Men who have sex with men's sexual relations with women in Bangladesh
Taylor and Francis
Computing, Health and Science
Psychology and Social Science
Studies of men who have sex with men in South Asian countries including Bangladesh have tended to focus mainly on measuring male‐to‐male sexual risk behaviours, with less attention being given to understanding the nature and meaning of their sexual relations with women. This can result in missed opportunities for HIV/AIDS‐related intervention. This paper, based on a small scale qualitative study, attempts to develop a cultural model to understand men who have sex with men's sexual relations with women within a gender and masculinity framework. Findings reveal that in Bangladesh men who have sex with men frequently surrender to societal pressures to marry, become husbands and shoulder fatherhood. This forces some women to become the silent sufferers of some of the negative consequences of hetero‐normative patriarchal practice. Importantly, however, men who have sex with men consider sex with women a form of real sex within a framework of masculine sexual potency irrespective of preference, desire or eroticism. Thus, challenges exist to undertaking sexual health promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention in culturally sensitive ways.