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Item‘25 degrees of separation’ versus the ‘ease of doing it closer to home’: Motivations to offshore surrogacy arrangements amongst Australian citizens(Edinburgh University Press, 2015-03) Riggs, Damien WayneAt present, onshore commercial surrogacy is illegal in all Australian states and territories. By contrast, offshore commercial surrogacy is legal in all bar one territory and two states. As a result, significant numbers of Australian citizens undertake travel each year to enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements. The present paper reports on findings derived from interview data collected with 21 Australian citizens who had children through an offshore commercial surrogacy arrangement, either in India or the United States. Framed by an understanding of the vulnerability that arises from the demand of reproductive citizenship, the analysis focuses specifically on whether or not the participants would have entered into an onshore commercial surrogacy arrangement had this been legal at the time. The findings suggest that for some participants, undertaking surrogacy ‘at a distance’ was perceived to be safer and provided a degree of privacy, whilst for other participants surrogacy closer to home would have removed some of the more challenging aspects of offshore arrangements. With these findings in mind, the paper concludes by considering Millbank’s (2014) suggestion that Australian states and territories should legalise onshore commercial surrogacy, and the barriers that may exist to the uptake of such potential legal change. ItemAnti-Asian sentiment amongst a sample of white Australian men on gaydar(Springer Verlag, 2013-06) Riggs, Damien WayneWhilst the homogenizing descriptor 'gay' is often used in a singular sense to refer to 'the gay community,' research has increasingly recognized that individuals within gay communities are as diverse as they are within the broader community. Importantly, recognition of this diversity requires an acknowledgement of the fact that, just as in the broader community, discrimination occurs within gay communities. The present study sought to examine the degree to which racism occurs within gay men's online communities (in the form of anti-Asian sentiment expressed in the profiles of a small number of the 60,082 White Australian gay men living in five major Australian states whose profiles were listed on the website gaydar.com.au during October 2010), the forms that such racism takes, and whether any White gay men resisted such racism. The findings report on a thematic and subsequent rhetorical analysis of the profiles of the sub-sample of 403 White gay men who expressed anti-Asian sentiment. Such sentiment, it was found, was expressed in four distinct ways: 1) the construction of racism as 'personal preference,' 2) the construction of Asian gay men as not 'real men,' 3) the construction of Asian gay men as a 'type,' and 4) the assumption that saying 'sorry' renders anti-Asian sentiment somehow acceptable. Whilst the numbers of White gay men expressing anti-Asian sentiment were relatively small, it is suggested that the potential impact of anti-Asian sentiment upon Asian gay men who view such profiles may be considerable, and thus that this phenomenon requires ongoing examination. ItemAustralian foster carers' negotiations of intimacy with agency workers, birth families and children(Policy Press, 2014-05-29) Riggs, Damien WayneThis article seeks to examine what are argued to be a particular set of non-normative relationships between Australian foster carers, the children in their care, the children’s birth parents, and agency workers who act as legal guardians for children who are removed from their birth parents. Eighty-five Australian foster carers participated in interviews on the topic of foster family life. Coding of responses to questions related to agency workers, abuse allegations and birth parents suggested a novel topic of ‘intimacy’ in regards to foster carers’ experiences of these three areas. Findings indicate three key themes within the overarching focus on intimacy: (a) the impact of abuse allegations on foster family intimacy, (b) the intimate presence of birth families and (c) what are termed ‘awkward intimacies’ with agency workers. While such intimacies may be viewed as non-normative, they nonetheless would appear to play a formative role in interactions between all parties, and thus warrant ongoing attention. ItemAustralian lesbian, gay and/or transgender people and the law(Federation Press, 2014-02-11) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Due, ClemenceNotionally the law is designed to protect people from harm or stigma (Posner 2002): it can of course do the opposite. While, as this chapter outlines, laws in Australia have increasingly become inclusive of lesbians, gay men and/or transgender people, this is only a relatively recent development in Australian law, and there is a much longer history of the law endorsing the marginalisation of these populations.1 For social workers, this means two things. Firstly, given the relationship between the law and social norms (where laws reflect social norms as much as they shape them), it is likely that historically many in the social work profession may have been complicit with the marginalisation of lesbians, gay men and/or transgender people. This might have been implicitly (i.e., by failing to challenge stereotypes or discrimination against lesbians, gay men and/or transgender people) or explicitly (i.e., by endorsing the marginalisation of lesbians, gay men and/or transgender people including in social work practice). Given the relatively slow and recent change in Australian laws related to lesbians, gay men and/or transgender people, it is possible that some social work practitioners continue to hold uninformed or discriminatory attitudes towards these populations, a fact that this chapter attempts to address through the provision of information about current laws and their impact upon these populations. ItemAustralian mental health nurses and transgender clients: Attitudes and knowledge(SAGE Publications, 2016-05) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Bartholomaeus, ClareAs increasing numbers of transgender people access mental health services, so with this comes the requirement that mental health professionals are capable of providing inclusive and informed care. In Australia, mental health nurses play a key role in the mental health workforce, and are increasingly likely to engage with transgender people across a range of practice contexts. The research reported in this paper sought to explore the experience, knowledge and attitudes of a sample of Australian mental health nurses with regards to working with transgender people. A total of 96 mental health nurses completed a survey that included an attitudinal measure and a measure of clinical knowledge. Our findings indicated that a majority of the sample had worked with a transgender client before, but only a minority had undertaken training in working with transgender clients. Training was related to more positive attitudes; and both training and experience were related to greater clinical knowledge. Female and/or older participants had greater clinical knowledge, whilst more religious participants had less positive attitudes. The paper concludes by commenting on the dearth of competency and practice documents specific to mental health nurses working with transgender people, and it outlines the Australian standards that would mandate their development. ItemAustralian mental health professionals’ competencies for working with trans clients: a comparative study(Taylor & Francis, 2016-05-26) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Bartholomaeus, ClareGrowing numbers of trans people require access to mental health services; however, previous research suggests that many trans clients have negative experiences with mental health professionals. This paper reports on an Australian survey of 304 counsellors, mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers with regard to their clinical knowledge, comfort and confidence in working with trans clients. The findings suggest that training and previous experience in working with trans clients are related to increased levels of accurate clinical knowledge and confidence; that psychiatrists had the lowest levels of accurate knowledge; that female participants had higher levels of accurate knowledge than did male participants; that counsellors had the highest levels of confidence and that there was a negative relationship between religiosity and comfort in working with trans clients. The paper concludes by advocating for the development of more nuanced measures to assess the attitudes and skillsets of mental health professionals in regards to working with trans clients and the need for further upskilling of the Australian mental health workforce. ItemThe capacity of South Australian primary school teachers and pre-service teachers to work with trans and gender diverse students(Elsevier, 2017-03-26) Bartholomaeus, Clare; Riggs, Damien Wayne; Andrew, YarrowGrowing numbers of young people are disclosing that they are trans or gender diverse, requiring affirming and informed responses from schools. This article reports on a survey examining attitudes towards inclusion, comfort, and confidence amongst 180 South Australian primary school teachers and pre-service teachers. The findings suggest that women held more positive attitudes and had greater comfort in working with trans and gender diverse students than men, and that awareness of programs designed to increase understanding was related to more positive attitudes, and greater comfort and confidence. The article discusses the need for further training alongside additional resourcing of initiatives aimed at facilitating inclusion. Item'The contented faces of a unique Australian family': privilege and vulnerability in news media reporting of offshore surrogacy arrangements(Taylor & Francis, 2014-09-03) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Due, ClemenceIn a paper recently published in Citizenship Studies (Riggs and Due 2013), we argued that media accounts of Australian citizens entering into offshore commercial surrogacy arrangements frequently evoke notions of the agentic reproductive citizen in order to represent medical or social infertility as a form of vulnerability that can be overcome through fertility travel. In that paper (and elsewhere, e.g., Riggs and Due 2010) we have also argued that media accounts of offshore commercial surrogacy undertaken by Australian citizens rely upon the depiction of women who act as surrogates as equally agentic in their decisions in regards to entering into surrogacy arrangements. Central to our argument in these previous papers has been the claim that if discussions about privilege remain at the periphery of media representations of offshore commercial surrogacy, then issues of vulnerability in relation to all parties will all too easily be discounted through a neoliberal narrative of agency. In addition, and following Millbank (2012), we would suggest that media commentary on issues such as surrogacy often shapes policy decisions, and thus it is important to examine how the news media in particular represents surrogacy. As such, in this commentary we extend our previous exploration of media coverage of offshore commercial surrogacy by examining a recent example of Australian news media reporting on the topic. Our aims in doing so are to examine how this example repeats the concerns raised above (thus suggesting something of a script evident in media reporting on the topic of offshore surrogacy), and to suggest some necessary changes to media reporting on offshore surrogacy that may help to engender a more holistic account of the topic. ItemDaughters and their mothers: The reproduction of pronatalist discourses across generations(Elsevier, 2017-03-16) Bartholomaeus, Clare; Riggs, Damien WayneThe expectation that all women will become mothers, and that they will mother in particular ways, has been a focus of feminist attention for many decades. What has been less considered is how pronatalist discourses are reproduced across generations within the same family. This article draws on interviews with five pairs of white middle class daughters currently planning to have children and their mothers living in South Australia, in order to examine the ways in which mother-daughter relationships are a key site for the reproduction of pronatalist discourses. Three recurring themes are examined: 1) expectations mothers have of their daughters to have children, 2) (grand)mothers as advice-givers, and 3) generational differences relating to paid work combined with the continued privileging of mothering. The article concludes with a discussion of the ways in which pronatalist discourses are mobilised in mother-daughter relationships, and how these position women in relation to motherhood. ItemDecompensation: A Novel Approach to Accounting for Stress Arising from the Effects of Ideology and Social Norms(Taylor & Francis, 2016-05-26) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Treharne, Gareth JTo date, research that has drawn on Meyer’s (2003) minority stress model has largely taken for granted the premises underpinning it. In this article we provide a close reading of how “stress” is conceptualized in the model and suggest that aspects of the model do not attend to the institutionalized nature of stressors experienced by people with marginalized identities, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. As a counter to this, we highlight the importance of a focus on the effects of ideology and social norms in terms of stress, and we argue why an intersectional approach is necessary to ensure recognition of multiple axes of marginalization and privilege. The article then outlines the concept of decompensation and suggests that it may offer one way to reconsider the effects of ideology and social norms. The decompensation approach centers on the need for social change rather than solely relying on individuals to be resilient. ItemDomestic violence and companion animals in the context of LGBT people’s relationships(SAGE Publications, 2017-02-17) Taylor, Nik; Fraser, Heather Merle; Riggs, Damien WayneThe link between domestic violence and animal abuse has now been well established, indicating that where there is one form of abuse, there is often the other. Research on this link, however, has almost exclusively focused on heterosexual cisgender people’s relationships. Lacking, then, is an exploration of the possibly unique links between domestic violence and animal abuse in the context of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people’s relationships. In this article we adopt a feminist intersectional approach informed by Critical Animal Studies to advocate for a non-pathologising approach to understanding LGBT people’s relationships with regard to the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. ItemDuty stations and the regulation of space in mental health wards: a South Australian case study(Australian Psychological Society, 2013-06) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Due, Clemence; Connellan, KathleenThis paper reports on a cross-disciplinary pilot study that examined the relationship between architecture and mental health. Drawing upon ethnographic data collected within a purpose-built mental health ward in South Australia, the paper focuses upon the role and use of the duty station in relation to both staff and clients. The findings indicate that duty stations often functioned in problematic ways in terms of surveillance and administration. Specifically, the findings question whether mental health wards can truly promote psychological wellbeing if duty stations solely serve to reinforce power differentials between clients and staff in ways that contribute to the physical gap between these two groups. As such, the findings pave the way towards a clearer understanding of the design needs of mental health clients and clinicians. The paper concludes with suggestions to address the issues raised by the findings. ItemExperiences of school belonging for young children of refugee backgrounds(Cambridge University Press, 2016) Due, Clemence; Riggs, Damien Wayne; Augoustinosa, MarthaPrevious research with adolescents with refugee backgrounds living in countries of resettlement has found that school belonging has an impact on a range of wellbeing and developmental outcomes, including mental health, peer relationships, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and academic achievement. However, very little research has explored school belonging in younger children with refugee backgrounds (i.e., under 13 years of age). In this article we report on a participatory research project concerning the experiences and understandings of school belonging with 15 children with refugee backgrounds (aged from 5 to 13 years old) who had been living in Australia for less than 12 months. The research aimed to explore experiences of school and school belonging from the perspective of children, and utilised photo elicitation techniques. The study found that refugee children were able to create a sense of school belonging through aspects of the school environment that reflected their identity and values, and through their relationships with their peers and teachers. In conclusion, we highlight the importance of ensuring that schools create spaces for refugee students to demonstrate their knowledge, values, and skills at school, and to ensure that strategies to promote school belonging in refugee students take into account their experiences and identity. ItemExperiences of separation and divorce among foster and adoptive families: the need for supportive responses(SAGE Publications, 2016-01-01) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Blythe, StacySeparation and divorce are realities facing many families. Yet in the case of foster or adoptive families, only a small number of studies have focused on experiences of separation or divorce. This paper seeks to make an initial contribution to filling this gap by exploring the experiences of foster and adoptive families in both Australia and the United States. A thematic analysis of both primary and secondary data collected by the authors identified three themes: 1) that foster families experience variable responses from service providers, 2) that some adoptive parents may perceive that separation or divorce compounds adoption-related losses, and 3) that some adoptees may challenge the assumption that adoptive families have unique experiences of separation or divorce. The paper concludes by advocating for the provision of clear guidelines to foster families who may experience separation or divorce, and highlights the need for supportive community responses to foster or adoptive families who experience separation or divorce. ItemExploring the ethics of forewarning: social workers, confidentiality and potential child abuse disclosures(Taylor and Francis, 2007-03) McLaren, Helen JaquelineThis article reports on exploratory research on social workers’ perceptions and actions regarding ‘forewarning’ clients of their child abuse reporting obligations as a limitation of confidentiality at relationship onset. A brief overview of ethical principles and former research relevant to forewarning is given prior to explaining research methods and research outcomes of the current study. Data obtained in the current study, from South Australian social workers engaged in human service work with families, articulates a strong desire to practice in accordance with professional codes of ethics. However, findings suggest proactive forewarning as extremely infrequent, with minimised forewarning accomplished only in response to client initiated inquiry and where prior suspicions of child abuse may exist. Generally, discomfort with forewarning was found to result in its avoidance due to concerns about client retention, working in tense relationships and personal uncertainties about clients' reactions towards participants. Participants’ attention to their own emotive needs more actively than the rights of their clients is correlated with having a private, not a public, model of professionalism when establishing the practice context – a problematic issue for ethical social work. ItemExploring trans and gender diverse issues in primary education in South Australia(Flinders University, 2016) Bartholomaeus, Clare; Riggs, Damien Wayne; Andrew, YarrowExecutive Summary An increasing number of young children identify with a gender that differs from that normatively expected of their natally-assigned sex (e.g. Smith & Matthews, 2015; Telfer, Tollit, & Feldman, 2015). Such young children tend to be referred to as trans or gender diverse. The term ‘trans’ is typically used to refer to people whose gender or gender expression differs from that normatively expected of their natally-assigned sex (where those born with a penis are assigned male and expected to act in stereotypically masculine ways or to present themselves as male, and where those born with a vagina are assigned female and expected to act in stereotypically feminine ways or to present themselves as female). The term ‘gender diverse’ is typically used to refer to people whose gender identity is not encompassed by the two categories ‘male’ or ‘female’. Importantly, the terms ‘trans’ and ‘gender diverse’ encompass a wide range of gender expressions. While population studies suggest that between 0.5% and 1% of people are trans or gender diverse (Clark et al., 2014; Conron, Scott, Stowell, & Landers, 2012), it has been suggested that figures of gender diversity are significantly higher during childhood (Möller, Schreier, Li, & Romer, 2009). Brill and Pepper (2008) argue that there are three typical ages when people acknowledge that they are trans or gender diverse: childhood, preteen/early adolescence, and late adolescence. For children who disclose that they are trans or gender diverse, the likelihood of having their gender affirmed by others is closely related to people’s understandings of gender diversity. Schools constitute a key context in which children may disclose that they are trans or gender diverse, thus highlighting the importance of schools providing affirming and informed responses. However, research with parents of trans and gender diverse primary school children suggests that a key barrier to inclusion in schools relates to staff members’ understandings of gender, and whether issues of gender diversity are viewed as taboo or are positively included within school policies and practices (Pullen Sansfaçon, Robichaud, & Dumais-Michaud, 2015). Australian research with students at the secondary level has clearly documented trans and gender diverse students’ negative experiences of school and the implications of this for their well-being (Jones & Hillier, 2013; Jones et al., 2016; Smith et al., 2014; Ullman, 2015). Australian research with parents of trans children, including at the primary level, has emphasised the importance of supportive schools, and the negative impact of gender stereotyping in schools (Riley, Sitharthan, Clemson, & Diamond, 2013), including by school counsellors and psychologists (Riggs & Bartholomaeus, 2015). The important role that schools can play is currently hindered in Australia by two key issues: 1) the lack of opportunities for educator professional development and support for working with trans and gender diverse students, and 2) the broader climate of misunderstanding and fear, evidenced in recent debates about the Safe Schools Coalition. The research documented in this report extends the limited amount of research about trans and gender diverse issues in primary education internationally. Rather than focusing on individual trans and gender diverse students, the research examines broader school cultures in relation to educator attitudes and knowledge and the usefulness of classroom resources in the form of picture books for creating inclusive schools. The project received ethics approval from Flinders University and the Department for Education and Child Development. The research objectives of the project were to: 1. Identify the existing attitudes and knowledge of in-service and pre-service primary school teachers in South Australia about trans and gender diverse students and issues 2. Audit available picture books featuring trans or gender diverse characters 3. Explore the usefulness of picture books which include trans characters for use in primary classrooms by examining students’ understandings 4. Create an online resource with information for supporting trans and gender diverse young people An online survey examining attitudes towards inclusion, comfort, and confidence in relation to trans and gender diverse students was completed by a sample of South Australian primary school teachers (n = 75) and pre-service teachers (n = 105). Findings between the two cohorts were very similar. The findings from both groups overall suggest that women had more positive attitudes and greater comfort in working with trans and gender diverse students, and that those who had previously worked with a trans or gender diverse student and who had undertaken training had more positive attitudes, greater comfort, and greater confidence in working with trans and gender diverse students. An audit of picture books featuring trans or gender diverse characters found that there were 34 such books in existence. Twenty of these books focus on trans characters specifically, while 14 focus on various forms of gender diversity. Of those books currently in existence, only three are Australian. The books provide an array of different storylines and relationships which may be useful for exploring with trans and gender diverse children as well as whole classes of children. However, the books often draw on gender stereotypes, reflecting broader cultural representations and understandings of trans and gender diverse people. Picture books featuring trans characters were explored in book reading sessions with one class of junior primary school students in a government school in South Australia. These books were useful for encouraging discussion and exploration of trans and gender diverse people’s lives. The issues raised in the books were not always clear to the students, although their understandings appeared to grow over the sessions and they were often supportive of the characters. Overall, the salience of hair and clothing in determining gender was central, and many students viewed gender as something fundamental. In some ways the students reiterated the framings of the books in terms of the constructions of binaries (girl/boy) and gender-typed clothing and hair length. Drawing on these three sources of data, the report concludes with recommendations for developing inclusive school cultures, with a focus on making professional development, resources, and support available to educators. The findings from the three studies highlight the need for: 1. The provision of ongoing teacher education, as professional development and within universities 2. Additional resourcing of programs aimed at facilitating inclusion, such as the Safe Schools Coalition 3. DECD-sanctioned policies and guidelines to support teachers and schools to create inclusive whole school cultures 4. Increase in provision of resources to learn about gender diversity, such as picture books in school libraries, and clearer teaching guides for how to use these in class. ItemThe family and romantic relationships of trans and gender diverse Australians: an exploratory survey(Taylor and Francis, 2015-01-03) Riggs, Damien Wayne; von Doussa, Henry; Power, JenniferThe present paper contributes an Australian focus to the growing body of research on trans and gender diverse people’s family and romantic relationships. A survey designed by the authors was completed by 160 trans or gender diverse Australians. A negative correlation was found between discrimination from families of origin and perceptions of support, and conversely a positive correlation was found between perceptions of support and emotional closeness. Analysis of open-ended responses suggested that support was primarily constituted by 1) emotional support, 2), utilising correct pronouns and names, and 3) financial support. Discrimination by families of origin was primarily constituted by 1) refusal to use correct pronouns and names, 2) exclusion from family events, and 3) pathologising responses. The findings in regards to romantic relationships suggest that trans women were more likely than trans men or gender diverse people to experience challenges in negotiating romantic relationships. A negative correlation was found between difficulties in negotiating romantic relationships and belief in the likelihood that an ‘ideal’ romantic relationship would occur in the future. Difficulties in negotiating romantic relationships were primarily described in terms of 1) anxiety over potential responses, 2) discrimination from potential partners, and 3) lack of self-acceptance. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for clinical practice. ItemFamily support and discrimination and their relationship to psychological distress and resilience amongst transgender people(Taylor & Francis Group, 2018-11-22) Fuller, Kimberly A; Riggs, Damien WayneBackground: Given the broader social contexts in which transgender people and their families live, the latter can be either an important source of support, or bring with them yet another source of discrimination. Although historically transgender people almost uniformly experienced discrimination from families of origin, recent research suggests that growing numbers of transgender people are supported by their families. Aims: The study reported in this article sought to examine the relationships between family support and discrimination, and psychological distress and resilience. Methods: A convenience sample of 345 transgender people living in North America completed an online questionnaire constructed by the authors. The questionnaire included demographic questions and single items questions about emotional closeness to family, gender-related support from family, and discrimination from family. The questionnaire also included standardized measures of gender-related discrimination, resiliency, social support, and psychological distress. Results: Participants reported moderate levels of gender-related family support, with non-binary participants reporting the lowest levels of gender-related family support. Participants whose families provided greater gender-related support reported greater resilience and lower levels of psychological distress; however participants who reported higher levels of gender-related discrimination from their families reported greater psychological distress. The findings suggest that emotional closeness to family may help mitigate the effects of general discrimination on psychological distress. Discussion: Drawing on the findings reported, the paper concludes by discussing the importance of focusing on family members in the context of affirming clinical approaches to working with transgender adults. ItemGaslighting in the context of clinical interactions with parents of transgender children(Taylor & Francis, 2018-02-28) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Bartholomaeus, ClareUnderstood as a type of identity-related abuse, gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the perpetrator attempts to convince someone that their thoughts, perceptions, or beliefs are mistaken. In the clinical context, gaslighting is often seen as part of a broader constellation of abuse and violence between adults. However, it can also happen in more subtle ways, and can present in ways that are difficult to detect. This paper explores instances where gaslighting may potentially occur in clinical interactions involving parents of transgender children. Three fictionalised case studies are presented drawing on the first author's clinical work, and demonstrate three overarching forms of gaslighting: (1) deferred action, (2) intentional forgetting, and (3) placing an emotional burden on the child. Having presented the three cases, the paper concludes by discussing how clinicians might identify and respond to gaslighting, emphasising (1) speaking with children on their own, (2) speaking on behalf of children to parents, (3) modelling advocacy to parents, (4) correcting misgendering in the clinical context, and (5) using peer supervision to discuss cases. In sum, the paper argues that whilst clinicians should not rush to “diagnose” gaslighting, clinicians should also not overlook its powerful effects upon transgender young people. ItemGay fathers’ reproductive journeys and parenting experiences: a review of research(BMJ Publishing Group, 2014-10) Riggs, Damien Wayne; Due, ClemenceOver the past decade growing numbers of gay men have sought and found ways to become parents, including through surrogacy, giving birth, adoption and fostering. These modes of family formation are situated alongside pre-existing modes of family formation available to gay men, specifically in heterosexual relationships and through donating sperm to lesbian recipients. This review article summarises the literature related to each of these modes of family formation. It highlights the discrimination that gay men may face as parents and the positive outcomes both for gay fathers and for the children they parent.