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Conceptualisations of masculinity and sexual development among boys and young men in Korogocho slum in Kenya.

Authors
  • Maina, Beatrice W1, 2
  • Sikweyiya, Yandisa1, 3
  • Ferguson, Laura4
  • Kabiru, Caroline W1, 2
  • 1 School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. , (South Africa)
  • 2 Population Dynamics, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Unit, African Population and Health Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. , (Kenya)
  • 3 Gender and Health Research Unit, South Africa Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa. , (South Africa)
  • 4 Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, University of Southern California, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Dec 08, 2020
Pages
1–15
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2020.1829058
PMID: 33289439
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Youth and adolescence are times when young men negotiate their identity in relation to social and cultural expectations of being a man, with enduring implications for sexual health and wellbeing. This study explored how boys aged 10-14 years living in Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya conceptualised masculinity, their perceptions of how masculinities are performed, and the linkage between conceptualisations of masculinity and sexual development. Three bases of gender socialisation were identified: (1) verbal messaging (mainly from parents and teachers); (2) observing the behaviours of older men in the community; and (3) information received from mainstream and social media. Masculinity conceptualisations focussed on financial stability, family life and responsibility, physical attributes, character and religion. Two contrasting portrayals of masculinity emerged in the form of idealised and dominant masculinities. A close linkage was found between masculinity conceptualisations and sexual development. Findings are important for programmes that aim to transform harmful gender norms and signal the need for longitudinal research exploring how gender beliefs may change over time.

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