Women on men's sexual health and sexually transmitted infection testing: a gender relations analysis

Oliffe, John L., Chabot, Cathy, Knight, Rod, Davis, Wendy, Bungay, Vicky and Shoveller, Jean A. (2013) Women on men's sexual health and sexually transmitted infection testing: a gender relations analysis. Sociology of Health and Illness, 35 1: 1-16. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01470.x

Author Oliffe, John L.
Chabot, Cathy
Knight, Rod
Davis, Wendy
Bungay, Vicky
Shoveller, Jean A.
Title Women on men's sexual health and sexually transmitted infection testing: a gender relations analysis
Journal name Sociology of Health and Illness   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0141-9889
Publication date 2013-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01470.x
Open Access Status
Volume 35
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Sexual health and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing is typically portrayed as a women's issue amid men's estrangement from healthcare services. While the underreporting of men's STIs has been linked to masculinities, little is known about how women interpret and respond to heterosexual men's sexual health practices. The findings drawn from this qualitative study of 34 young women reveal how femininities can be complicit in sustaining, as well as being critical of and disrupting masculine discourses that affirm sexual pleasure and resistance to health help-seeking as men's patriarchal privileges. Our analysis revealed three patterns: looking after the man's libido refers to women's emphasised femininity whereby the man's preference for unprotected sex and reticence to be tested for STIs was accommodated. Negotiating the stronger sex refers to ambivalent femininities, in which participants strategically resist, cooperate and comply with men's sexual health practices. Rejecting the patriarchal double standard that celebrates men as 'studs' and subordinates women as 'sluts' for embodying similar sexual practices reflects protest femininities. Overall, the findings reveal that conventional heterosexual gender relations, in which hegemonic masculinity is accommodated by women who align to emphasised femininity, continues to direct many participants' expectations around men's sexual health and STI testing.
Keyword Femininities
Gender relations
Youth 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 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Aug 2014, 11:35:06 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work