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Journal Cover   Sexuality & Culture
  [SJR: 0.269]   [H-I: 9]   [17 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1095-5143 - ISSN (Online) 1936-4822
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2303 journals]
  • Do I Qualify for a Love Relationship? Social Norms and Long-Distance
           Relationships in Post-Soviet Latvia
    • Abstract: Abstract Not all couples live together; some partners live far from each other, causing potential challenges to relationship maintenance in terms of keeping the relationship ongoing. In the present study, complications in relationship maintenance experienced by heterosexual long-distance partners in post-Soviet Latvia are analysed. The complications are examined in the light of social norms as conceptualized by Parsons and Shils (Toward a general theory of action. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1962) in their notion of dominant value orientations. The article suggests that the norm conflicts experienced by the long-distance partners are illustrative of the value transitions in societies undergoing rapid social change, such as in Latvia. The analysis is based on 19 in-depth interviews with individuals with long-distance relationship (LDR) experience. The social norms complicating or hindering LDR maintenance were found to be generation-specific and gender-specific. The interviewees born and raised in Soviet Latvia referred to collective-oriented norms while the interviewees born in the independent neo-liberal Latvia referred to their own interests that complicated their LDR maintenance.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • Sexuality of ‘Dehumanized People’ across Post-Soviet
           Countries: Patterns from Closed Residential Care Institutions in Lithuania
    • Abstract: Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, former Soviet countries inherited a widely developed network of residential social care institutions intended for persons who have intellectual disabilities. Monitoring inspections carried out by disability and human rights organizations in these regions reveal fundamental human rights violations at the institutions concerned. The aim of this article is to analyze one of the most severe and under-reported human rights violations experienced by women who have intellectual disabilities, while residing in social care institutions: the violation of their sexual and reproductive rights.
      Authors of this article employ Foucault’s viewpoint with regard to disciplinary society and understanding of control of sexuality as an expression of power. The institutional culture that prevails in residential care institutions and allows room for hiding serious human rights violations is also discussed in this article. Restrictions imposed on sexuality in care institutions are not merely limited to a number of individual cases, but they are connected with broader systematic issues. Above all others, the system of residential care institutions itself allows for violations of most of its residents’ rights to occur, including violations of sexual and reproductive rights. None of these rights can be safeguarded and promoted sporadically or partially; therefore, systematic changes are needed, as well as shifts in public mentality and amendments in mental health policy.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • Banning “Homosexual Propaganda”: Belonging and Visibility in
           Contemporary Russian Media
    • Abstract: Abstract This article investigates Russian mainstream media’s coverage of the 2013 legislation banning “propaganda for non-traditional sexuality”. Inspired by theories on belonging, media and visibility, it reconstructs a dominant narrative representing non-heterosexuals as threatening the future survival of the nation, as imposing the sex-radical norms of a minority onto the majority, or as connected to an imperialistic West which aims to destroy Russia. This story, it is argued, functions as a hegemonic grammar regulating how non-heterosexuality is seen and heard in the public sphere. However, it is argued that sometimes the linearity and cohesiveness of the narrative breaks down, when things appear that do not fit this model of interpretation. The analysis illustrates how contestations of belonging in contemporary media are increasingly structured according to the logic of visibility: dominant actors attempt to regulate what can be seen and heard in the public sphere whereas oppositional actors attempt to establish their own visibility in the mediated space of appearance, putting forward alternative constructions of the nation and who belongs to it.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • The Changing Meanings of Russian Love: Emotional Socialism and Therapeutic
           Culture on the Post-Soviet Screen
    • Abstract: Abstract Based on an analysis of post-Soviet Russian cinema and TV productions, this article explores the new emotional culture in post-Soviet Russia and the ways in which it articulates the concept of love. The new emotional style develops through the adoption of popular psychologized therapeutic models and genres of the emotional culture of late capitalism. The article deciphers the encounter of different scenarios of love at the contemporary “therapeutic turn” in Russian culture. I argue that in Russia, the therapeutic script of love meets powerful cultural counterparts, either anchored in the Russian literary tradition, Soviet discursive culture, or constituted in the post-Soviet condition. I use Anna Karenina as a key Russian love scenario, and then refer to contemporary media productions that echo this canonical Russian-Soviet love model and represent its post-Soviet treatments. Some post-Soviet versions differ both from the vantage point of Russian psychological prose and from the global media narrative of therapeutic love. Engaging with the well-established model of “emotional capitalism”, I introduce its contemporary Russian post-Soviet alternative of “emotional socialism” and the moments in which the categories of emotional socialism pose a challenge to the “therapeutic”.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • Receiving Gifts for Sex in Moscow, Kyiv, and Minsk: A Compensated Dating
    • Abstract: Abstract “Compensated dating” (CD) indicates the exchange of sexual intimacy for material compensation. This article investigates CD as receiving gifts for sex, such as luxuries, rent, travel, or monetary gifts. It proceeds by describing who engages in the practice and why, while comparing Russia with its cultural and linguistic neighbors, Ukraine and Belarus. A survey, which was answered by a representative sample (n = 678) from the cities of Moscow, Kyiv, and Minsk, indicates that CD reception rates are comparable to elsewhere in the world. Moreover, while these cities have similar CD rates, there are important inter-city differences in the characteristics that make people more or less likely to take part. CD reception is linked to status in Kyiv and Moscow but is more closely tied to economic survival in Minsk. Moreover, while Kyiv and Moscow CD reception is affected by the importance of instrumental economic logic within relationships, there is no indication that other relationship values, such as love, have suffered as a result. This paper contributes to the literature on CD by describing the practice for the first time using a wide sample in Eastern Europe, noting its prevalence in diverse cities, and characterizing those who are most likely to receive gifts for sex.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • Post-Soviet Intimacies: An Introduction
    • Abstract: Abstract This article frames the “Post-Soviet Intimacies” special issue collection. We begin through briefly using Russia as a special case for the wider Soviet sphere and situating recent Russian developments in sexual politics alongside its internal and external conflicts. Our key interpretive frame is that intimacy politics serve as a master key for understanding political and economic patriarchy. After this, we provide some definitions of our concepts, describe our approach and process of creating the special issue, and introduce important literature which is widely applicable for understanding this theme as a whole. Finally, we briefly introduce the seven articles of this special issue within three wider groupings of Harnessed-, Material-, and Scorned Intimacies. We suggest that readers analyze our contributions from a perspective that situates intimacies as the objects of state and market power, where the linchpin of such power is the patriarchically naturalized pursuit of rule.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • Political Awareness and Self-Blame in the Explanatory Narratives of LGBT
           People Amid the Anti-LGBT Campaign in Russia
    • Abstract: Abstract How do homo- and bisexual people explain the launch of a homophobia campaign that violates their basic human rights? Which narratives do they use to adjust to the hostile environment? On the basis of 77 in-depth problem-centered interviews with LGBT in Russia we explore the explanations they use to talk about their experience of a homophobia campaign. Respondents demonstrate their awareness of the political reasoning behind the campaign and explain it as a tool for electoral mobilization, the repression of pro-Western oriented opposition and as a part of biopolitical technologies adopted by the government to increase its control over people’s bodies and minds. Contrary to intuitive expectations, this political awareness does not protect the informants from self-blame, social escapism and moral suffering.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
  • Perceptions of Sex Work-Related Stigma in Female Sex Workers from the
           Dominican Republic: Implications for HIV Interventions
    • Abstract: Abstract Stigma is an important obstacle that affects access to health resources for groups vulnerable to HIV, such as female sex workers (FSW). Experiences and types of stigma are diverse, and vary across cultural settings. Consequently, research that places stigma within appropriate socio-cultural contexts should be the first step towards developing effective HIV-prevention interventions. This study examined the stigma related to engaging in sex work in a group of FSW in the Dominican Republic. The present investigation used the Sex Worker Stigma (SWS) Index to identify factors associated with sex work-related stigma along two perceived stigma domains: the community and family. A verbally administered, tablet-based questionnaire was completed by 338 FSW. Results indicate that multiple independent factors influence perceived sex work-related stigma from community and family sources. FSW who engage in sex work on an independent basis, Haitian FSW, and women who live in the same household as their dependent children perceive less sex work-related stigma from the community. Conversely, FSW who spend more time engaged in sex work per week perceive more sex work-related stigma from this source. Within the family domain, women who live in the same household as their dependent children and FSW with higher levels of education perceive less stigma from family members. FSW who provide the principal household economic support perceive more sex work-related stigma from family members. Findings show that sex work-related stigma is unique and should be taken into account for interventions focused on HIV prevention and/or stigma in female sex workers.
      PubDate: 2015-04-28
  • Attitudes of Violence and Risk for HIV: Impact on Women’s Health in
    • Abstract: Abstract This study was designed to investigate the pathways that lead to HIV exposure, based on Malawi Demographic Health Survey data (2010). It examines the factors that correlate to gender violence in Malawi, including cultural attitudes towards violence, spousal violence factors, and HIV risk factors. Structural equation modeling (SEM) identifies associations among these constructs. A perfect model fit was achieved to build a simultaneous model that includes attitudes towards violence, violence factors, and HIV risk (GFI = .998). Education attainment (.039) and number of partners (.120) had a weaker association with HIV risk than condom use (.418) and HIV testing (.412). We hypothesized that gender attitudes and incidents of violence would be related to greater risks for HIV infection among women. SEM affirmed a robust association between attitudes towards violence and how women in Malawi perceive gender violence. We conclude that policy and practice design should acknowledge the impact of cultural, educational, and familial characteristics on the populations in order to achieve robust change to reduce HIV transmissions especially among women in Malawi.
      PubDate: 2015-04-25
  • Stories We Tell Ourselves: Writing the Mature Female Protagonist
    • Abstract: Abstract This article is concerned with the construction of the older female protagonist in a number of British, Irish and French films. In order to identify what knowledge is legitimated about aging women, and what is not, a close textual analysis of four films: Night Train (Ireland 1998), Keeping Mum (UK 2005), Une Liason Pornographique (France 1999) and Partir (France 2009) was undertaken. All these films feature a female protagonist, in her late forties or early fifties, and challenge, in varying degrees, myths about the asexual nature of older women. At a thematic level, the female characters in all four films undertake a journey, real or imagined, in order to experience sexual passion. In the course of that journey they each become enriched by a sexual experience and make significant discoveries which, in varying degrees, deconstruct preconceived notions about aging women. Some of the specifics of the British, Irish and French film industry and culture are also explored in order to gain a nuanced understanding of factors that contribute to the marginalization or valorization of the older female protagonist. The different treatment of mature female sexuality in the French films is explained with reference to different cultural discourses surrounding female sexuality, a film industry that privileges art before commerce and generous film funding.
      PubDate: 2015-04-22
  • “Dude, Where’s Your Face?” Self-Presentation,
           Self-Description, and Partner Preferences on a Social Networking
           Application for Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Content Analysis
    • Abstract: Abstract The current study examined the social networking profiles of men who have sex with men on the popular application Jack’d in order to survey how they self-present, as well as how they describe their partner preferences. Using online disinhibition as a theoretical framework, emphasis was on how men frame their own and others’ masculinity/femininity, age, race, and body type or fitness level. Results indicated that men tended to privilege masculinity, to visually present themselves semi-clothed, and to mention fitness or bodies in the text of their profile. Analysis also revealed that more than 1 in 5 men used a face-absent main profile photo. Significant differences were found based upon the race and weight of profile users.
      PubDate: 2015-04-10
  • Sex Rules: Emerging Adults’ Perceptions of Gender’s Impact on
    • Abstract: Abstract Past research often explains gender differences in sexual behavior according to differences in social norms for men and women. Yet, individuals’ perceptions and internalizations of current social norms are not well understood. This study aimed to examine emerging adults’ perceptions of how being male or female impacts their sexuality and how their perceptions would differ if they were another gender. Participants (N = 205) were college students, 61 % female, and ranged from age 18 to 25 (M = 20.5, SD = 1.7). Participants answered open-ended questions about gender and responses were coded for content, positive tone, and negative tone. In describing how being female affected their sexual thoughts and feelings, women were more likely than men to focus on reputation concerns and describe limits and contexts in which sexual behavior was acceptable. In describing how being male affected their sexual thoughts and feelings, men were more likely than women to focus on issues of desire. Women’s perceptions about how their sexual thoughts and feelings would differ if they were male were consistent with men’s perceptions of their own gender’s actual impact on sexuality, and vice versa. Women’s descriptions of their own gender’s impact on sexuality were more emotionally laden than men’s. Finally, being older was associated with less negative and more positive emotional tone in men’s and women’s responses respectively.
      PubDate: 2015-04-09
  • There are Different Ways of Knowing
    • PubDate: 2015-03-18
  • Robert Beachy: Gay Berlin. Birthplace of a Modern Identity
    • PubDate: 2015-03-12
  • The Intimate World of Men’s Sexual Problems: Portuguese Men’s
           and Women’s Narratives Explicated Through a Mixed Methods Approach
    • Abstract: Abstract This study used a mixed methods approach to investigate the intimate world of men’s sexual problems in Portugal, and particularly erectile dysfunction, focusing on the interplay between individual, societal and relational factors. First, a community-based survey was designed, with 323 primary health care users, to investigate how sociocultural factors influence experiences and representations of sexual problems. Second, a qualitative study, involving in-depth interviews with a subsample of ten heterosexual men, complemented by five heterosexual women’s narratives, concerning men’s sexual problems, was carried out to understand the meaning of sexual problems from a lay perspective. Statistical analysis of quantitative data was carried out through logistic regressions to evaluate the sociodemographic predictors of lay representations of sexual problems. Qualitative data were analyzed using an empirically grounded typology. The role of individuals in the construction of sexual dysfunctions, particularly erectile dysfunction, was explored using sexual script theory. Key findings revealed the impact of sexual problems on daily life. Gender analysis results contributed to the understanding of how men and women challenge the definition of sexual problems as normal changes versus dysfunctional changes. Specific patterns of change in sexual experiences and sexual problems were identified in the Portuguese gendered society, which can possibly be applied to other nations and cultures.
      PubDate: 2015-03-05
  • The Sexual Scripts and Identity of Middle-Class Russian Women
    • Abstract: Abstract The purpose of this article is to provide an analysis of changes in the organization of sexual life among Russian women and to describe a spectrum of sexual scripts that characterize different generations. Based on biographical interviews with urban middle-class women we identify five such scripts of sexual life. On one hand, the analysis shows that representatives of the late Soviet generations are oriented towards the pronatal, romantic and friendship scripts of sexual relationships. Soviet women faced structural barriers in their sexual lives: gender inequality and lack of institutional provision of sexual practices. On the other hand, the analysis shows that the sexual culture of women belonging to the younger, post-Soviet generation differs considerably from that of their (demographic) mothers and grandmothers, the women of the Soviet generations. Among the women belonging to the post-Soviet generation, the hedonistic and instrumental scripts become more articulate. The current rationalization trend in sexual life presumes women’s conscious choice of sexual partners and reproductive strategies. Women are reflexive towards their sexual desire and represent agency, acting intentionally in order to control intimate relationships in which they are involved. However, young women also face numerous barriers caused by the lack of institutional reflexivity on sexuality and gender polarization.
      PubDate: 2015-03-01
  • Understanding the Cheating Heart: What Determines Infidelity
    • Abstract: Abstract Infidelity is experienced in many relationships. This paper seeks to determine the correlates of infidelity intentions among a sample of 512 individuals. Results imply that favourable attitudes, social approval and the perceived ease of attracting a partner are positively related to infidelity intentions. More than this, attitudes were the most significant correlate of infidelity intentions. Attitudes, in turn, were influenced by gender, religiosity and infidelity experiences.
      PubDate: 2015-03-01
  • Merril D. Smith (Ed.): Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast
    • PubDate: 2014-12-23
  • Susan Starr Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk (eds.): Can’t Catch a
           Break—Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility
    • PubDate: 2014-12-21
  • Amba Jamilla Musser: Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism
    • PubDate: 2014-12-21
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