Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Sexuality

Analysis and Comment (19)

Brooke Hemphill’s book Lesbian for a Year has stirred new conversations about what it means to be a lesbian today. Brooke Hemphill’s book Lesbian for a Year has stirred new conversations about what it means to be a lesbian today. Purple Sherbet/Flickr

Be a lesbian for a year if you must – but what about lesbians for life?

I recently found myself at a bookshop at Sydney’s domestic airport with less than ten minutes until my plane boarded. Scanning around frantically for something to read, my eyes were immediately drawn to…
Women’s Liberation was a worldwide mobilisation that paved the way for powerful critiques of conventional thinking about gender, sexuality and identity. Women’s Liberation was a worldwide mobilisation that paved the way for powerful critiques of conventional thinking about gender, sexuality and identity. Warren K. Leffler, 1970/Library of Congress

Four decades of thinking gender: the gains, struggles and debates

The past four decades have produced gains around the world for women and girls in literacy, formal education, life expectancy, workforce participation and access to some professions. We have also seen…
I LUV U BUT …, a local web comedy series, is on the program of the Queer Arab Film Festival currently screening in Sydney. I LUV U BUT …, a local web comedy series, is on the program of the Queer Arab Film Festival currently screening in Sydney. Photo: Fatima Mawas

A right to exist: Australia’s first Queer Arab Film Festival launches

In a 2007 speech at Columbia University, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then president of Iran, famously proclaimed that there were no homosexuals in Iran. Despite the controversy that his words sparked, many Arabs…
Ian Thorpe in 2012. In 2014, do sponsors still only back certain sporting stereotypes that support social norms? Ian Thorpe in 2012. In 2014, do sponsors still only back certain sporting stereotypes that support social norms? AAP/ Ben Macmahon

Sexuality and swimmers: why Thorpe’s story made a splash

Ian Thorpe is unpopular with some critics, despite a largely positive reaction when he came out last weekend. The issue is money. Stories are circulating that he was warned prior to the 2000 Olympic Games…
You don’t have to look too far to find homophobia, hostility and discrimination against LGBTI people. You don’t have to look too far to find homophobia, hostility and discrimination against LGBTI people. Network Ten/ AAP

Ian Thorpe came out, but not in Australia – a wise decision

Few who watched Ian Thorpe’s “coming out” interview with British interviewer Michael Parkinson on Sunday night could haved failed to be moved by his story. The anxiety and turmoil he felt in telling the…
Research shows that high-profile gay and lesbian people have made a real difference to the lives of others. Research shows that high-profile gay and lesbian people have made a real difference to the lives of others. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Do openly gay public figures like Ian Thorpe matter? They sure do

In his unassuming way, Ian Thorpe is probably quite accustomed to making history. His swag of Olympic medals and world records makes him Australia’s most successful swimmer. Last night, when he told interviewer…
Ian Thorpe spoke to Michael Parkinson about being gay. Ian Thorpe spoke to Michael Parkinson about being gay. Network Ten

Homophobia is a health hazard, not just for Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe coming out as gay during an interview with Michael Parkinson last night was both the most ordinary of stories and the most extraordinary. It also showed how deeply homophobia is ingrained in…
It’s worth considering how seemingly open language can be exclusionary. It’s worth considering how seemingly open language can be exclusionary. Wagner Macedo

Girl crush anyone? The evolution of ‘lesbian chic’

At first blush, the increased visibility of sexual minorities in popular culture would appear to reflect a growing openness and acceptance of non-heterosexual forms of sexuality. Since the late 1990s…
Is this magazine cover too racy – or did other factors make newsagents decide not to stock Archer? Is this magazine cover too racy – or did other factors make newsagents decide not to stock Archer? Archer Magazine

Is Archer magazine really ‘inappropriate for sale’?

When a Google search can summon any image you like online, it seems anachronistic to hear of a print publication supposedly encountering distribution problems on the basis of its content. Yet that’s just…
Without data, we don’t know the actual size of sex and gender diverse populations. Without data, we don’t know the actual size of sex and gender diverse populations. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Norrie’s gender win brings us closer to knowing who we are

The landmark ruling this week by the High Court – that the New South Wales Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages must recognise a third category of non-specific sex in addition to male and female – represents…
Masculinity must be learned and there are severe consequences for not upholding it. Masculinity must be learned and there are severe consequences for not upholding it. Vladimir Byazrov

Time for a step-change in how we view men on the dancefloor

On Sunday, So You Think You Can Dance Australia returned to Channel Ten, promising spectacular performances from male and female dancers around the country. And yet, in the non-TV world, it seems the men…
Code-breaking genius Alan Turing was driven to suicide by the criminalisation of homosexuality. Such convictions still haunt many Australians. Code-breaking genius Alan Turing was driven to suicide by the criminalisation of homosexuality. Such convictions still haunt many Australians. AAP/Keir David

Saying sorry for governments intruding in your bedroom

It is time for all Australian governments to acknowledge a historic wrong. In doing so they will help to right an injustice and demonstrate a real commitment to respect for all Australians. Earlier this…
Out and about. But HIV is rife in Bangkok and more men need to break the silence. Out and about. But HIV is rife in Bangkok and more men need to break the silence. CharlesFred

Why the HIV epidemic among Thai gay men refuses to retreat

It has been 10 years since the first evidence emerged of what was until then a completely hidden HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men in Bangkok, Thailand. The term includes all men who engage…
Some people need assistance and support to express their sexuality in satisfying ways. Some people need assistance and support to express their sexuality in satisfying ways. Image from shutterstock.com

Why the NDIS should cover the services of sex workers

Sexual expression is a fundamental part of being human, with most of us able to choose our sexual partners and, to varying degrees, meet our intimacy needs and desires. While not all people with disabilities…
We need to acknowledge the diverse contexts in which teens engage in sexting. We need to acknowledge the diverse contexts in which teens engage in sexting. Mahdi Abdulrazak

‘Sexting’ teens: decriminalising young people’s sexual practices

Cases of teenagers “sexting” each other have recently provoked panicked responses by media, parents, educators and policy makers in Australia. Now a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the practice has…
Gay sex is no longer illegal in Australia? So why should historica convictions stand? Gay sex is no longer illegal in Australia? So why should historica convictions stand? AAP/April Fonti

Wiping the slate clean: historic convictions for gay sex must be expunged

Most of the current media relating to gay rights focuses on marriage equality. But for some older gay men, another issue is even more important. Sex between consenting men ceased to be a crime in Australia…
Cheating on a partner is always a choice, not a biologically determined effect. Cheating on a partner is always a choice, not a biologically determined effect. flickr/dhammza

Monogamy: cheating on what nature intended, or a simple choice?

Biologists and psychologists like to tussle with human characteristics: what’s inherent? What’s learnt? What’s genetically coded? What’s malleable? Every so often an “expert” will reignite the nature vs…
Stars like Jiz Lee and Dallas Fivestar are redefining porn for feminists. Stars like Jiz Lee and Dallas Fivestar are redefining porn for feminists. violet.blue/flickr

Porn and feminism: not strange bedfellows after all

I was recently approached by a young journalist, who asked for my comments on the Feminist Porn Awards. In the course of the interview, she asked if I thought feminists should watch porn. I replied that…

Research Briefs (4)