A Tomboy as we discussed in my last post, is a girl that has boyish characteristics. Sometimes that can be physical appearance and other times it can be their style of play. A girl that prefers to do boy activities and hang with boys more than girl’s is another way that they may be perceived as a Tomboy. So do we actually think this way? Are Tomboys gay, just because of how they appear?
Many girls’ that are Tomboys as a kid continue to be described that way into adulthood, myself included. One of the other things that often gets said is that if a girl is far more boyish, it must directly correlate to their sexuality.
My goal with this post, is to give you some information on why we think this is and is this a true stereotype?
Dr. Andrea Burri and Qazi Rahmen believe that a girl’s genes maybe responsible for their sexual orientation and that it has nothing to do with being a Tomboy.
Dr. Andrea is a certified Psycho-Sexologist (ECPS) of the European Society for Sexual Medicine. Dr. Qazi Rahmen is one of the leading scientists in the area of sexual orientation and has a PhD. from King’s College London. He studies the biology of sexual orientation and the implications that his has on our mental health.
Together the 2 of them did a study using 4000 female twins. In the study, they asked all the girls’s about their sexual attractions and their gender non-conformity.
“Gender non-conformity” refers to people who do not follow other people’s idea or stereotypes in reference to how they look or act based on their sex at birth.
During this research they found that there are genetic influences on sexual orientation of about (25%) and childhood gender non-conformity is about (31%), reports journal PLoS One (peer-reviewed journal).
They explain that there is a direct correlation between psychological traits and sexual orientation. The brain develops under the influence of genes and sex hormones.
Environmental factors and genetics play a part. These factors like exposure to sex hormones while in the womb can shape differences in gender non-conformity and sexual simultaneously.
The results basically say that they believe that being gender non-conforming and being a lesbian come from within. Because of this, they realized that there truly is not much you can do about it.
Really then, what we know from this study is that there are specific genes for sexual orientation. Some in the community call it the “GAY GENE”.
He went on to say that stereotyping with words like “Tomboy or Butch” can make it that much harder for people to accept that they are gay or lesbian. This is simply due to the negative reaction that comes from others.
Now that we have been told that genetics play a part in determining your sexual orientation, lets look at the information we have on how it affects our brain or if it does.
One of the things we have found out is that gay and heterosexual brains are actually organized differently.
What…… well what does that mean? Basically, they are saying that the differences in the way the brain is organized also means the psychology will be different. All the studies have shown that our cognitive psychology reflects how we relate to other people and not just about who we like or fancy.
Here is an example of how our brains are organized differently. Let’s look at the similarities between gay men and heterosexual women, and also heterosexual men and lesbian women. On average gay men appear to be more “female typical” in their brain pattern responses and lesbian women are more “male typical”.
This shows that the way things are organized directly affects certain parts of our personality or characteristics in our behaviour.
Many people don’t believe the scientific evidence. They say all you need to do is look at the past history of homosexuality as a socialism or as a choice. The history of homosexuality then is somehow a learned behaviour and not genetic like the scientists research tells us it is.
When we think of a Tomboy, we think of certain characteristics or traits that they have that somehow defines who they are. Here is just few of those qualities that people believe makes a Tomboy a Lesbian.
- Plays rough
- Hates dresses
- Dresses more boyish
- Likes sports
- Plays video games
- Doesn’t care if they get dirty
- More mechanical or technical (taking thing apart and putting them back together)
- Like to play with the boys
- Personality can be a bit more aggressive
There is absolutely no connection that links Tomboyism to Lesbianism. A girl’s expression of her masculinity has nothing to do with her sexuality. The science proves that.
Now more than ever, especially when it comes to appearance and clothing girls wearing masculine clothing is so much less an issue then it used to be. We see far more straight girl’s wearing baggy mens clothes, mens boots, hats and so on.
To say that a girl that dresses a little more masculine or tomboyish, has to be a Lesbian is ridiculous! This is sort of like saying that all girl’s that play sports are Lesbians. Of course that is not true. Yes there are some that are, but there are also some pretty amazing woman athletes that are heterosexual. Again, this is a perception that people actually believe.
Just like clothing, fashion and your lifestyle doesn’t determine your sexual orientation, neither does your personality.
Yes there are some similarities between girl’s that grow up as Tomboys, but there are also plenty of Lesbians that are what we called “Lipstick Lesbians”.
That term is often used to describe a girly female that just happens to be gay. But of course doesn’t fit into the regular Lesbian stigmatism. Yes, another one of those words that we used to describe a person’s look and that somehow also describes their sexuality.
The bottom line here is that many Tomboys do grow up to be Lesbians, that is true. But why does it matter. You just want to say “So what”!
There are plenty of girl’s that I have played sports with over the years, hung out with and
even grew up with as a fellow Tomboy that did not grow up to be gay.
The funny part about writing this post is that I see myself in these descriptions everywhere. Whether it is the list above, or the science I have shared in this post. I am a Tomboy and YES I happen to be gay.
I don’t look back at my youth or teenage years and think wow I was always gay. That just isn’t how it works. At least not for me anyway.
I did grow up very much a Tomboy, and I don’t think anyone would dispute that. The thing I don’t agree with is just because I was a Tomboy, didn’t guarantee that I was going to be gay.
It took me 18-19 years to come up with my own truth, so how can someone just look at me and assume “OH YEAH SHE’S GAY”!
I don’t dislike men, and in fact, I dated boys up until I was almost 20 years of age. For me it was just a process of understanding my own feelings and being old enough to figure out what they meant.
For all you parents out there that have Tomboy girl’s in their family, please do your best to be compassionate and supportive. No matter what your daughter grows up to be or who she loves, she is still your daughter.
Some day soon, this entire topic will be such a thing of the past. We have already come so far just in my lifetime. 50 years from now when I am long gone, the conversation “are tomboys gay ” won’t even come up.
By then we will all just be who we were born to be.
BE HONEST, TRUE TO YOURSELF AND ALWAYS RESPECTFUL OF SOMEONE ELSE’S CHOICES!