Guy-Talk: A Discursive Analysis of Men’s Responsibility in Contraceptive Use
Master’s in Research Psychology graduate, Mr Brett Marshall.

Mr Brett Marshall graduated with his Master’s in Research Psychology.

His study focuses on the relationship between gendered discourses and responsibility in contraceptive use, examining how discursive positioning within discourses of sexuality and masculinity affects the way young heterosexual men construct and delegate responsibility in contraceptive practices as well as how young men engage with sexual health.

Findings revealed that sexual practices, and relatedly sexual health practices, were highly gendered. Discourses which were drawn on tended to represent an ideology of male dominance and female subservience. ‘Sex was constructed as highly masculine while conversely, sexual health practices were feminised. This reinforced the idea that women should bear primary responsibility for sexual health and contraceptive practices,’ explained Marshall.

His study highlights the need for different masculinity practices being made available to men. ‘These practices should incorporate ideas of shared contraceptive responsibility and challenge constructions of male dominance and female subservience. Men need to be provided with a safe space in which they can explore the topic of sexual health without fear of emasculation,’ he said.

Marshall thanked his family, friends and supervisor, Professor Mary van der Riet, for their support.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan