Violence against queer youth

Farida Iqbal

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] A situation of profound suffering exists among queer youth in Australia today (young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.). This situation is related to anti-queer ―common sense‖ notions deeply embedded in our culture and exacerbated by economic inequality. In a series of studies queer youth have been found to be more likely to self harm, abuse drugs and attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Queer youth are also more vulnerable to homelessness and are more likely to drop out of high school. These outcomes have been found to be commonly related to violence from others. In this thesis I examine experiences of physical and sexual violence among queer youth in Australia. These youth are commonly subjected to violence motivated by anti-queer prejudice. I argue that the broader cultural context of prejudice also informs experiences of other kinds of violence, such as child sexual abuse and domestic violence. In addition to anti-queer violence, queer youth are also vulnerable to violence from other queer people. I undertook fieldwork among queer youth from October 2004 until October 2005, primarily in the Australian cities of Sydney and Perth. The methodology of participant observation contrasts with the emphasis on quantitative research in prior studies of Australian queer youth. I conducted a series of semi-structured ethnographic interviews. Participants were diverse in their cultural backgrounds, sexual and gender identities, socio-economic statuses and educational levels. This reflects the diversity of queer people in Australia. This diverse sample revealed the complex ways in which racism, sexism and poverty inform experiences of violence.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

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