Does heterosexual sex make a man more masculine? Does homosexual sex feminise a man? No and no. This article tries to disentangle the "traditional" North American point of view that heterosexuality and masculinity automatically imply each other.
Abstract: In traditional North American society, being "masculine" is often defined as (1) the opposite of being "feminine" and (2) avoiding sexual contact with other men. Recent trends in attitudes toward homophobia and masculinity, however, suggest that these traditional orientations may have begun to change in North American society. Drawing from a multiyear ethnographic study of heterosexual male college cheerleaders, I argue that associated with these changing attitudes and practices, many men are beginning to disentangle heterosexuality from masculinity. In this context, I demonstrate how avowedly "straight" men, in some instances, engage in gay sex and openly view such encounters as non-threatening to their own personal identities and public status as heterosexuals. The study carries theoretical implications for the conditions under which heterosexuality and masculinity do not imply each other and, most speculatively, when and how gay men are considered masculine.
Credit: "Disentangling Heterosexuality from Masculinity" by Eric Anderson, American Sociological Association
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