This paper investigates the intersections of ethnicity, gender and sexuality by exploring the issues of parental, communal and societal authority, and the degrees of compliance and acceptance or resistance by the second generation. Using the responses of Southern Italian, Croatian, Slovenian, and Yugoslav second generation individuals in Australia, two questions are addressed: to what extent do migrant parents use sexual and marital control of their children as a means of maintaining ethnic cohesion; and to what extent does gender influence the level of parental control and the types of responses made by their children. The respondents were both heterosexual and lesbian female and heterosexual males. The data indicates a considerable level of parental and ethnic community direction and authority in relation to sexuality and marriage. It also indicates considerable levels of acceptance and higher levels of resistance to these codes by the second generation individuals. Finally, it appears that although the discussion is ethno-specific, the issues that arise such as power, identity and the body are wider societal concerns.