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I'm Straight, I'm Thinking About Girls, and I'm Masturbating: Masculinity, Pornography, and Doing Gender

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Abstract:

Theorizing the relationship between pornography and heterosexual men's investment in and enactment of hegemonic masculine practice—particularly overt sexism, the objectification of women, and violence against women—is longstanding and fraught territory in feminist research and activism. Drawing on interactional and post-structural theories of gender, I attempt to move beyond binary debates about whether or not pornography impacts heterosexual men's gender ideology or sexual practice to argue that pornography has a much more complex relationship to individual men's accomplishment of gender. Drawing on 15 in-depth life history interviews asking subjects to narrate their experiences of sexual learning, this article attempts to link debates about pornography to theories of gender, particularly theories of multiple masculinities. I argue not that pornography use has a direct causal relationship to gender outcomes, but that pornography use can become implicated in gender outcomes where pornography use and preferences are believed by individual men to signify inadequate or failed masculinity. I argue that where subjects did not feel their pornography use had any bearing on adequate or inadequate gender accomplishment, they experienced a greater security in departing from normative masculine forms over the life course, resulting in more egalitarian and pro-feminist gender ideology and sex practice. Where pornography use contributed to anxieties about inadequate or failed masculinity, subjects became more invested in the performance of normative masculinity and exhibited greater reluctance to depart from normative masculine forms over the life course. Implications for the maintenance of unequal gender relations are discussed.
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1121129_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Harvey, Brenna. "I'm Straight, I'm Thinking About Girls, and I'm Masturbating: Masculinity, Pornography, and Doing Gender" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA, Aug 17, 2016 <Not Available>. 2017-11-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1121129_index.html>

APA Citation:

Harvey, B. , 2016-08-17 "I'm Straight, I'm Thinking About Girls, and I'm Masturbating: Masculinity, Pornography, and Doing Gender" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA Online <PDF>. 2017-11-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1121129_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Theorizing the relationship between pornography and heterosexual men's investment in and enactment of hegemonic masculine practice—particularly overt sexism, the objectification of women, and violence against women—is longstanding and fraught territory in feminist research and activism. Drawing on interactional and post-structural theories of gender, I attempt to move beyond binary debates about whether or not pornography impacts heterosexual men's gender ideology or sexual practice to argue that pornography has a much more complex relationship to individual men's accomplishment of gender. Drawing on 15 in-depth life history interviews asking subjects to narrate their experiences of sexual learning, this article attempts to link debates about pornography to theories of gender, particularly theories of multiple masculinities. I argue not that pornography use has a direct causal relationship to gender outcomes, but that pornography use can become implicated in gender outcomes where pornography use and preferences are believed by individual men to signify inadequate or failed masculinity. I argue that where subjects did not feel their pornography use had any bearing on adequate or inadequate gender accomplishment, they experienced a greater security in departing from normative masculine forms over the life course, resulting in more egalitarian and pro-feminist gender ideology and sex practice. Where pornography use contributed to anxieties about inadequate or failed masculinity, subjects became more invested in the performance of normative masculinity and exhibited greater reluctance to depart from normative masculine forms over the life course. Implications for the maintenance of unequal gender relations are discussed.


Similar Titles:
Girls Can be Masculine Too: Thinking about Theories of Masculinity

Beyond Boy-Girl-Boy-Girl: Re-thinking Measurements of Gender for Quantitative Analysis


 
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