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100298 Youth Cultures And Moral Panics

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100298 Youth Cultures And Moral Panics

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Course Code: 100298
University: Western Sydney University

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Country: Australia


Write an essay responding to the following question:
Identify a youth culture, either contemporary or historical, and outline how members of that culture presented and expressed themselves(eg. through dress/appearance, musical tastes etc.). Was this a subculture? Why/why not? Did members of this youth culture engage in acts of resistance (as broadly defined), and if so what were they? How, if at all, did this youth culture relate to the social problems and inequalities, of wider society (eg concerning class, gender and ethnicity).


It is a common perception that Australian youth dishonour the integrity of the society. This is because they are illiterate, lack proper dressing sense and are always busy surfing their phones. According to the politicians, Australian youths, “apparently threaten the fabric of the society”.  Typical evidence of this lies in the masterpieces, The Narcissistic Epidemic and The Dumbest Generation. Modern terminologies characterize Australian youths as apathetic and disinterested towards politics (Lewis et al., 2017). Media has appropriately captured the youth culture. One of the most striking facts is the indulgence towards violence. This essay focuses on the LBGT community within Australia, their culture and societal representation.
Discussion: LGBT Community
LGBT Community involves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Pride, diversity, individuality and sexuality are the attributes, which defines their culture. The social activists perceive LGBT Community as outweighing concepts like heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, sexualism among others. The term “gay pride” symbolizes the identity and strength of the community. Political affiliation enhances the cultural diversity of the community (Dentato, Orwat, Spira & Walker, 2014). Mention can be made of the different colours, which represents the core values of the community:

Pink in the flag represents sexuality
Red colour symbolizes life
Orange is the indication for healing
Yellow colour represents the brightness, as that of the sun
Green colour stands for vigour, vitality and energy
Blue reflects the artistic skills
Indigo stands for harmony within the community
Violet symbolizes spirit (Beasley, Jenkins & Valenti, 2015)

Statistics and acceptance
According to the Australian Census Statistics, LGBT Community accounts for 11% of the total Australian population. There has been a rise in the number of same sex couples in the period between 1996 and 2011. In 2011, 6300 children lived in the families consisting of same sex couple. Most of these children are from female same sex families. Regarding intersex, estimates are made about one in 2000 births to 4% of the population. As per the revelations of Organization Intersex International Australia (OLL Australia), a mid-range figure of 1.7% of all births are estimated (Humanrights.gov.au, 2018).  Most of the people from LGBT Community hide their sexual identity at the time of accessing services in the social events and employment. These are mainly the young people belonging to the age group of 16-24 years. 61% of the LGBT Community people encounter verbal homophobic abuse. 81% are the victims of physical homophobic abuse and other types of homophobia. This includes cyber bulling, graffiti, social exclusion and humiliation.
80% of the homophobic bullying consists of the school students. This heavily impacts their education and wellbeing. Transgender males and females are victimized more than lesbians and gay in terms of physical and non-physical abuse. These issues generate depression in the minds of the community people. Typical evidence of this lies in the claims of 61% of the same sex people regarding verbal abuse as a result of sexuality. 18% of the people belonging to the same sex narrate their experience of physical abuse (Humanrights.gov.au, 2018). These issues deprive them of the basic subcultures, which would act as their empowerment.
LGBT culture
Early 19th and 20th century’s gay culture projects the dominance of codes and symbols. There was high association between gay men and opera, ballet, couture, cuisine ans theatres. Golden Age of Hollywood witnessed the empowerment of homosexuals through their thematic approach in interior designing. Apart from this, songs and literature are the evidences, projecting the involvement of LGBT Community into the mainstream social activities. According to the modern trends, tourism is one of the areas, working towards the empowerment of the LGBT (Ayoub, 2015). There has been a rise in the same sex marriage, increasing the possibility of rainbow tourism. Marriage equality rallies and celebrity performances makes the people aware of the cultural heritage of LGBT culture.
Mention can be made of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed for paying tribute to the murder of anti-transgender. The event is an effective means of raising awareness about the crimes and injustices towards transgender. Moreover, the event consoles the deceased and the family members. A Trans March is also organized, which symbolizes the marches, protests and gathering taking place during the pride week. This March is an initiative of the transgender Community to address the existentialist struggles.
Youth Pride, is an extension for Gay Pride and the social movements of LGBT Community. This group consists of the members, usually above the age of consent (MacCartney, 2018). The area of operations of this group is wide. The group aims to organize festivals and events for the LGBT Community in order to ensure their empowerment and wellbeing.
Positive legislative developments
LGBT Community was underrepresented by the Civil Rights. However, modern legislatures have succeeded in projecting the existentialist struggles of gay community. The major drive behind this is globalization. The etymological origin of legislature for LGBT lies in World War II, the consequences of which resulted in political uprising through gay right movements. Typical evidence of this lies in the movements in Stonewall. However, focusing on Australia, protective policies and scholarships have enhanced the security and wellbeing of the LGBT young people in schools. These policies and scholarships have reduced 50% of the physical abuse, self-harms and attempt to suicides (Techakesari et al., 2017). Through the governmental initiatives, the people of the same sex community have attained success in education. Along with this, they have proven themselves in the field of employment.
August 1, 2013 was the period when Sex Discrimination Act (1984) was implemented for ceasing the discriminations based on sexual orientation, gender, race, caste and religion. In spite of such legislative attempts, LGBT Community encounters discriminations, harassments and hostile treatments in all walks of life. Australian Human Rights Commission investigates the cases of discriminations. The revised version of the acts aims to protect the same sex couples from the harassments (Knight  & Wilson, 2016).
Political groups attempt to destroy the cultural diversity of LGBT Community through commercialization. Protests for this practice takes place in the form of Pride Parades. However, this criticism is nullified through the extension of the Community to LGBTI. This is in terms of including the intersex people into the community. There has been minimal research about the intersex people in the past, which reflects the poor understanding towards their cultural and societal expression. Previously, these people were considered as a subset of the “gender identity”. This is according to the definitions of the Anti-Discriminatory Laws enforced in the states and the union territories. According to the revelations of Organization Intersex International Australia (OLL Australia), this definition is inaccurate, as the intersex people are defined on the basis of their sexual characteristics rather than gender identities (Jones et al., 2016).
As per the revelations of Theguardian.com, (2018), March 2017 is a turning point in the life of the intersex people. This is the era when the representatives of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome support Group Australia and Organization Intersex International Australia (OLL Australia) collaborated for development of Consensus for reducing the injustices towards the intersex people. This was commonly known as Darlington Statement, which aimed to mitigate heinous crimes like genital mutilation. The target audience here was the female child. As a matter of specification, the statement necessitated the need for legal reforms, improving the access of care and support for the peers of the victims. Through the enforcement of the statement, stereotypical classification of sex was ceased giving rise to the third classifications, which were legal (Theguardian.com, 2018). Typical example of this was binary classification, the basis for which was structural violence. One of the weaknesses of this classification was that it failed to preserve the cultural diversity of the community, which acted as a negation for the individual rights.
Media coverage
With the advancement of civilization, there has been noticeable transformations in the perceptions and acceptance towards LBGTI Community people. Journalists have realized the aspect of protecting the rights of the Community people. Through the media coverage, they enhanced the awareness about the cultural expression of the LGBTI Community. Fair, accurate and inclusive reporting of the LBGTI culture has resulted in their inclusion within the mainstream society (House, 2014). Typical example of this is the interview, which was conducted on transgender and gender non-conforming people (GNC). Within this interview, Data Protection Act was implemented in terms of protecting the individual sentiments of the Community people.
Mention can be made of The Guardian news regarding enforcement of the marriage equality law in the landslide votes. As per the revelations, Australia become the 25th country to legalize same sex marriage. A cross party bill was passed after the unprecedented national postal survey ignited a spark to legislate the social reforms towards empowering the people of LGBT Community. Support from the Prime Minister acted as a freedom for the citizens in terms of moving ahead with the decision. The statements of the Labor Opposition Leader added to the equality within the same sex people (Theguardian.com, 2018). Passing the bill resulted in the creation of “modern, inclusive and fair Australia”. Equality Campaigns through prominent celebrities like swimming stars Ian Thorpe, Daniel Kowalski, actor Magda Szubanski add to the colour and vigour of the victory.
According to the statement of Abc.net.au, (2018), representation of the gay men in the field of sports is highlighted. The statements of Corbin Middlemas finds an important position in the news coverage, where he shares his experience about the hostile relationship with Australian Football Club and the rules. He narrates his likes and dislikes. At last, he confesses that he is “gay”. After this confession, he was narrated that he intended to keep his sexual identity confidential. This was due to the experience, which he acquired while travelling from one city to the other. Highlighting the tragic fate of such personalities makes the people aware of the cultural expression of people belonging to the LGBT Community. He opines that being a gay does not affect masculinity. This statement projects consistency with that of the gender and identity (Abc.net.au, 2018).  
The culture of LGBT Community gains prominence in the essay. Individual logo is the symbolization for their identity, which enhances their societal status. However, this was not the case from the beginning. Initial perceptions about the LGBT Community was characterized by discriminations, harassments, and marginalization, physical and mental abuse among others. With the advancement of technologies and civilization, various initiatives have been taken for upgrading the standard of living for the people belonging to the LGBT Community. Typical evidences of this lies in the policies, educational scholarships, legislatures among others. Media coverage about the protests and movement enhances the awareness of the presentation of this people. This enhancement results in portraying the culture of LGBT Community people in literature, music, theatre, art among others. Consideration of ethical considerations helps the government agencies in respecting the individual rights of this Community people.
References and bibliography
Abc.net.au (2018), Being Gay in the sports world took time to reconcile, Retrieved 3rd Oct 2018 from https://www.abc.net.au/news/about/backstory/news-coverage/2018-08-14/being-gay-in-the-sports-world-took-time-to-reconcile/10113638
Ayoub, P. M. (2015). Contested norms in new-adopter states: International determinants of LGBT rights legislation. European Journal of International Relations, 21(2), 293-322.
Beasley, C. R., Jenkins, R. A., & Valenti, M. (2015). Special section on LGBT resilience across cultures: Introduction. American journal of community psychology, 55(1-2), 164-166.
Cook, N., & Butz, D. (Eds.). (2018). Mobilities, Mobility Justice and Social Justice. Routledge.
Dentato, M. P., Orwat, J., Spira, M., & Walker, B. (2014). Examining cohort differences and resilience among the aging LGBT community: Implications for education and practice among an expansively diverse population. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24(3), 316-328.
House, F. (2014). Freedom in the world 2014: The annual survey of political rights and civil liberties. Rowman & Littlefield.
Humanrights.gov.au (2018), Face facts for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, Retrieved 3rd Oct 2018 from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/face-facts/face-facts-lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-and-intersex-people
Jones, T., Smith, E., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Hillier, L., & Mitchell, A. (2016). School experiences of transgender and gender diverse students in Australia. Sex Education, 16(2), 156-171.
Knight, C., & Wilson, K. (2016). International Perspectives on the Rights and Criminalisation of LGBT People. In Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People (LGBT) and the Criminal Justice System (pp. 207-231). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Lewis, D. C., Flores, A. R., Haider-Markel, D. P., Miller, P. R., Tadlock, B. L., & Taylor, J. K. (2017). Degrees of acceptance: Variation in public attitudes toward segments of the LGBT community. Political Research Quarterly, 70(4), 861-875.
MacCartney, D. (2018). The Global-Local Tension of LGBT Rights. Human Rights Review, 19(1), 121-126.
Techakesari, P., Droogendyk, L., Wright, S. C., Louis, W. R., & Barlow, F. K. (2017). Supportive contact and LGBT collective action: The moderating role of membership in specific groups. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 23(3), 307.
Tellier, P. P. (2017). The impact on mental and physical health of human rights as they relate to gender and sexual minority adolescents and emerging adults. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, 10(3), 213-220.
Theguardian.com (2018), Marriage Equality Law passed by Australian parliament in Landslide votes, Retrieved 3rd Oct 2018 from https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/07/marriage-equality-law-passes-australias-parliament-in-landslide-vote
Tinney, J., Dow, B., Maude, P., Purchase, R., Whyte, C., & Barrett, C. (2015). Mental health issues and discrimination among older LGBTI people. International psychogeriatrics, 27(9), 1411-1416.
Winter, B., Forest, M., & Sénac, R. (Eds.). (2017). Global Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage: A Neo-Institutional Approach. Springer.

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