An unresolved journey: religious discourse and same-sex attracted and gender questioning young people

Luke Gahan, Tiffany Jones, Lynne Hillier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Most religious same-sex attracted and gender questioning (ssagq) young people discover their sense of self within contexts in which homonegative truths dominate.Historically this group only had the choice of repressing their identities, hiding them,or leaving their faiths. However, religious change and marriage and education rights movements are contributing to more homopositive discourses. This research analyzed quantitative and qualitative data on the experiences of a subgroup of ssagq young people who mentioned religion within an anonymous online survey of 3,134 ssagq Australians aged 14–21. Comparisons are made between this 2010 study and the results of a 2004 study. The subgroup members were more likely to be socially isolated and at greater risk of self-harm and suicide ideation. They also had particularly negative experiences at school. However, compared to previous years, the religious sub-group members had higher expectations of how they should be treated. Unlike in the past, they saw fewer contradictions in keeping their faith and being gay (or otherwise), and they expected to marry and have children. With religious leaders such as the Catholic Pope Francis I recently pushing for greater integration of gays, we argue that future research should consider the influence of media statements on religious ssagq young people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in the social scientific study of religion
EditorsRalph L. Piedmont, Andrew Village
Place of PublicationLeiden, The Netherlands
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9789004272385, 9781306942447
ISBN (Print)9789004272255
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (RSSSR)
ISSN (Print)1046-8064


  • religion
  • sexuality
  • suicide
  • marriage
  • young people


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