THE placement of a man's block and tackle is the reason why blokes are more likely than women to be arrested for nude sun-bathing in Queensland.
Australian Sex Party's Queensland president Dr Mark McGovern made the claim on Wednesday as he re-iterated his party's call for each of the state's unofficial nude beaches to be turned into "legal clothes-optional" zones as soon as possible.
Dr McGovern claims police are breaching anti-discrimination laws by arresting men "because only male genitalia hangs out".
Citing arrests of naked blokes visiting Alexandria Bay on the Sunshine Coast, Dr McGovern said police were ignoring female nudists in "an ongoing and ridiculously sexist campaign".
"Police have decided to target only men for wilful exposure … by doing so police are clearly in violation of direct sex discrimination (laws)," Dr McGovern said.
A Queensland Police spokeswoman refuted the claims, telling APN Newsdesk that officers made unbiased decisions based on the Summary Offences Act definition of wilful exposure.
Sunshine Coast Superintendent Darryl Johnson backed up that statement.
"Police do not discriminate," Superintendent Johnson said.
"There are a number of offences open to both males and females who disrobe in public - wilful exposure and public nuisance are available for prosecution.
"Police will always use discretion in terms of their powers."
Dr McGovern said the problem could be avoided if Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath amended the act to state that a person does not commit wilful exposure when they are naked in a place declared "clothing optional".
Ms D'Ath's office did not respond to APN Newsdesk's request for comment in time for publication.
The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner's office did not return APN's phone calls.
Exposing the hard questions around genitalia definitions
AT WHAT point does a naked woman breach wilful exposure laws?
It's a simple enough question, but finding the right answer is anything but easy.
One Queensland Police source told APN Newsdesk that a naked woman could "walk down the street" and only be arrested for public nuisance, despite her breasts and vulva - the exterior genitals - being on show.
The same source says women could face a wilful exposure charge if she "parts her legs" to expose her pubic mound and labia majora.
Society of Australian Sexologists Queensland branch president Dr Graham Neilsen says pubic hair could be the reason why naked women are not considered to be exposing themselves.
"You could challenge the premise (of not breaching wilful exposure laws) on the basis that if she'd had a Brazilian (wax), for example, her vulva would then be visible," Dr Neilsen said.
"The labia majora slit would then be visible and no one would refute that that would constitute (exposure of) external genitalia."
Former University of Queensland senior law lecturer Dr Paul O'Shea says the act does not "discriminate between genitalia".
Dr O'Shea is well versed in the area of wilful exposure, having defended a number of men for frequenting south-east Queensland beaches without their clothes on.
"The act says 'You shall not expose your genitals unless you have a reasonable excuse'," Dr O'Shea says.
"Absolutely the vagina is genitals.
"This question of whether the legs are parted or not is irrelevant to the offence." -APN NEWSDESK
Queensland's unofficial nude beaches include:
- Alexandria Bay, Noosa Heads
- Dundowran Beach, Fraser Coast
- Buchans Point near Cairns
- Pretty Beach near Cape Tribulation
- Cow Bay, in the Daintree River area
- Balding Bay Beach, near Townsville
SOURCE: Free Beaches Australia Inc
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