you acknowledge that your kids could go either way and wait to hear it from them!

Snarks said...

I think I could go either way, but I think societal norms have pushed me to have only heterosexual relationships because of the fear of being labeled even more so than I was anyway. That being said, I don't think I'd ever have a serious relationship with a woman, only a sexual one, so I guess even though I would be interested in either, my true interest in a developing, loving relationship would be with a man.

Jamie said...

My first "boyfriend" was in kindergarten and it was all boys all the time from then on.

Miss Grace said...

I have been without a doubt boy-crazy since I was about three years old. No joke.

For my little brothers, 17-y-o I knew without a doubt liked girls from the time he was about two. My 12yo brother we're all still unsure. He seems completely oblivious and uninterested in either direction.

Clarabella said...

First, I agree completely with @Sixminutes & try to think of it that way with my own son.
It's refreshing to see another mother so open about the myriad possibilities we might experience with our children, rather than just assuming the hetero- (absolutely NO offense meant) as so many people do.
That said, I had my first boyfriend in kindergarten & remember being actually attracted to a boy (like, wanting to kiss him & touch him & have the same done back to me TMI!) in about 3rd grade. I have been boy crazy my entire life, although it usually manifested in long monogamous relationships, even in school.
I did once have a very intense and complicated relationship with a best friend, who also happened to be bisexual, that did not end up so well. Sigh, sex and love and attraction are complicated.
Good topic, Swistle!

Saturngirl said...

Um...23?

I kid.

I'm very curious to know whether young-child crushes are 100% accurate indicators of later sexual attraction.

I think my first crush was on a boy, in 4th grade. My first "boyfriend" (where I was hoping for a kiss, though it never happened) was in 6th grade. I had a mad crush on the same guy for all of junior high and most of high school, but like Virginia Ruth it was quite proto-sexual. I had one kiss in high school, total (and whoo-ee, did that start up a chattering on the girls' basketball teamk which had, apparently?, assumed I was gay).

It wasn't until my early 20s, when I was in a satisfying romantic and sexual relationship with a boy, that I really began to explore and understand my sexuality. And at that point, lo and behold, I began to realize that a) I was attracted to women as well, and b) had *totally* had girl crushes growing up. Most of these were fangirl crushes as opposed to friend crushes. While my friends were sighing over Scott Baio or Sean Cassidy, my crushes had been Kathleen Tuner and the drummer girl in Some Kind of Wonderful. Not knowing that girls *could* like girls as a kid, it hadn't really occurred to me to recognize these as crushes.

Tamara said...

I still don't have any real indication that I like one sex better than the other, other than living with my male partner and loving him more than any other person male or female. But attraction? Goes both ways for me.

Amanda said...

I have a close friend who is a lesbian and I've asked her when she knew. She says she honestly didn't know until high school. She says she was awkward socially and just didn't clue in about girls liking girls. She didn't have anyone she knew that was a lesbian. She's in her thirties now and happily married (to a woman) with children.

I think kids these days will have an easier time identifying themselves earlier. It's getting closer to being a social norm.

cassie said...

I think I was 8 going on 9, and it was boys. His name was Larry and he was perfect. Or so I thought at the time. :) I know my little sister was 8 when she showed me her journal that said, "If I were the principal I would let all the girls have sex with all the boys." No joke, I was half amused, half terrified.

g~ said...

I am firmly in the "Go Penis!" camp and have been since...er...probably middle school, fersure. Although I swear I still want a wife and my best friend and I often fantasize about running away together. In fact, we now say we missed our window of opportunity when our kids wouldn't really remember us now that they have reached approximately 4 and 6. *le sigh* I would pin both of my kids as "uninterested" or "not even aware of sexuality" at this point.

Annika said...

I started liking boys at nine and discovered (very suddenly and abruptly) that I liked girls as well at 14.

desperate housewife said...

I remember having my first crush in second grade, I think, on a boy named Ryan. And then I kind of ALWAYS had a crush on some boy or another. I think I got girl crushes, too, but more for, like, celebrities or famous authors or whatever than on girls that I knew. And I remember it being more a feeling of, "I want to BE that girl!" than "I want her to be my girlfriend."
I think I still get that. Like for a long time I wanted to BE Catherine Newman.

MoMMY said...

I honestly can't remember ever NOT having a crush. It was always a boy. Preschool, kindergarden, etc. Boys were so cute and mysterious and well, cuuuute.

I wonder about my own boys and wonder how much is societal pressure and how much is what they really like. I've tried to let them know that I just want them to be happy and whatever is right for them is the way it should be. I guess we'll wait and see.

All 4 have voiced interest in girls and I know the oldest two have kissed girls. I'm not sure that tells the tale though. I've decided to let it play out. Maybe their not sure.

MoMMY said...

They're not their. sorry!

Sam said...

I knew Chicken was gay when he was a toddler? preschooler? Somewhere in there his fabulousness just sprang out and said OH HAI with rainbows and unicorns.

cindy kay said...

My first crush was in third grade, and his name was Jeff. Then there was the boy in fifth grade who had a crush on me. (His name was Mark.)

This is weird. I think, now that I think about it, I can go through and tell you the name of every boy I ever had a crush on, and when. (But I won't. I hear that sigh of relief...)

And speaking of names, I had a crush on another Jeff when I was 14, and now my son-in-law is named Jeff. Hmmm.

Laura said...

Well I'm going to buck the trend and say that I didn't think about this (romantic relationships) at all until I was at least in 7th grade. I mean, I grew up in a traditional environment and always assumed that someday I would be married with kids, but I didn't have a crush on a boy until...7th grade at least. At the same time, I had those middle school girl crushes on women you speak of in your post, but not in a sexual way - more of an "I really think that woman is cool, and I want to be liked and admired by her" way. I wondered if I might be bisexual (worried, more like - again, that Traditional Environment), but concluded that since I didn't want to do anything sexual with my girl crushes, I was hetero. That said, I was a late bloomer on the dating scene, and didn't really have a serious, falling in love relationship (with a man) until I was 23.

Portia said...

I distinctly remember having a conversation with my friends about boys and crushes at the age of 9 or so, and privately thinking that I had no idea whether or not I liked boys, but it appeared to be the thing to do.

I don't think I was actually interested in boys until I was 13 or so, and didn't have any massive, gigantic, all-consuming crushes on specific boys til I was 15. Boy howdy, did I make up for lost time then.

Anonymous said...

3rd grade.
For sure.

amy said...

I have always, always liked boys. Never for a moment been interested/attracted to girls. At all. My daughter had a crush on a boy last year (grade four, 9 years old). Total boy crushes up to this point as well.

Cookie said...

I have always liked boys, have since kindergarten. Randy was my first big young crush. I've never really had a girl crush, although I suppose my current obsession with Jillian Michaels could be close. My boys are both girl crazy already. I mean Gabe at 18-months would climb up a little set of stairs to stare through the window at a teacher he liked, and then get all shy when she noticed him. Also his best friend, who he ADORES, is a girl.

Alice said...

i always assumed i liked boys, but never had any EXPERIENCE with a boy until right before i graduated highschool (we're talking kissing here - i'd never even done that until then. I KNOW). so anyway, after that summer of making out with a boy, i went to college, where it occurred to me that maybe the reason i'd never kissed a boy until so recently was because i didn't WANT to kiss boys. so i thought about it quite hard, and spent a while (like seriously, a month at least) studying various girls and boys around me to determine if i "felt more" for one gender than the other. i eventually decided that yes, i did like boys, and that apparently i was just very late to the game.

so, uh, hopefully everyone else figures it out sooner than that ;-)

Brooke said...

Well, I think I was in the first grade when I developed my huge crush on Travis Carter. I never thought boys had cooties; I knew how things were "supposed" to roll. It was BOYS BOYS BOYS from the get-go.

My daughter is ten and doesn't talk about boys (or girls). Her best friends are girls, and she has friends who are boys, much unlike my also-ten-year-old step-daughter, who has had many boyfriends, but I don't know if the young gentlemen knew that. :-)

HollyLynne said...

Oh, it was pretty darn obvious that I liked boys from about kindergarten on. I also never went through that whole Tiger Beat / Teen Magazine drooling-over-fey-boys-because-they're-safer thing. I went straight for the hard stuff . . . my first real, documented crushes were on Nikki Sixx and David Bowie. And while both guys, admittedly, wore makeup, they were also bad asses and the furthest thing possible from the effeminate New Kids On The Block types my classmates were into.

Hulga said...

I fell in love with the neighbor boy at age 5. I remember I told him I loved him at age 6 and he never spoke to me again. After that I always waited for them to say it first. Most of my gay friends knew pretty early on that they were gay and also they knew to hide it. I think most people know early on even if they don't let on that they know.

Maggie said...

I clearly remember having a crush on a boy in first grade when I was 6. Like you, by the time I was 13 it was all boys all the time in my head. In retrospect it was really good that my parents sent me to a private all-girls school from 8-12 grade. I was too distracted.

Stacie said...

First grade for me, if not earlier! Had a huge crush on the same boy for four years until I changed schools. Still think about him sometimes, too!

Lynnette said...

BBBBBBOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYSSSSSSSS!

For serious, there isn't a time in my life that I don't remember being totally over the moon for them. That said, a little girl-on-girl porn? Or fantasizing? Wouldn't go astray in my house.

Christina said...

I vividly recall coming downstairs when my mom was teaching piano to a little girl 3 or 4 years older than me. Her mom and little brother (my age) were sitting waiting for her lesson to be over and I was smitten, over the moon, head over heels in love w/ that boy. He turned out to be a classmate and I had a crush on him through all of elementary, middle, and early high school.

But I think total BOY CRAZE like.. when I had mutliple crushes and wrote about marrying them in my journal was maybe 5th or 6th grade.

parkingathome said...

I had crushes on the boys the other girls had crushes on, but I didn't really care for any of them. I distinctly remember my sister being gaga over the prince in little mermaid and in my little head I preferred ariel. I had secret crushes on women, and outward crushes on boys (that were fake of course). I dated a few losers to make my quota of loser boys, then I dated women and felt that it fit. I came out, got a rainbow necklace, learned the proper way to eat certain things, and then....I fell in love with a man.

I would have to truly say that there is only one man for me. I am still only attracted to women, but I am in love with and attracted to my husband. Figure that one out!

Stacia said...

By the time I was 4 or 5 I knew I had crushes on girls as well as boys, but I had no idea what that meant, so I just kind of ignored it and paid attention to crushes on boys. But that didn't last long as I didn't connect with kids my age. My parents frankly expected me to be a little adult instead of a kid, so I'd be discussing Shakespeare and politics in 3rd grade and no one wanted to hang with me. (I went into school the day after Sadat was assassinated and was excitedly discussing it, and kids were looking at me and asking "what's a saw dot?") So I didn't fit in and didn't really bother to figure out what I liked or who I liked, because what was the point?

By the time I started crushing on people in meatspace I was... junior high, I think? And again, focusing on boys because I didn't know there was such a thing as bisexuality and I knew I wasn't a lesbian.

It was college before I figured myself out. In retrospect I can see plenty of evidence for knowing I was bi as early as 4, but actually knowing it at the time was out of the question.

Michelle said...

My first crush was on a boy named Sam in kindergarten. Then I transferred my affections to a neighbor boy who was a couple years older than me. But I remember liking him in a blushing-cheeks kind of way in 1st and 2nd grade.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I remember in Grade One thinking that a boy named Matthew was very cute, and we used to play a game at recess called "Girls Chase Boys" or "Boys Chase Girls", I distinctly remember this. I changed schools for Grade Two, and I liked when this boy named Clint paid attention to me. In third grade, a schoolmate and girl who lived across the street from me told me she had a crush, and that was the first time I shared outloud a crush I had on a boy. In Grade Four, Matthew came to my school (he hadn't come with us for Grade Two)... I remember Grade Four (age 9) distinctly being a year when more people became more obvious about their "crushes", and I always thought boys were cute... I never even thought of girls in any other way than a friend.

Mind you, I didn't know what Gay was at this point. However, it was also in Grade Four that I learned about what Gay meant, and recognized myself that my own uncle was gay.

I've never felt attracted to another women in a sexual, I want a relationship way. I've admired women though, because I can admit some are beautiful, have lovely hair, dress nice... but I've never felt an urge to have a relationship with them or felt any "crush" or "ache" for them the way I've felt on any crushes I've had on guys (through high school I had many "aching crushes" on guys who I knew would never even glance my way, haha). I had my first boyfriend at 17, I was a late bloomer (very bookish and nerdy and had a lovely time hanging out with friends GOSSIPING about boys, but never dated or smooched any).

So yeah, I think I was just always attracted to boys... even from very young. I will admit, when I was around 14 and was more aware of what homosexuality meant, I was a little nervous thinking, "Maybe I'm a Lesbian?" (more because I just didn't know how people knew if they were or not, I didn't know if people just woke up that way one day)... I even attempted to picture a girl I thought was pretty and then picture a guy I had a crush on to see how I felt... and I recognized right away that I didn't have any of those same feeligs towards any girls, so then I Just. Knew. that I was straight. That's the first time I've ever shared that, haha.

I have no problem with homosexuality at all, I am accepting of others. I just hope that children who already recognize themselves as gay aren't being ostracized or hurt by their peers the way they may have been in the past.

I will say (this is a novel, sorry, it's just such a good topic, lol)... the only boy I went to school with who used to get called "gay" on the playground when we were 9 DID turn out to be gay, and he had very flamboyant tendencies and hung out only with girls as friends.... I'm not trying to stereotype, but it is something I experienced. I do think it's just how people are born, I do believe you can Just. Know. at a very young age.

Artful Kisser said...

I was 7 and he was 10. His name was Mario. Obviously he was Italian. He had curly black hair, big brown eyes and honey coloured skin covering muscles that could already rival Leonardo's 'David'. He had a gold tooth filling in an incisor that sparkled in the sunlight. But for the fact that I'm a girl, I think all signs would clearly have indicated I was an out and out gay boy.

Lippy said...

I always like boys. I guess I never knew there was a different option until I mmmmm, in high school? I will say Owen has always been into girls. Last summer (when he was 5) during the olympics, he was watching the girls trampoline event, then he asked if he could watch it again in slow motion! So we are pretty sure he is straight.

Beth A. said...

I was about ten when I had my first crush on a boy. I had a boy who was a friend in second grade, but it was strictly platonic (as opposed to the fourth grade crush, which was strictly wishful thinking).

When I hear people saying a thirteen-year-old is too young to know if they're gay, I have three reactions:

1. Thirteen is certainly old enough to feel sexual attraction
2. I've never heard anyone tell a thirteen-year-old attracted to someone of the opposite sex that they're too young to know if they're heterosexual
3. While things have improved some, in general an openly gay teen is letting themselves in for a world of harassment and pain. There's a reason the suicide rate among LGBT teens is so high. So I tend to doubt that many teens are willing to talk about same sex attraction unless they really mean it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, fascinating topic. I was a late bloomer (no dates/kisses until college) but I just wasn't interested either way. That worried me for a while but I got over it and eventually met a man. I think I'm just not a very sexual person (does that make sense?) although I'm happily married to a man. I have never really wondered about my daughter (who is 4) but now reading the comments how people knew in kindergarten! That seems so early to a late bloomer like me :) --a girl

Laura said...

Hm. Most of my friends were boy crazy by the time we hit high school. I wasn't. Wasn't all that interested at all. I was more concerned with getting the boys who kept picking on me to leave me alone. My first crush wasn't until my freshman year of college and man was he cute! Yeah, I was a late bloomer. Sooner or later, I'll find a smart guy to marry, but I'm in no real hurry...

Laura said...

Oh! I forgot to say... :) Now, marriage was on his mind, as his mommy had just remarried, but the cutest proposal I ever had was from a five-year-old little boy I used to baby sit. He was jumping on the trampoline in his backyard and ever so often, he'd leap off into my arms. :) He'd just done it and said, "Laura, will you marry me? I love you and I'll take good care of you and stuff." Attraction on his part? Don't know. :) I told him that he needed to be taller and a bit older first! ;)

Buster said...

I was in third grade and developed a pretty intense crush on the boy that sat next to me. Before that, I remember being pretty meh about the whole thing, not getting why some of the girls in my class were so boy-crazy, but Rich was the beginning of my interest in boys.

Erin said...

I had my first crush in first grade, and it lasted through fifth grade. So I knew I was a boy-loving kind of girl early.

When I was in 7th grade though, I had a guy friend come out as gay. I wasn't shocked, but I was surprised that he felt sure enough to talk about it openly.

Farrell said...

GREAT Topic! Will read all comments thoroughly. VERY interesting!

As for me (a female), I remember having mini crushes on a couple of boys as early as the 4th grade, but it didn't *really* start until the 6th grade. And I was boy crazy in those early teenage years when hormones were raging and then I remember by Senior Year of HS, I looked around and was like, "I'm supposed to have crushes on THESE boys? The ones who I watched pick their nose and eat their bugers in 4th grade? Puhlease. Get me to college, STAT."

I don't care if my daughter likes boys or girls, but for her sake, I hope she figures it out relatively quickly and sticks with it. And I hope she will know (because we will have had several conversations about it, though she's five, and we've had none) that I am A-OK with her liking girls OR boys.

Anonymous said...

I like girls and boys and I always have. I'm in my early 30's. But it wasn't until after my divorce that I had the courage to REALLY experiment with girls and I liked it but I still like boys too so I don't know.
I had a crush on a boy in HS for three years and I had a crush on my roommate in college for three years as well.

Farrell said...

I think the next post HAS to be a "How to talk to your young child about sexuality" because I HAVE NO CLUE.

Sorry, after reading the comments, I had a few more thoughts:

For the record, my five-year old daughter thinks boys are gross and stinky and she NEVER wants to get married, though one of her BFFs at school is a boy. And she is all girl (princesses and dolls, etc.), not a tomboy.

One of my BFFs in Kindergarten and Elementary school was a boy and he was always the only boy in a huge group of girls and we used to have slumber parties together and now he lives in SF with his partner. We are not surprised. It was just something I knew then, but didn't know what it was called; when I grew up and heard later, I was like, "Oh yeah, of course."

However, another boy I met in HS that I would swear up and down was gay, is married with two boys. He still COULD be gay, of course, but maybe he IS straight and just has really feminine mannerisms and characteristics. (I hope for his wife's sake)

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with a blue eyed blond little cutie the very frist day of Kindergaten.

Kelsey said...

I got married to a boy in first grade - his fourth grade sister performed the ceremony at recess. I never did try to marry a girl! I always had boys that I liked or thought were cute. As far back as I can remember.

Anonymous said...

I liked boys, but didn't realize I liked girls too until I was...oh, 12, I think.

My mom knew earlier. I don't remember this, but apparently some kids were calling a friend of mine gay when I was eight. I burst into tears telling her about it, saying "People love each other and THAT SHOULD BE OKAY!" And she thought, hmmm. :)

Cayt said...

Oh, hey, I like this topic a lot! I knew when I was 11 that I liked girls, and came out to my friends as bi at about 13. I later realised that it's really just girls, and was all out and proud lesbian (I have a 'vaginatarian' tee shirt) and then 18 months ago I started at university, and, having just broken up with my girlfriend of four years, fell head over heels for a boy! He and I are still together, but I now refer to myself as queer, because I don't want to devalue the word lesbian. It's definitely women-and-the-SO, not men.