Denying equality: an analysis of arguments against lowering the age of consent for sex between men

ELLIS, S. J. and KITZINGER, C. (2002). Denying equality: an analysis of arguments against lowering the age of consent for sex between men. Journal of community and applied social psychology, 12 (3), 167-180.

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Link to published version:: 10.1002/casp.670

Abstract

This paper takes a human rights approach to lesbian and gay oppression and critically explores the arguments used to oppose equality in the debates about the age of consent for sex between men. A thematic analysis of Hansard and newspaper reports produced in Britain during the 1990s showed that opponents of the amendment to equalise the age of consent countered with three key arguments laying claim to ethical principles overriding the principle of equality. These were: (1) Principles of right and wrong take precedence over equality; (2) Principles of democracy take precedence over equality; (3) Principles of care and protection take precedence over equality. Two additional arguments (the health risks of anal intercourse, and escalating demands for gay rights) are also outlined. Our findings are discussed with reference to debates on other lesbian and gay rights issues, and we consider the ways in which we might best counter these arguments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2002 John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Uncontrolled Keywords: age of consent, equality, gay men, human rights, rhetoric
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1002/casp.670
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 17:17
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/97

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