Daily Telegraph labels rate of LGBTI-identifying youth a “health crisis”

Daily Telegraph labels rate of LGBTI-identifying youth a “health crisis”

SYDNEY newspaper The Daily Telegraph has come under fire on social media for a spread and article suggesting that being LGBTI is a health issue among secondary schoolkids.

Below the headline “Fat chance of being healthy”, Telegraph staffer Rose Brennan lists statistics regarding childhood obesity and drug and alcohol use among teenagers.

In the centre of the page Brennan writes, “16.8% of secondary school students in Australia are attracted to people of the same sex as them or to both sexes”.

Above, a sub-heading states, “Young Aussies only have themselves to blame”.

The spread also lists a statistic stating that 12.2 per cent of 16-to-24 year old males and 21.6 per cent of females in the same age bracket experience “high or very high psychological distress”.

The article draws from a NSW state government report canvassing young people to help determine a framework to address the needs of the nearly 1.3 million young people in the state.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle is quoted in the story, calling the sexuality statistics “extremely high”.

“It is almost 10 times the national figure. It’s about their life stage, they are working out where they are at … It’s a time of great flux.”

The Australia Bureau of Statistics collected data on sexual attraction for the first time in its General Social Survey in 2015.

The survey found that 3 per cent of Australia’s adult population identified as gay, lesbian, or other.

Australian Greens Senator Janet Rice weighed in on the story, calling on the Daily Telegraph to retract it and apologise.

“To all the young people or parents of gay or bisexual teens that opened up the Daily Telegraph to read that diverse sexuality is a health problem, I am so sorry,” she said.

“This is no doubt extremely distressing and sends a message that there is something wrong with them or their kids.

“This reads like an ill-informed article from the last century. It is 2017, we should not be reading this sort of stuff in our newspapers.”



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2 responses to “Daily Telegraph labels rate of LGBTI-identifying youth a “health crisis””

  1. Completely unacceptable! The article should be corrected immediately & this “journalist” should be severely reprimanded at the very least.

  2. Outrageously bad form from the Daily Telegraph. It is completely unremarkable that teens might experiment sexually before understanding where their preferences lie, just as they experiment with all sorts of other parts of life. It would have been no different in previous generations. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence of otherwise straight guys experimenting with each other in the armed forces during wartime when stress was high and the opposite sex was back home thousands of miles away, for example.

    It’s not news, and discussion of it has no place in an article about teenage health issues like obesity. In the absence of a pretty substantial apology, it’s blatantly homophobic.