Masculinity and Minority Stress among Men in Same-sex Relationships

Masculinity and Minority Stress among Men in Same-sex Relationships Although previous research has examined associations among masculinity, sexual orientation, minority stress, and mental health, these studies focused exclusively on individuals as units of analysis. This study investigates how men in same-sex relationships uniquely experience minority stress associated with their perceptions and performances of masculinity, as individuals and as couples. Qualitative, dyadic data are drawn from in-depth interviews with 24 male couples (48 partners), discussing two main stress themes—Threatened by Others’ Gender Performances and Straight-acting Masculinity as Individual-level Insulation with Couple-level Challenges. Primary findings are (1) men in same-sex relationships are vulnerable to new forms of minority stress because their relationships increase visibility via others’ masculinity, and (2) being in a same-sex relationship influences partners’ self-perceptions of masculinity and their relationship dynamics. Findings improve insights regarding gender performance in minority stress processes affecting sexual minority men and their intimate relationships with one another. By virtue of their sexual minority and relationship statuses, men in same-sex relationships experience unique, masculinity-related stressors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society and Mental Health SAGE

Masculinity and Minority Stress among Men in Same-sex Relationships

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Publisher
SAGE Publications
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2018
ISSN
2156-8693
eISSN
2156-8731
D.O.I.
10.1177/2156869318773425
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although previous research has examined associations among masculinity, sexual orientation, minority stress, and mental health, these studies focused exclusively on individuals as units of analysis. This study investigates how men in same-sex relationships uniquely experience minority stress associated with their perceptions and performances of masculinity, as individuals and as couples. Qualitative, dyadic data are drawn from in-depth interviews with 24 male couples (48 partners), discussing two main stress themes—Threatened by Others’ Gender Performances and Straight-acting Masculinity as Individual-level Insulation with Couple-level Challenges. Primary findings are (1) men in same-sex relationships are vulnerable to new forms of minority stress because their relationships increase visibility via others’ masculinity, and (2) being in a same-sex relationship influences partners’ self-perceptions of masculinity and their relationship dynamics. Findings improve insights regarding gender performance in minority stress processes affecting sexual minority men and their intimate relationships with one another. By virtue of their sexual minority and relationship statuses, men in same-sex relationships experience unique, masculinity-related stressors.

Journal

Society and Mental HealthSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2018

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