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Queer refers to those communities that are physically different from other general public and those mindsets and preferences also differ in great extent. Legalisation of Homosexuality has been debated since its very inception and there are people who are for and as well as against same-sex marriage (Cornwall and Lindisfarne, 2016). The following report is on understanding this debate in Australia by undertaking queer analysis. It covers the biological and social factors regarding queer as well as positive and negative factors of same-sex marriage that helps in gaining a wider understanding of this community as well as homosexual marriages.
What could a queer analysis bring to an understanding of the debates about same-sex marriage in Australia?
Queer, traditionally used as a a term to denote homosexuality, now refers to both people attracted to individuals of same sex and people whose bodies and sexualities do not conform with dominant norms of society. This term clearly explores disagreements between anatomical sex, gender identity and sexual desires.
The debate of same sex-marriage in Australia is quite old. This debate has been prominent for the political agenda. Even after this debate has been subjected to varied opinions from the community and politics, still it is controversial and complex in the country.
Queer analysis could clearly be understood by Queer Theory, which introduces the idea of “heteronormativity”, a term that undertakes promotion of heterosexuality as a normal sexual orientation. As far as the debate of same sex marriage is considered, Howard Government in 2004 limited the marriage between a woman and a man. However, in 2017, Australian Government passed the bill for same sex marriage. The arguments that were presented were quite concrete on both sides of the debate. While the minority referred to Catholic religion where marriage is restricted to a man and a woman, the majority debated about the equality given to individuals regarding their marriage (Vivar, 2016).
However, queer analysis could be a relevant source of understanding the same sex debate. According to the analysis, there are multiple perspective that interrelates this aspect to various other concepts like biological and social. As far as the biology is concerned, the analysis focused on the the atypical combination of X and Y chromosomes which is quite natural for them to be different and have contrast sexual characteristics.
Where the social concept is concerned, the analysis helps in understanding the behaviour of individuals. As per various theories, an individuals’ self identity is not born with them but rather constructed through repeated practices. As far as homosexuality is concerned, their likings and sexual preferences are dependant upon their identity which is developed through repetitive behavioural and physical practices preferred by those individuals.
For the debate in Australia, it is quite important, that both these aspects be understood by the individuals who are against same-sex marriage and it must be considered as a union of two individuals rather than just man and woman. There must be an understanding of the biological characteristics of these individuals to gain a better understanding of their behaviour. Such understanding would allow them to look past the cultural and societal norms and would allow them to accept these marriages and consider them as a natural activity. Moreover, the right of choice must be given to each and every Australian citizen by the government which would give them supreme authority to choose the partner they want to marry. In addition, discrimination must be ended for homosexual people and proper sex education must be given to children and the teenagers to promote equality and better insight on the concept of homosexuality (Wodak and Benke, 2017).
The debate even after its legalisation is still ongoing in the country. Queer analysis also helped individuals and communities in giving a wider look at the domains which would be affected after same-sex marriage. A report by Family Research Council has focused on few elements which makes this debate far from being over.
The most important factor that has been focused upon the council were children. Homosexual couples use methods like surrogacy and In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to conceive children. These methods however make these children away from their biological parents. In this manner, same sex marriage often has a bad impact on children as they are bound to be away from their parents and are often not even introduced which worsen the situation (Buikema, Plate and Thiele, 2017).
Secondly, each parent has a crucial role to play in lives of children. Homosexuality eradicates this fulfilment of this desire in children which causes psychological disturbance in their minds. In addition to this, there have been quite few instances that has been reported which suggests that children that are raised by homosexual couples might experience sexual and gender disorders. This evidence became even stronger when it was analysed how young children raised by homosexual couples end up being in homoerotic relationships. This further eliminates the rights of choices due to uneven proportions of gender prescriptions due to homosexual parenting.
Thirdly, the major concern of same sex marriage is upon the sexual fidelity between couples. Quiet recently, a research of civil unions provided evidence on the facts that almost 79 percent of people valued sexual fidelity against only 50 percent homosexual couples. There is much need of extramarital outlets in homosexual couples than in heterosexual. This factor again votes against the same-sex marriage (Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage, 2019).
With such strong and influencing factors working against same-sex marriage, there are evidences too that are covered under queer analysis suggesting benefits associated with homosexual marriages.
The first benefit is the legal rights protection of partners. The legalisation of same-sex marriage provides ample benefits to couples where finances, taxes and healthcare services are concerned. They enjoy all the monetary as well as legal benefits as a heterosexual couple which provides them psychological satisfaction as they become legally accepted.
Legalisation of same-sex marriages also has an impact on the stigma and discrimination faced by homosexual individuals as along with the society, these marriages get acceptance by the state too, making them as important for individuals as any other kind of marriage.
Queer analysis also has a clear intake on how positively same sex marriage impacts children. Legalising these marriages would help homosexual couples train their mentally untainted children in a way that they grow up to be beneficial to their parents as well as the society. It would help the secure next generation effectively.
For Australia, same sex marriage could benefit the economy too. The events and wedding industry could experience lots of economic benefits by same sex marriages. Moreover, it is beneficial for business providers as well. It also benefits the tourism industry as homosexual couples could effectively travel different places to stage their wedding. Since this marriage has been legalised in Australia, the government has witnessed quite of lot weddings in just one year since its legalisation. More than 5900 marriages were registered across the country up-till November, 2017 (Thousands of couples have tied the knot since Australia legalised same-sex marriage, 2019). These marriages have had a wide impact on the economy of Australia.
The benefits associated with same-sex marriage are quite crucial for the society as well as the economy as a whole. Individuals and communities in Australia who are against same sex marriage and LGBTQ community must analyse these benefits and undergo queer analysis in order to develop understanding and logical reasoning for the government legalising same-sex marriage in the country. Even if there are many negative aspects as well as limitations associated with these marriages, efforts must be taken to effectively handle the situations and ensure better development of homosexual couples as well as their children. Various educational and social programmes must be held in a way that it informs and encourage people into completely eradicate the discrimination towards these communities (Hancock, 2016).
With educational enhancements and emphasis on equality, legalisation of same sex marriage in Australia would be quite effective in the long run as there would be a new way and a complete different ideology of how queer as well as homosexual people are viewed in the country (Blumenfeld, 2017). In addition to this, same sex marriage also would be considered in a positive and a healthy lifestyle which would contribute in psychological and personal development of individuals of this community by making them exercise their equal rights effectively (Martinsson and Griffin, 2016).
Thus, it is concluded that queer analysis is quite imperative to gain a deeper understanding of same sex marriages. The biological as well as social factors regarding queer community could really help other individuals in understanding the behaviour and preferences of homosexual community. Queer analysis also helps in gaining an insight on the positive and negative factors of same-sex marriage that have an impact on the communities and countries as a whole. However, individuals and governments might consider positive impacts of homosexual marriage and must give individuals right of free choice and inform and educate others to mitigate the risk of discrimination and encouragement of equal treatment.
- Blumenfeld, W.J., 2017. Butler matters: Judith Butler’s impact on feminist and queer studies. Routledge.
- Buikema, R., Plate, L. and Thiele, K. eds., 2017. Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture: A Comprehensive Guide to Gender Studies. Routledge.
- Cornwall, A. and Lindisfarne, N. eds., 2016. Dislocating masculinity: Comparative ethnographies. Taylor & Francis.
- Hancock, A.M., 2016. Intersectionality: An intellectual history. Oxford University Press.
- Martinsson, L. and Griffin, G. eds., 2016. Challenging the myth of gender equality in Sweden. Policy Press.
- Vivar, M.T.H., 2016. Framing intersectionality: Debates on a multi-faceted concept in gender studies. Routledge.
- Wodak, R. and Benke, G., 2017. Gender as a sociolinguistic variable: New perspectives on variation studies. The handbook of sociolinguistics. pp.127-150.