Heteronormativity hurts everyone: experiences of young men and clinicians with sexually transmitted infection/HIV testing in British Columbia, Canada

Knight, Rod, Shoveller, Jean A., Oliffe, John L., Gilbert, Mark and Goldenberg, Shira (2013) Heteronormativity hurts everyone: experiences of young men and clinicians with sexually transmitted infection/HIV testing in British Columbia, Canada. Health, 17 5: 441-459. doi:10.1177/1363459312464071


Author Knight, Rod
Shoveller, Jean A.
Oliffe, John L.
Gilbert, Mark
Goldenberg, Shira
Title Heteronormativity hurts everyone: experiences of young men and clinicians with sexually transmitted infection/HIV testing in British Columbia, Canada
Journal name Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1363-4593
1461-7196
Publication date 2013-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1363459312464071
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 17
Issue 5
Start page 441
End page 459
Total pages 19
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Abstract Heteronormative assumptions can negatively influence the lives of young gay and bisexual men, and recent sociological analyses have identified the negative impacts of heteronormativity on heterosexual men (e.g. 'fag discourse' targeted at heterosexual adolescents). However, insights into how heteronormative discourses may be (re)produced in clinical settings and how they contribute to health outcomes for gay, bisexual and heterosexual men are poorly understood. This analysis draws on in-depth interviews with 45 men (15-25 years old) and 25 clinicians in British Columbia, Canada, to examine how heteronormative discourses affect sexually transmitted infection testing. The sexually transmitted infection/HIV testing experience emerged as a unique situation, whereby men's (hetero)sexuality was explicitly 'interrogated'. Risk assessments discursively linked sexual identity to risk in ways that reinforced gay men as the risky 'other' and heterosexual men as the (hetero)normal and, therefore, relatively low-risk patient. This, in turn, alleviated concern for sexually transmitted infection/HIV exposure in heterosexual men by virtue of their sexual identity (rather than their sexual practices), which muted discussions around their sexual health. The clinicians also positioned sexual identities and practices as important 'clues' for determining their patients' social contexts and supports while concurrently informing particular tailored clinical communication strategies. These findings highlight how men's experiences with sexually transmitted infection/HIV testing can (re)produce heteronormative assumptions and expectations or create opportunities for more equitable gendered relations and discourses.
Keyword Heteronormativity
HIV
Sexual health
Sexually transmitted infections
Young men
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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Created: Tue, 19 Aug 2014, 00:26:27 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work