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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 14. 1964.


Attitudes towards sexual offenders in general, and homosexuals in particular, tend to be quite different from those that are expressed towards any other type of offender, said Mr. A. J. W. Taylor, student counsellor at VUW.

This was exemplified by criminals themselves, who had a social structure in which homosexuals were placed in the lower classes. Why this differential condemnation?

Mr. Taylor explained this by observing that many people feel threatened by the phenomenon of homosexuality, whether or not they have had homosexual experience and whether or not they have ever known a homosexual. Their fears are such that it is almost impossible for them to discuss homosexuality on a rational level. In fact, they regard those who try to understand the personality disorder as homosexuals.

HE illustrated the truth of this by citing the report of the Wolfenden Commission which, he said, was an outstandingly liberal and well-written official document. Nonetheless, it caused a considerable controversy in England.

This inquiry was prompted by the prosecution of many prominent people on charges of homo-sexuality. Emphasising that there exist many varieties of homosexual behaviour, some less serious than others, and that different age groups may be Involved. Mr. Taylor pointed out that at least the prosecutions in England had made people realise that male homosexuals could and did make valuable contributions to society.