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Combating lesbian and gay youth suicide and HIV/AIDS transmission rates: an examination of possible education strategies in Western Australian high schools in light of prevailing state statutes

Kendall, C. and Walker, S. (1998) Combating lesbian and gay youth suicide and HIV/AIDS transmission rates: an examination of possible education strategies in Western Australian high schools in light of prevailing state statutes. eLaw Journal: Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, 5 (4).

Link to Published Version: http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v5n4/kendall...
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Abstract

Research concerned with the problems facing lesbian and gay youth indicates two re-occurring elements that require immediate attention on the part of educators and social activists. The first is an alarming suicide rate amongst lesbian and gay adolescents. The second is what has been referred to as a "second wave" of HIV/AIDS transmission amongst young gay men between the ages of 14 and 19.

This essay will examine the ability of High School educators in Western Australia to effectively deal with these issues in light of two prevailing West Australian statutes. Specifically, we will critique the Law Reform (Decriminalisation of Sodomy) Act, which makes it a criminal offence to "promote homosexual behaviour" (and which ultimately resulted in discriminatory age of consent provisions being added to the state's criminal Code), and the Censorship Act, which makes it a criminal offence to distribute any sexually explicit materials which might be deemed "offensive" to the "average citizen" or "reasonable adult." It is submitted that legislation of this sort impedes the ability of educators to effectively address these issues.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Publisher: School of Law, Murdoch University
Copyright: The authors
Publishers Website: https://elaw.murdoch.edu.au/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1867
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