Un(masc)ing the male feminist: An exploration of men's feminist identification and hegemonic sexual practices at Acadia University
LE3 .A278 2017
Bachelor of Arts
This research explores university-aged men’s attachments to feminism and their sexual experiences in a university landscape in an effort to understand if there is a relationship between feminist identity and heteronormative and masculine sexual experiences. Using a mixed methods approach—secondary analysis of quantitative survey data and semi-structured qualitative in-depth interviews—the data reveals that there is a connection, and further found that there exists a key mediating factor of hegemonic masculinity. The findings suggest that the hegemonic masculine ideal is one that strictly prohibits gender-based transgressions, and as such rejects a feminist identity. Despite male students’ reluctance to adopt a feminist identity, feminism is found to have an impact in lessening pressure to conform to hegemonic masculine sexual behaviors and attitudes that prove to be harmful to women and men. My findings emphasize a lack of knowledge of feminism in male university students. I conclude that men would benefit from education surrounding feminism and that men’s contribution to the feminist agendais warranted and necessary. Feminism has great potential in aiding university -aged men in terms of some of the harmful masculine pressures or practices that are present due to restrictive hegemonic masculinity and socially expected behaviors.
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