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As many as 25 percent of youths experience “transient or temporary same-sex attractions,” yet the number of gay adults is much lower — 2 percent to 3 percent of the population, he said.

“Spontaneous and assisted change is possible,” and if a teen’s sexual-orientation confusion is not encouraged or validated, in the vast majority of cases, he or she “will return to heterosexual orientation,” said Dr. Trumbull, who has a pediatrics practice in Alabama.

“It’s wrong for anyone to be bullied or mocked or stigmatized. At the same time — and I know this is heresy to the lesbian and gay community — I do not think we should normalize these kinds of behaviors and orientations,” said Dr. Jerry A. Miller Jr., a pediatrician in Augusta, Ga., who is chairman of the CMDA’s pediatric section.

Teens can get involved in so many risky behaviors, especially regarding drugs, alcohol and sex, said Dr. Miller. As caring physicians, “we want our patients to thrive, and we just don’t think that is going to occur in that [LGBTQ] lifestyle.”