Most teens don’t support religious exemptions

Share Canberra's trusted news:

Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen
AUSTRALIAN teens have overwhelmingly rejected religious exemptions and discrimination against staff or students based on gender or sexual identity, according to a new study. 

A team of researchers from the Australian National University, Deakin University and Monash University surveyed more than 1200 teenager ages 13-18 and conducted in-depth interviews with 30 teens.

“The religious exempting is really out of step with what young people are saying,” says Prof Mary Lou Rasmussen from the ANU’s Research School of Social Sciences.

Researchers found that most young people interviewed don’t support religious exemptions.

“This national survey demonstrates diverse young people’s emphatic support for inclusion of sexual and gender diversity at school and their emphatic rejection of religious exemptions,” says Prof Rasmussen.

According to the survey, 84 per cent of Australia’s teens think school students should be allowed to openly express any sexual or gender orientation, while 80 per cent agree sex education in schools should include information relevant to LGBTQI people.

“Many of the young people we spoke to were not aware of the existence of religious exemptions and surprise and shock was a common response to hearing about them,” she says.

“Young people strongly supported religious freedom, but not when it impeded their own, and others’, freedoms.

“They want to learn about religion in schools, and they want schools that are inclusive of sexual and gender diversity.”

During in-depth interviews teens were asked what they thought about religious exemptions, and specifically whether schools should be able to discriminate in relation to what gets taught at school along with hiring and firing staff in line with their religious beliefs.

“Most teens in the study rejected religious exemptions but some participants expressed an understanding for the position faced by religious institutions while still being personally against them,” she says.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleReview /’Bad Times at the El Royale’ (MA) **** and a half
Next articleScans offer early diagnosis of endometriosis

Leave a Reply