Date of Award

1-1-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of International, Cultural and Community Services

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd

Second Advisor

Professor Sherry Saggers

Abstract

My thesis concerns male sexuality as revealed by men living in contemporary urban and rural Bangladesh. I pursue what men think it means to be a man. dimensions of manliness and manhood, and male influences in the construction of male/female relationships. Significant meanings men attribute to sexual acts, pleasure, pain,. risk and safety in multiple social realities, particularly in the era of HIV/AIDS, were explored. A social constructionist perspective guided my research. Using qualitative research methods, I conducted 50 in-depth interviews with men aged between 18 and 58 years from diverse socio-occupational backgrounds. Twenty key informants included religious leaders. traditional and Western medical practitioners, teachers, community and religious leaders, professionals involved in the media. Ten focus group discussions were held. I spent time in various male venues to observe men's social lives and interactions. The 15 month fieldwork was conducted in Mohammadpur Thana of Dhaka City and some villages of Sadar and Panchbibi Upzila of Jaipurhat district. Tape recorded interviews in Bangla were transcribed and data analyais performed by inter-subjective interpretations through content, contextual and thematic analysis. I have analyzed the social construction of manliness and manhood and its influences on male-female relationships, men's construction of sexual risk, safety and pleasure, and meanings of sex and sexual health concerns. Bangladeshi men's manhood and relationships with women are expressed within the obligatory marital framework of patriarchy. Notions of men as 'providers' and 'protectors' construct male sexual authority over women originating from gender inequalities and power relations with women. This creates a sexual double standard and undermines women's sexual rights, pleasure and equality in relationships. My thesis concerns male sexuality as revealed by men living in contemporary urban and rural Bangladesh. I pursue what men think it means to be a man. dimensions of manliness and manhood, and male influences in the construction of male/female relationships. Significant meanings men attribute to sexual acts, pleasure, pain,. risk and safety in multiple social realities, particularly in the era of HIV/AIDS, were explored. A social constructionist perspective guided my research. Using qualitative research methods, I conducted 50 in-depth interviews with men aged between 18 and 58 years from diverse socio-occupational backgrounds. Twenty key informants included religious leaders. traditional and Western medical practitioners, teachers, community and religious leaders, professionals involved in the media. Ten focus group discussions were held. I spent time in various male venues to observe men's social lives and interactions. The 15 month fieldwork was conducted in Mohammadpur Thana of Dhaka City and some villages of Sadar and Panchbibi Upzila of Jaipurhat district. Tape recorded interviews in Bangla were transcribed and data analyais performed by inter-subjective interpretations through content, contextual and thematic analysis. I have analyzed the social construction of manliness and manhood and its influences on male-female relationships, men's construction of sexual risk, safety and pleasure, and meanings of sex and sexual health concerns. Bangladeshi men's manhood and relationships with women are expressed within the obligatory marital framework of patriarchy. Notions of men as 'providers' and 'protectors' construct male sexual authority over women originating from gender inequalities and power relations with women. This creates a sexual double standard and undermines women's sexual rights, pleasure and equality in relationships.

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