The lived experiences of young men addressing their sexual health and negotiating their masculinities

  • Anna M. Sydor

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis examines the lived experiences of young men, addressing their sexual health using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). It is known that young men do not access sexual health services in the same numbers as young women (Pearson, 2003a) and their masculinities are posited as a contributory factor to this. IPA was used to analyse data, collected using semi-structured interviews. Participants were young men, aged 16-20 years (n=7), recruited through local authority leisure centres; convenience sampling was used. Six semi-structured interviews were used as two participants were interviewed jointly. Interviews were conducted exclusively by the researcher, a young woman. The study aimed: • To discover young men’s lived experiences of addressing, or failing to address, their sexual health. • To discover young men’s experiences of negotiating masculinities, relating to their sexual health. Young men were found to have little knowledge of sexual health and sexually transmitted infections and asserted their wishes about sex over their partners. Women were characterised as the source of sexually transmitted infections and the young men sought to ‘protect’ themselves from their partners. However, contraception was seen as the preserve of women, despite unplanned pregnancy being a great concern for the young men. Young men’s ideals of masculinities often did not correspond to their personal ideals; in order to preserve their masculinities, the young men explained the compromises they made. In this way, they negotiated their masculinities with themselves and society. The study has contributed new knowledge and understanding about young men’s negotiation of their masculinities when considering their sexual health. A contribution to knowledge about methodology of interviewing young men has also been made, as the researcher was a young woman who was successful in eliciting rich data about a sensitive subject from young men.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRoiyah Saltus (Supervisor)


    • Men
    • Men - Health and hygiene
    • Masculinity
    • Men - Sexual behavior

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