Masculinity + HIV = risk: exploring the relationship between masculinities, education and HIV in the Caribbean

Plummer, David (2011) Masculinity + HIV = risk: exploring the relationship between masculinities, education and HIV in the Caribbean. In: Klot, Jennifer F., and Nguyen, Vinh-Kim, (eds.) The Fourth Wave: Violence, Gender, Culture & HIV in the 21st Century. UNESCO, Paris, France, 139- 156.

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Abstract

Using qualitative data, this chapter analyses the impact on men of shifting gender roles in the Caribbean region. In recent decades, Caribbean women have made great strides in educational attainment. In contrast, gender taboos mean that opportunities for a boy to secure his gender identity have increasingly shifted away from educational achievements towards physical dominance, including through hard, physical, risk-taking, hyper-masculine activities, such as bullying, harassment, crime, violence and risky sexual behaviour. Boys who engage in intellectual pursuits are vulnerable to being considered 'suspect' by their peers. For example, boys who show a preference for reading regularly report homophobic criticism: homosexuality is perhaps the deepest masculine taboo of all. Likewise, through the twin mechanisms of masculine obligation and taboo, a wide range of risk-taking behaviours, including those related to vulnerability to HIV infection, have become resiliently embedded in the social fabric and are, as a result, extremely resistant to change. 'Social embedding' exerts its effect via gender roles, peer group dynamics, taboo and stigma, and social-economic inequalities.

Item ID: 21951
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-92-3-104158-7
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 00:25
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939904 Gender Aspects of Education @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 50%
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