Real man does: premarital sex, masculinity and HIV risk among male workers in an Indian slum

Suvakanta N. Swain, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Garimella Rama Rao, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The paper throws a light on the process of male gender value construction and its risk associates. It says how the premarital sexual history contributes in shaping the masculinity, further in what way this masculinity endangers the male sexual behaviour. The data has been collected through twenty-two in-depth interviews followed by survey with one hundred married male workers of a slum in Orissa. Findings show that "male sexual role" and "status within family" are perceived as two most important components of masculinity. It is also believed that male dominancy in domains like "family, 'sex role', "community" and "physical appearance" is expected from a real man. Further it is revealed that premarital sexual encounter influences the construction of male gender role that holds male sexual image closely. In ahead, this stereotypical masculine attitude endangers the male sexual behaviour for HIV infection.

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Presented in Session 173: Linkages between masculinity and risk behaviour