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Title: The Pressures of Modern Manhood: The Role of Homophobia in Shaping the Gender and Sexual Identities of Australian Men
Contributor(s): McCann, Pol Dominic (author); Minichiello, Victor  (supervisor); Kippax, Susan (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Homophobia has previously been discussed in the context of its policing capacities on gay men (Herek 1990; Kimmel 1994; Nayak & Kehily 1997). Although originally a psychological term (Weinberg 1972), more recently the focus has moved to encompass sociological understandings. Kimmel (1996) and Plummer (1999) discuss homophobia in the context of policing gender transgressions, not simply about monitoring sexual activity. The current research took that position as a starting point, and aimed to discover the policing behaviour of homophobia on Australian masculinity. Therefore, the focus was moved from gay men to masculinity in general. A sample of 63 men participated in qualitative face-to-face interviews and focus groups to discuss how their behaviour, perceptions and views were formed. Under specific investigation was the fear of being seen as a lesser, emasculated form of male, with the name 'poofter' emerging as the most powerful constraint on men. The results show that homophobia was cited as an effective means of labelling a range of different activities, interests and emotional states - few of which had any relation to sexual behaviour. Thus it had the capacity to monitor and restrain a broad range of activities that boys and men may encounter and was implicit in the creation of a series of hierarchies on which men's social positions were continually negotiated. Men described what they felt admirable masculinity entailed, what was distained, and how social distances were set up between 'right' and 'wrong' males. The use of language, particularly teasing and humour, was examined, as were the socialising capacities of sport. Homophobia was described as a learned attribute which functioned to broadcast adherence to hegemonic masculinity.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2006 - Pol Dominic McCann
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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