Threatened Manhood and the Adolescent Homophobic Reflex: The Experience of Being Young, Male, and Queer in Australia’s Secondary Schools

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A large-scale, national survey was conducted examining the experience of secondary school for same-sex attracted (SSA) young people in Australia. A major focus of this research was the relationship of SSA students’ perceptions of school climate and personal victimization to their overall social connectedness and academic self-concept. Differences were noted with respect to gender, with SSA young men reporting more experiences of personal victimization at school and less teacher intervention during those experiences. This paper explores these gender differences, using the words of the young male participants to gain a better understanding of the impact of male-directed and male-perpetrated homophobia in the secondary school setting.


Keywords: Same-Sex Attracted Young People, Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research, Academic Motivation, Bullying, School Climate
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Jacqueline Mikulsky

Honorary Associate, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

My research in education seeks to understand the complex relationship between students' perceptions of their schools' social climate toward same-sex attraction and their own sense of connection to the school experience, including academic motivation. My doctoral thesis was written at the University of Sydney and I also have postgraduate degrees in Research Methods (USYD) and Sociology in Education (Teachers College, Columbia U.). My broad interests include equity in education and the impact of curriculum resources, the influence of school social factors on academic outcomes, and advanced statistical analysis.

Ref: L08P0204