This 2001 report explores the use of the Internet by same sex attracted young people (SSAY). Internet access is increasing in Australian homes at a rapid rate, with more than 75% of young people under the age of 18 years accessing the Net in 1999. Yet little is known about the specific ways in which young people generally, and same sex attracted young people in particular, use the Net for friendship, information and recreation.
This report further develops certain issues raised in previous national research (Hillier et al, 1998) which documented the extent to which same sex attracted young people are denied support and information about their sexuality, and the verbal and physical abuse they experienced in many areas of their life in Australia.
A questionnaire was designed for on-line completion at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) SSAY website. The young people participating in this research were, for the most part, recruited directly via promotion strategies on the Net. In total, 206 valid questionnaires were submitted via the website. Of these 151 (73.3%) were male, 52 (25.2%) were female and 3 (1.5%) were transgender young people. The average age was 18 years and all states and territories were represented as well as urban, regional and rural areas.