Article Title:Major NZ gay research launched
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:30th April 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2310
Text:Researchers at Massey University last night launched what they say is the most comprehensive study yet undertaken of New Zealand's gay and lesbian communities. The survey, entitled Lavender Islands: A Portrait of the Whole Family, consists of 133 questions ranging from their views on marriage to who they voted for at the last elections. It also asks about religion, income, education, ethnicity, health, children, length of relationships, the importance of sex, promiscuity, monogamy and discrimination. “This research will be of great value in shaping public policy. It will help the gay community themselves and social scientists to understand an array of important issues, including identify, relationships and family structures and economic choices,” says project leader Dr Mark Henrickson, a senior lecturer in social work. Such a survey has never been attempted in New Zealand before, the researchers says, and hopes are high that the findings will smash certain stereotypes which are still widely held. "I think what it will reveal is that gay and lesbian people are out there and are no different from the general community in attitudes and values. That might help people to not feel threatened about the civil union legislation,” says MP Chris Carter, who spoke last night at the survey's launch function. The researchers are hoping for around 3000 responses. The survey can be filled out online, and anonymously.    
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