Masculinity and the risk of HIV/AIDS in North India
Danny de Vries, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Shelah S. Bloom, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kaushalendra K. Singh, Banaras Hindu University
C. M. Suchindran, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Little empirical evidence exists that shows how the desire to demonstrate masculinity influences risk behavior. This paper focuses on a qualitative dataset among a high-risk population in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Purposive sampling strategies were used to select 75 respondents from five Indian cities for in-depth interviews exploring men’s life history and current situations. Men were eligible if they had any non-marital sex in the past year. The paper thematically presents life histories which illustrate the influence of chronic alcoholism, boundary experimentation, the socialized sexual encounter, psychological vulnerability, status and money, cleanliness, securing sexual security, and trust on sexual risk behaviors. The stories reflect ways in which masculinities have adapted to their particular situations, needs, and life events.