"I don't want to be seen as a screaming queen": an interpretative phenomenological analysis of gay men's masculine identities

Ravenhill, James P and de Visser, Richard O (2019) "I don't want to be seen as a screaming queen": an interpretative phenomenological analysis of gay men's masculine identities. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 20 (3). pp. 324-336. ISSN 1524-9220

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It has been argued that gay men who live in Western societies must negotiate masculine identities against a cultural backdrop where the most desirable and locally hegemonic masculinity is heterosexual. However, contemporary masculinity theories conceptualize masculinities as increasingly inclusive of gay men. The purpose of this study was to use a discourse-dynamic approach to studying masculine subjectivity to identify how gay men in England and Wales negotiated masculinity discourses to construct their masculine identities. One-to-one, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with six younger gay men aged 20 to 24, and 11 older gay men aged 30 to 42. Participants were asked to describe their subjective experiences of masculinity. The results of an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis indicated that discourses of hegemonic and alternative masculinities had implications for lived experiences of masculinity. Older participants in particular emphasized their attributes they associated with masculine dominance, including anti-effeminacy attitudes. The majority of younger participants did not feel masculine. Irrespective of age, many participants resisted hegemonic masculinity by highlighting the value of “gayness” at times. The findings suggested that hegemonic masculinity was the most readily available discourse for conceptualizing masculinity, but that lived experiences of masculinity were not necessarily located within this discourse.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Gay men; Masculinity; Gay identity
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2018 12:53
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/74201

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