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Chumming is a well-known feature of adolescence.

The friendships of this age are often so intensely emotional that there is no doubt about their being sexual. They occur at a time when association with the opposite sex is not yet a part of the pattern which the group expects the young person to follow. Boys and girls may not even be conscious of the sexual nature of their friendships. In fact, throughout life most personal attractions, whether between the sexes or within the same sex, have a sexual element which people are usually not conscious of. This confusion between friendship and sex attraction makes it all the easier for a young person to develop an extreme fixation of homosexuality before he realizes what has happened. His ideal of physical beauty may become so deeply rooted in favor of his own sex that when he finds himself on the threshold of adult life and is expected to have heterosexual interests and eventually to get married, he suffers from maladaptation, which he may believe is hopeless unless he understands that sexual taste may be modified even in adulthood.


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