Gay masculinities: a mixed methods study of the implications of hegemonic and alternative masculinities for gay men

Ravenhill, James Peter (2018) Gay masculinities: a mixed methods study of the implications of hegemonic and alternative masculinities for gay men. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Download (3MB)

Abstract

Contemporary theories of gender conceptualise masculinity as a socially constructed, pluralistic and action-oriented entity. Hegemonic masculinity is the dominant masculinity discourse in many Anglophone societies. Heterosexuality is the bedrock of hegemonic masculinity, and heterosexual expressions of masculinity are more socially desirable than gay masculinities. Although gay men are unable to embody hegemonic masculinity, prior research suggests that their behaviour may nevertheless be guided by its mandates. This may include gay men’s sexual positioning behaviour in anal intercourse – previous research has demonstrated that gay sexual positions are steeped in gender role stereotypes. The mixed-methods programme of studies presented in this dissertation provides a greater understanding of the components of “gay masculinities”, and how positioning in relation to masculinity discourses is associated with how gay men experience their masculinity, including in anal intercourse.
A discursive qualitative approach used in Study 1 identified how gay men could “compensate” for their homosexuality by displaying attributes associated with hegemonic masculinity (e.g., muscularity). It was also found that gay masculinities were notable for their diversity (Chapter 3). Using quantitative methods, Study 2 demonstrated that gay men who are anally-insertive in anal intercourse were perceived as more masculine than those who are receptive, although muscularity and a deep voice were more strongly associated with perceptions of gay men’s masculinity than sexual positioning (Chapter 4). In Study 3, an experiential qualitative approach identified how gay men’s beliefs about masculinity were associated with their gendered perceptions and experiences of anal intercourse (Chapter 5). Insight was also provided into the range of beliefs that gay men have about masculinity, and how these beliefs are related to how gay men negotiate their masculine and gay identities against the dominance of the hegemonic masculinity discourse (Chapters 6 and 7).

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0012 Sexual life > HQ0019 Sexual behaviour and attitudes. Sexuality
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0012 Sexual life > HQ0075 Homosexuality. Lesbianism
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ1088 Men
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 08 May 2018 14:56
Last Modified: 08 May 2018 14:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/75687

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update