Masculinities, ‘guy talk’ and ‘manning up’: a discourse analysis of how young men talk about sexual health

Knight, Rod, Shoveller, Jean A., Oliffe, John L., Gilbert, Mark, Frank, Blye and Ogilvie, Gina (2012) Masculinities, ‘guy talk’ and ‘manning up’: a discourse analysis of how young men talk about sexual health. Sociology of Health and Illness, 34 8: 1246-1261. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01471.x

Author Knight, Rod
Shoveller, Jean A.
Oliffe, John L.
Gilbert, Mark
Frank, Blye
Ogilvie, Gina
Title Masculinities, ‘guy talk’ and ‘manning up’: a discourse analysis of how young men talk about sexual health
Journal name Sociology of Health and Illness   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0141-9889
Publication date 2012-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01471.x
Open Access Status
Volume 34
Issue 8
Start page 1246
End page 1261
Total pages 16
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Sexually transmitted infection testing rates among young men remain low, and their disengagement from sexual health services has been linked to enactments of masculinity that prohibit or truncate discussions of sexual health. Understanding how men align with multiple masculinities is therefore important for tailoring interventions that appropriately respond to their needs. We draw on 32 in-depth interviews with 15-24-year-old men to explore the discourses that facilitate or shut down sexual health communication with peers and sex partners. We employ a critical discourse analysis to explore how men's conversations about sexual health are constituted by masculine hierarchies (such as the ways in which masculinities influence men's ability to construct or challenge and contest dominant discourses about sexual health). Men's conversations about sexual health focused primarily around their sexual encounters - something frequently referred to as 'guy talk'. Also described were situations whereby participants employed a discourse of 'manning up' to (i) exert power over others with disregard for potential repercussions and (ii) deploy power to affirm and reify their own hyper-masculine identities, while using their personal (masculine) power to help others (who are subordinate in the social ordering of men). By better understanding how masculine discourses are employed by men, their sexual health needs can be advanced.
Keyword Discourse analysis
Men's health
Sexual health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Aug 2014, 10:51:55 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work