On the Edge of Understanding: Non-Heteronormative Sexuality in Papua New Guinea

Christine Stewart

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter explores the issue of non-heteronormative sexuality in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Drawing on PhD fieldwork conducted mainly in Port Moresby in the mid- to late 2000s, it considers people's lived experience of non-heteronormativity in relation to the wider community. It discusses the ways in which respondents described themselves, their processes of developing self-understanding, how they fit into the general society, and the worst experiences of discrimination they had encountered. It also examines the prevalence of “homosexual” behavior in PNG as well as the high levels of stigma and abuse experienced by gay people. Finally, it assesses homosexuality laws in PNG and the reasons why social perceptions and practices in PNG with regards to non-heteronormative sex differ significantly from those in the other Pacific Island countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGender on the Edge Transgender, Gay, and Other Pacific Islanders
    Editors Niko Besnier and Kalissa Alexeyeff
    Place of PublicationHonolulu
    PublisherUniversity of Hawaii Press
    ISBN (Print)9780824838829
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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