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Wimp or Gladiator: Contradictions in Acquiring Masculine Sexuality

by Janet Hollan, Caroline Ramazanoglu & Sue Sharpe - £3.50  Tufnell Press (1993)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781872767901 | ISBN 10: 1872767907

As young men struggle to attain masculinity, they are drawn into the exercise of power over women, but at the same time exposed to the possibilities of failure. Using depth interviews with young men aged 16-21, in this paper we explore their strategies for defending themselves against vulnerability in the process of acquiring heterosexual masculinity. These strategies include adopting the protective coloration of the peer group, impugning a woman's reputation, objectifying women (the 'bastard' syndrome), and seeking out the sexually knowing older woman. Without young men necessarily intending that this should be so, these strategies reproduce and reinforce the exercise of male power over women. We trace the operation of these strategies in the young men's accounts of their own experiences.

(Price & availability last checked: December 2018)

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In booklists: Men's Sexuality, Patriarchy & Sexism, Heterosexuality & Heteronormativity, Young People & Sexuality, Masculinity,
In categories: Men & Masculinity, Sexuality / Relationships, Feminism & Women, Children & Young People, Education, Media & Culture,

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