Morality and Sexual Rights: Constructions of Masculinity, Femininity and Sexuality Among a Group of South African Soldiers


Mankayi, Nyameka. 2008. “Morality and Sexual Rights: Constructions of Masculinity, Femininity and Sexuality Among a Group of South African Soldiers.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 10 (6): 625-34. doi:10.1080/13691050801950884.

Author: Nyameka Mankayi


This paper describes how South African soldiers draw on notions of gender, sexuality and morality in their constructions of identity and heterosexual sexuality. Popular discourses around HIV and AIDS in South Africa and elsewhere have highlighted the centrality of notions of morality, many of them problematic, in the response to the epidemic. In Southern Africa, the centrality of heterosexuality to HIV transmission has triggered a focus on morality in sexuality, including calls for abstinence or, in married relationships, monogamy. This paper discusses the findings of a research study that explored male soldiers' constructions of masculinity, sexuality and risky sexual practices. Discourses that emerged reflected dominant attitudes regarding men and women's sexual rights and, in particular, the moralisation of women's sexuality.

Topics: Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Health, HIV/AIDS, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2008

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