Neil 's Life Course Perspective

2679 Words11 Pages
Neil is a twenty- three-year-old gay man who appears to have an inner conflict with his mother’s ready acceptance of his homosexuality. She seems to have accepted his homosexuality on an intellectual level, however not on an emotional level. The mother and son relationship appears to have issues that involve sexuality, boundaries/territories, tolerance, embarrassment, expectation, and shame. Neil’s story exemplifies the life course perspective in that it emphasizes diversity in his life journey, linking his early life experiences with later experiences in adulthood. Neil is an only child in a two-parent household. Although his parents are married, his father is always away on business and appears to be emotionally void and distant. Neil’s mother is the constant parental figure. Therefore, the story revolves around the mother and son’s relationship. Barbara, his mother, appears to be devoted, understanding, proactive and supportive of her son. During Neil’s childhood, his mother served on the PTA, volunteered at the Children’s Library and made sure her son had the most nutritious lunches. Neil’s developmental milestones appear to have been normal. According to Savin-Williams in Patterson (1995), gay identities are often thought to be a phenomenon of adolescence. Neil recognized his sexuality at the age of twelve. While lying outside on the grass, the family’s dog licked his face and the sensation from the dog’s licking incited sexual arousal. He then removed
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