Negotiating homosexual identities: the experiences of men who have sex with men in Guangzhou
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AbstractThis paper reports on an ethnographic study of male homosexuality in contemporary Chinese society. The study focused on how men negotiated with the mainstream Chinese heterosexual society and in so doing constructed their sexual identities. The factors found to inform sexual identity were: the cultural imperative of heterosexual marriage, normative family obligations, desired gender roles, emotional experiences and a need for social belonging. The four types of sexual identities constructed included: establishing a deliberate non-homosexual identity, accumulating an individual homosexual identity, forming a collective homosexual identity and adopting a flexible sexual identity. For the men interviewed, sexual identity was both fluid and fragmented, derived from highly personalised negotiations between individualised needs and social and cultural constructs. The analysis is set against the background of China's rapid and recent economic development, shifting national and international social environments and improved access to the Internet.
All Author(s) ListLi HC, Holroyd E, Lau JTF
Journal nameCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume Number12
Issue Number4
Pages401 - 414
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsChina; gay men; homosexuality; sexual identity
Web of Science Subject CategoriesBiomedical Social Sciences; Family Studies; FAMILY STUDIES; Social Sciences, Biomedical; SOCIAL SCIENCES, BIOMEDICAL

Last updated on 2020-01-12 at 00:14