Queer Subjects of Suicide: Cultural Studies, Sexuality and Youth Suicide Research/Policy in New Zealand

Rob Cover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite increasing tolerance, legal protections against homophobia, and anti-discrimination policies throughout much of the western world, suicide attempts by queer youth remain relatively high. For over twenty years, research into queer youth suicide has debated reasons and risks, although it has also often reiterated assumptions about sexual identity and youth vulnerability. Understanding the cultural context in which suicide becomes a necessary escape from living an unliveable life is the key to queer youth suicide prevention. This book uses cultural theory to outline some of the ways in which queer youth suicide is perceived in popular culture, media and research. It highlights how the ways in which we think about queer youth suicide have changed over time and some of the benefits and limitations of current thinking on the topic. Focusing on identity, Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity also investigates why queer young men continue to attempt suicide. Drawing on approaches from queer theory, cultural studies and sociology, it explores how sexual identity formation, sexual shame and discrepancies in community belonging and exclusions are implicated in the reasons why some queer youth are resilient while others are vulnerable and at risk of suicide. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, media studies, queer theory and social theory with interests in youth, gender and sexuality, and suicidology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-98
JournalNew Zealand Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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