Actives, passives and power: heteronormative gender norms and their implications for intimate partner violence among men who have sex with men in Tajikistan

Casey D. Hall*, Umedjon Ibragimov, Minh N. Luu, Frank Y. Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global research reveals that gender-role norms have a profound effect on socio- and psycho-sexual expression (e.g. sexual positioning) among gay and bisexual men, which in turn may affect mental health and sexual risks. However, little is known about these factors among gay and bisexual men in Muslim-majority countries such as Tajikistan. Using a combination of in-depth individual interviews and focus-group assessments, this exploratory, qualitative study examined how gender roles might function as a social determinant for the practice of sexual positioning, which in turn may influence intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual risk and relational power. Results suggest that being the ‘active’ partner in sexual relationships closely aligns with the construct of hegemonic masculinity, affording actives more power in male–male relationships which may in some cases result in IPV directed against ‘passives’. Despite this imbalance, passives also hold power in some cases, such as easier access to public resources such as the police and gay and bisexual focused services. Further research should examine gender norms and sexual positioning relative to IPV and sexual risks among Muslim men in Tajikistan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-645
Number of pages16
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender
  • men who have sex with men
  • sexual positioning violence
  • Tajikistan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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