*A group of pediatricians that broke away from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is cautioning educators about the management of students experiencing same-sex attraction or exhibiting symptoms of gender confusion.

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS) is especially reminding school superintendents that it is not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient confusion about their sexual orientation and that most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.

“Adolescence is a time of upheaval and impermanence,” writes ACPEDS President Dr. Tom Benton in a letter to school superintendents outlining his group’s concerns. “Adolescents experience confusion about many things, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and they are particularly vulnerable to environmental influences.”

For this reason, ACPEDS says schools should not seek to develop policy which “affirms” or encourages non-heterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion.

Such premature labeling, the group adds, can lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks.

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