Becoming a Man

Trajectories of Young Gay Men in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

in Boyhood Studies
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Abstract

This paper seeks to analyze the affective-sexual trajectories of young gay men in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Based on qualitative research with 15 young, urban, low-income gay men aged between 19 and 24, carried out in 2019, this article shows the learning of masculinity and its consequences on the men's sex lives. As a result, we argue that these young men have been brought up for the exaltation of heterosexuality and being a real man since boyhood; that the pedagogies of masculinity produce hierarchies among gay masculinities; and that the connection with other social markers, such as race, social class, religion, sexual preferences related to being active or passive, and gender expressions, upholds the notion of hegemonic masculinity. Regarding those who escape this pattern, these young men reveal several vulnerabilities and multiple violent acts during their trajectories.

Contributor Notes

Wendell Ferrari is a Brazilian psychologist and holds a doctorate in collective health at the Fernandes Figueira Institute/Fiocruz (Brazil). He has an interuniversity exchange doctorate from the department of Psychology and Educational Sciences at Porto University (Portugal), supported by the National Council for the Improvement of Higher Education (CAPES) and the Institutional Internationalization Program (PrInt Fiocruz-Capes). In 2021, he published a book called Entre o segredo e a solidão: Aborto ilegal na adolescência (Between secrecy and solitude: Illegal abortion in adolescence) with the Fiocruz publishing company. Email: wendellferraripsi@gmail.com

Marcos Nascimento is a Brazilian psychologist and holds a doctorate in collective health from the Institute of Social Medicine at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In addition, he is a public health researcher at the Fernandes Figueira National Institute for the Health of Women, Children, and Adolescents at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has authored publications on masculinities and sexuality, and has extensive experience in research, program design, and policy advocacy in gender equality in Brazil and Latin American contexts. Email: m2nascimento@gmail.com

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