Added: November 5, 2016 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Author: Yorick Smaal

Title: Boys and Homosex

Subtitle: Danger and Possibility in Queensland, 1890–1914

In: Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World

Edited by: Shirleene Robinson and Simon Sleight

Place: Houndmills and New York, NY

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Year: 2016

Pages: 221-236

Series: Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood

ISBN-13: 9781137489401 (print) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781137489418 (online) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century | Oceanian History: Australian History | Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Same-Sex Rape; Victims: Boys


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»Turning from the literary to the lustful, historian Yorick Smaal opens a challenging and dynamic part of the book on 'Youth and Sexuality'. Smaal argues that age-structured experiences of homosexual relations in colonial Queensland brought with them both danger and possibility. This chapter examines the nuanced complexities between peril and pleasures and the ambiguities attendant in relationships between men and boys in a particular colony of the British world. Drawing on Queensland's criminal justice records, it pays close attention to age, physicality, power and vulnerability, and highlights a range of socially contingent assumptions about identity, agency, capacity and abuse.« (Simon Sleight and Shirleene Robinson. »Introduction: The World in Miniature.« Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World. Edited by Shirleene Robinson et al. Houndmills 2016: 16)

»On a Sunday evening in mid-1897, Wade and Walt were caught committing sodomy in a room at Cloughly’s Hotel, situated somewhere in the western reaches of Queensland. This discovery was nothing exceptional. In a frontier world disproportionately populated by young men in their sexual prime, ‘unnatural’ crime appeared regularly enough before the colonial courts in urban and regional areas. At first glance, this case appears similar to other matters involving men and boys heard before judges and juries. Walt, age unknown, but certainly an adult, had been working at the hotel for about six months when the offence took place; Wade was a boy of 11 who was visiting his aunt, the proprietor of the premises. One evening, the two residents ended up in a room together, partly undressed and in a compromising position.« (Source: SpringerLink)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia (1851–1900), History of Australia (1901–45) | Types of rape: Child sexual abuse