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Type: Journal article
Title: The challenge of pleasure: re-imagining sexuality and sexual health
Author: Beasley, C.
Citation: Health Sociology Review, 2008; 17(2):151-163
Publisher: Econtent Management
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1446-1242
1839-3551
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Chris Beasley
Abstract: Men have a stake in ending gendered violence but this stake has not yet been widely embraced by men. Thus we must think carefully about our future strategic directions. Taking the case of sexual violence, I suggest that these directions involve re-thinking sexuality and sexual health by considering absences in the scholarly and policy literatures. While young people are constantly exhorted in popular media to be sexual and to undertake sex, young men have not been engaged by 'critical' analyses of sexuality. The critical literatures - which include writings in Gender/Sexuality studies and Preventive Health - aim to offer alternative understandings of heterosexuality which move beyond the imperatives of the popular media. Yet such critical approaches remain undeveloped, largely negative and/or focussed upon danger rather than considering heterosexuality in positive terms that might offer a substantive alternative and encourage young men in particular to embrace the aim of egalitarian sexual practices, including ending sexual violence. Tensions in Gender/Sexuality scholarship, and Preventive Health sex education materials which draw upon that scholarship, produce significant absences with regard to analysis of heterosexuality and heterosexual subjects. In this context, existing research indicates that recognition of pleasure in sexual health has resulted in increased use of condoms by men and greater involvement of women in the negotiation of sexual practices. Such research is not just relevant to prevention of disease, but has implications for strategies regarding sexual violence. Re-imagining the theoretical framing of Gender/Sexuality studies and Preventative Health to take account of pleasure in sexuality and sexual health is not just a theoretical issue but has some very practical implications.
Keywords: Sociology; pleasure; heterosexuality; sex education; gender; masculinity
RMID: 0020084737
DOI: 10.5172/hesr.451.17.2.151
Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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