Author: Chan, Cheuk-lun
Title: How to become a straight man : a study of young Hong Kong heterosexual adult men
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Sex role
Gender identity
Men -- Psychology
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: [vii], 206 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate heterosexual (or straight) male sexuality through an examination of the sex lives of thirteen young adult Chinese men in Hong Kong. Male sexuality is a cornerstone of male identity, which consists of the concepts of gender and sexual identity. In fact, concepts such as 'masculinity', 'man', and 'male sex' are reliant on the institution of heterosexuality for their coherence. It is frequently acknowledged that heterosexuality is essential to the construction of 'hegemonic masculinity'. According to Connell (1995), hegemonic masculinity refers to cultural strategies that some people (mainly men) are required to use in order to inhabit positions of dominance. By following Connell (1995)'s 3x3 matrix of gender study, I investigated the life courses of thirteen young, heterosexual Hong Kong men as a basis upon which to gain an understanding of their conception of being straight men. These thirteen men were interviewed from July to December 2003,and their self-stories1 of their sexual lives were collected. According to Plummer (2001), self-stories are one form of 'life document'. Other examples are life stories, life narratives, 'mysteries', auto/biographies, oral histories, personal testaments, and life documents. I investigated different aspects/dimensions/parts of their sex lives; namely, The Moment of Engagement, The First Sex Act, Sexual Virility, and Sexual Relationships. In these chapters, I examine local ideologies and discourses on such issues as phallocentricism, sexual hierarchies, and romantic love, which organize the sexuality of Hong Kong straight males into symbolic practises that exist outside of an individual's life. In addition, a conglomerate of linked institutions such as the mass media, schools (sex education), the family, and romantic love that support male heterosexual practises in Hong Kong is also investigated. This empirical study perceives Hong Kong straight male sexuality not merely as a construct of identity. Identity is also a becoming and even a performance that is historically and contextually contingent. Through the self-stories of thirteen young Hong Kong men, I demonstrate the regulatory and disciplinary nature of straight male identity. What I have learned from studies of gender and sexuality has caused me to regard straight male identity as pluralistic and multiple in nature. Furthermore, the agencies of Hong Kong straight men during the complex process of constructing/becoming/performing their gender and sexual identities are examined with the help of the concept of body reflexive practises. This concept helps me to bridge the concepts of gender and sexual identity when examining the role of sexuality in the daily life of a straight man. It also brings the body (material) back into abstract theoretical discussions of gender (masculinity) and sexuality (heterosexuality). This is a pioneer study on Hong Kong straight male sexuality. Through this research I hope to contribute to gender and sexuality studies and other local debates such as pornography (and cyberporn), the medicalization of male sexuality, and sexual ethics.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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