Gay Men

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The epigraph above from the early work of Connell succinctly captures the challenges in researching and speaking about the lives of gay men living in Western societies. As Connell notes, while gay men living in such societies experience oppression as a result of heteronormativity and homophobia, they do so as men.What this suggests is that gay men in the West experience both oppression and privilege (as a result of living in societies where having been assigned male at birth or identifying oneself as male accords privilege which comes at the expense of people assigned female at birth or who identify as female). For gay men, this intersection of oppression and privilege results in what Connell terms “structurally-induced conflicts about masculinity”. Specifically, and as this chapter outlines with reference to psychological and social scientific research on the topic, gay men living in Western societies are positioned in a relationship to norms of masculinity that are neither of their making, nor necessarily indicative of their lived experience. Importantly, however, and as this chapter emphasises, there are other ways of understanding gay men’s lives that make it possible to move beyond simply affirming the category ‘gay man’, and instead question the ways in which we think about this category and its relationship to hegemonic masculinities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and Gender
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781137345899
    ISBN (Print)9781349466719
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2015


    • Sexual Abuse
    • Unprotected Anal Intercourse
    • Hegemonic Masculinity
    • Normative Discourse
    • Gender Identity Disorder


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