Chapter

Gay Male Identities, Desires, and Sexual Behaviors

Jeffrey T. Parsons and Christian Grov

in Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199765218
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765218.003.0002
Gay Male Identities, Desires, and Sexual Behaviors

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This chapter reviews seminal research and theory regarding gay men’s identities, their desires, and their sexual behavior. First, it discusses the emergence of the gay identity and describes how meanings of the “gay community” have changed in response to fluid social/political climates, HIV, and technology. Next, it considers the role of desire in gay men’s sexual partnerships and behaviors, focusing on masculinity, penis size, and semen/ejaculation. Third, it elaborates on the array of sexual behaviors in which gay men engage and describes the various types of relationships that are common within gay partnerships. The chapter concludes by positing future directions for research with gay men, focusing on the measurement of sexual orientation and the role that social policy can play in improving the lives of gay men.

Keywords: gay men; gay identity; gay community; sexual partnerships; gay partnerships; sexual orientation; social policy

Chapter.  9958 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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