An experienced educator raised the following concerns with me. Western society has experienced a radical change in attitude towards homosexuality in recent years. It is no longer viewed as a sign of mental illness or moral depravity but rather a legitimate sexual expression. The stigma and shame of engaging in homosexual activity has decreased drastically. Thus while it is true that such activity has happened in the past in dormitories or camps - either between a teenage boy and younger children or between peers who are exploring their sexuality - the frequency seems to be increasing or at least the awareness has sharply increased. At the same time - the Torah absolutely prohibits such behavior calling it an abomination.
His questions were 1) how to react if two boys are discovered to have willingly engaged in homosexual activity? 2) Is there any way for the staff of a yeshiva or camp to identify boys who might be prone to such behavior or those who engage in it. 3) at what age does this type of activity stop being the result of exploration of sexuality and instead indicate relatively stable sexual identity? 4) When is it best to advise psychotherapy rather than silence? 5) under what circumstances should such boys either be refused admission to yeshiva/camp or be sent home and when should they be allowed to stay under watchful eyes and close supervision. 6) Is it better to provide some type of general educational program to explicitly warn against such behavior or is it more beneficial to maintain the present approach of not to mentioning such activity so as to not arouse curiousity and attention? 7) Are there any differences between boys and girls in this matter? 8) Is there any proven way to discourage homosexual attractions and develop exclusive heterosexual interest?