Courier Mail 12th April 2008, page 2:

(this article only appeared in the print edition, not online)



Teenagers well aware of their sexual preferences


(by Robyn Ironside)

SIXTEEN or 17 is not too young to know you are gay, according to
sexualities and social justice expert Dr Angela Dwyer.


The Queensland University of Technology School of Justice lecturer said of the “50 international research papers” she had read, most young gay people knew from the age of eight they preferred members of their own sex.

“It’s that age when they start to realise that they don’t feel the way other people do”, Dr Dwyer said.

“Some say that it’s much earlier, as young as three in some cases… If the parents are extremely homophobic it can take a young person longer to make that realisation.”

Dr Dwyer said it was unrealistic for a school to think it did not have any homosexual students, but it was not possible for a school to contribute to a person’s sexual orientation.

Education lecturer at the University of Canberra, Iain Hay said homosexuality and lesbianism was no more common in single-sex schools than it was in co-educational schools.

Under Queensland law, the age of consent for gay sex is 18, and 16 for heterosexual sex. But teenagers who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality have the same rights as adults, he said.


- Robyn Ironside