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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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We just discovered that my 14 yo stepson has been experimenting

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We just discovered that my 14 yo stepson has been experimenting with wearing his mother's pantyhose and, most recently, tried out our daughter's bathing suit bottoms. Is this a normal path for a boy to try to figure out his sexuality at this age? He is now very embarressed about the whole episode...
Hello WorriedMom - thanks for visiting.

As you say, cross dressing of this type is a common enough way of exploring youthful sexuality. Womens’ underclothing can be ‘mysterious’ and therefore exciting, and that can be part of the cause.

It is usually linked to the pleasure of masturbation, and if the person becomes to fixated on it, it can cause failure of an appropriate sexual response to the opposite gender in later life in the absence of the desired clothing.

It is not, however, a sign of latent homosexuality.

Part of your son’s unwillingness to discuss this will stem from the fact that he does not want to be thought of as a ‘sissy’ (a teenage boy’s ultimate nightmare!) and because of a likely link to masturbation. Keep working at keeping communication open, and try to treat it lightly.

In general, it is regarded as harmless, and tends to disappear as sexual issues get sorted out, but if it continues into late adolescence, you might wish to have him evaluated by a psychiatrist.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you Norman! I had thought that may be the case. My stepson has had other behaviors arise in the last year that we are also concerned about but I don't think they are related to this latest discovery of ours. In the past year he has attempted to pawn his mother's jewelry using one of the 1-800 gold services (we figured out that he was mad because he didn't have any money and we wouldn't give him any without earning it - spent his stash) as well as taking a steak knife and making marks in the drywall in the hallway (my husband believes he was acting out of frustration because his parents have clamped down on his behavior). He is left alone on a regular basis at his mother's house after school during the week and all day during several summer vacation weeks. My husband is also monitoring his internet access and we have found he has clicked on some rather unsavory sites that show soft porn that were linked to anime sites he visits (he is very into japanese cartoons). Both of them are at a loss as to how to proceed from here....are all these incidents isolated? Or are they connected?
I'm sorry to say that I think that this young man has some behavioral problems which may require professional attention.. I'm more concerned about the knife damage and attempts to steal (for that is what it was) his mother's jewelry.

The soft porn issue - to be honest, the biggest users of soft porn are teenage boys. Most sites are aimed directly at them.

I am also concerned that he is left alone so much. Really, this needs to be addressed too.

I do believe that he should have an evaluation from a child psychologist if his behavior does not improve significantly. It might help if you explored with him what his boundaries are, and how he feels about that.
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