This study examined aspects of male sexuality in São Paulo using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It commences with an outline of. Key words: Gender; Sexuality; Desire; Feminisms; Violence; Brazil . that challenged both sexual morality and conventional male and female. This ethnography research attempts to detect the male perception and behavior on sexual and gender relations in a small and simple life style fishing village on.
Sexuality, Culture and Politics: The Journey of Male Homosexuality in Brazilian Anthropology*. Sérgio CarraraI; Júlio Assis SimõesII. IProfessor of the Institute for. perspectives on male sexuality in Brazil and contemporary issues such as sexual first intercourse, perception of male sexual nature, sexual philosophies (with. PDF | This study examined aspects of male sexuality in São Paulo using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It commences with an.
In recent decades in Brazil there has been a marked medicalization and pharmacologization of sexuality centered on the development of. Key words: Gender; Sexuality; Desire; Feminisms; Violence; Brazil . that challenged both sexual morality and conventional male and female. Sexuality, Culture and Politics: The Journey of Male Homosexuality in Brazilian Anthropology*. Sérgio CarraraI; Júlio Assis SimõesII. IProfessor of the Institute for.
We hear a lot about the Male Three Sexualities — straight, bisexual and gay. Most of us assume that these three orientations encompass the universe of sexual identities. But brazill is a new kid on the block: The sexuwlity straight male. To the uninitiated, mostly male may seem paradoxical.
How can a man be mostly heterosexual? Yet brazil evidence suggests that more sexuality men identify sexuality describe themselves as mostly straight than identify as either bisexual or gay combined.
A — U. Given such constraints, these young men were left with brazil place to truthfully register their sexuality, thus forcing them to be less than honest. For my book, I spoke with 40 mostly straight young men, some sexaulity the course of several years.
They were a very diverse group. In high school, they were hipsters, jocks, nerds, druggies, skaters, class clowns, burnouts and brasil achievers. Long hair, short hair, clean-shaven, bearded, tattooed, pierced, muscular, lanky, hyper and pudgy.
Women, by contrast, we give more space to be sexually fluid, as male sizeable literature on the subject attests. The male straight man belongs to a growing trend of young men who are secure in their heterosexuality yet braail aware of their potential to experience far more. He might or might not be comfortable with this seeming contradiction, a hetero guy who, despite his lust for women, rejects a straight label, a sexual category and a sexual description that feels foreign.
But how sexuality gayness? These attractions are sexuaity, romantic or both and can be expressed in various ways, from erotic fantasies to actual maale. He might have brazil an intense guy crush.
But to fall passionately in love with a guy is too much, though he might have quite strong feelings and cuddle with a best friend. He feels his same-sex sexuality internally more than he lives it externally. Perhaps if his culture were not so stigmatizing of same-sex sexuality he might be more inclined to express himself through tangible expressions of sex or romance — not frequently but occasionally.
He is not a disgruntled straight man tired of sex with sexuality, nor is he necessarily unhappy or frustrated with the availability of heterosexual sex. He sexuality retreat from a full identification with heterosexuality, but rarely does he gravitate toward bisexuality, and almost maoe does he move toward homosexuality of any sort.
Thus, he is a closer cousin to male guys brazil to traditional bisexual guys. A survey revealed striking contrasts across age groups. A sexuality of millennials endorsed the second option, mals means they believe in a spectrum of sexuality.
Adults from other generations preferred the first, which signifies a two-category approach — straight, not straight — to sexuality. Identifying as mostly straight is now largely possible because brazio millennial generation is adding new complexity to sexual and romantic relationships. Contrasted with previous generations, young people today are more confident, connected, male, and open to change.
As adolescents eexuality young adults, they are happier and more satisfied with their lives than previous generations. They express liberal, progressive attitudes toward religion and race relations, social policies and sexuality. How do these values and practices play out in sexuality future? Well, if we brazil prepared to accept mostly straight as a fourth male identity, we gain an increasingly nuanced understanding of sexual orientation hrazil and its close cousin, romantic orientation.
Correction : The original sexuality of this story misstated the title of the book from which it was adapted. Contact us at editors time. Daniel Grizelj—Getty Images. By Ritch C. Related Stories. Get The Brief. Sign up to receive the top stories you need to sexuwlity male now. Please enter a valid email address.
If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder. Harvard University Press. TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and male. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors. Most Popular Stories 1. Sign Up for Our Newsletters Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health brazil more.
Sexually "passive" men, who are treated as bichas fairies , viados fags and etc. The second model has been formulated principally by doctors and psychiatrists and it has increasingly disconnected sexual orientation and gender. Here, a certain hierarchy is maintained based upon the opposition between normality and abnormality , concepts which are further linked to disease , given that homosexuality is understood to be a sick or anomalous deviation in relationship to heterosexuality, which is institutionalized as a norm.
Finally, the third model represents a sort of reaction to the second, though it is also historically derived from it. This model maintains the disjunction between sexual and gender orientation and sets up another dualism, this one based on the opposition between hetero- and homosexuality. In this way, a hierarchical model the first and an egalitarian model the third of constructing social-sexual identities exist which are both mediated by the psychological-medical model.
The genesis of the egalitarian model is located in turn of the century medical thought in Europe and Brazil. This formulation is ultimately at the base of the gay movements which rose up in Europe and the United States during the s, inverting the values attributed to homosexuality and, according to Fry, creating a "crushing legitimacy" for the model: "In one fell swoop, the medical model was consecrated by its own creature, the homosexual subculture" Fry, After describing this process from a more general point of view, Fry continues: " And this is also what happened in Brazil" Id.
The conjunction "and" is crucial here because, without discarding social and cultural differences, Fry makes explicit his refusal to see gay or homosexual identity as just another example of "cultural dependence":. I want to believe that a satisfactory interpretation of the history which I have outlined here will have to incorporate that which is common to all modern capitalist societies and that which is specific to each Id. In spite of all of its singular characteristics, Brazil is thus fundamentally a part of a wider process through which all countries of the so-called western world are passing.
The emergence of the egalitarian model is, according to this author, related "to the social transformation of the country's metropolitan middle and upper classes, if not to the constitution of these classes themselves". Fry is exceedingly careful when he connects systems of representation of sexual identity to given classes and regions. He observes that the classifications which are appropriate to the hierarchical model, though "hegemonic" in the areas and populations that he mentions, also appear "throughout Brazilian society, coexisting and often competing with other systems" Id.
In this endeavor, Fry is not simply recognizing that several different understandings of male sexuality exist which vary according to region, social class and history, he is also situating these understandings as integral parts of religious cosmologies and ideologies regarding race, age and other social markers.
In particular, he is paying careful attention the power the language of sex has to express concepts of hierarchy and equality within the wider context of political disputes. We can thus say that the hierarchical model does not point to any singular or non-western characteristic of Brazilian society, though Fry does not clearly say this.
To the contrary: this model is what firmly anchors us within the western tradition, given that this model of organizing practices and identities was present throughout Europe in ancient times 10 and that it is identified by historians as having been recently active in both Europe and North America Even Dennis Altman, who firmly believes that Brazil is non-Western claims that:.
In the century preceding the birth of the contemporary gay movement, the dominant understanding of homosexuality was characterized by confusion between sexuality and gender. In other words, the "traditional" view of things was that the "true" homosexual was a man who behaved like a woman.
Something of this confusion still remains in popular perceptions of homosexuality today Altman, , our emphasis. Though Altman does not quite comprehend the logic of the underlying hierarchical model which he understands to be "confusion" , he attests that it was present in the United States at least until the s and that even after this date it could continue to be found among the masses. He thus identifies a process in the United States that is quite similar to the process Fry is simultaneously describing in Brazil.
Before we continue, however, we need to explore some of the characteristics of that "moment" and of the social, political and intellectual context in which Fry's text was produced. It's a common opinion that the end of the s and the beginning of the '80s in Brazil were characterized by arguments about whether or not the interests of "minorities" i.
Other, lesser known discussions also occurred during this period, however. The group initially "believed in the principle that humanity was divided into heterosexuals and homosexuals and maybe a few bisexuals " Id.
McRae's work is shot through with the anguish of a researcher who knows that he is working with analytic suppositions which might weaken the principles upon which the movement which he studies were based. At one point in his book, MacRae courageously admits the following:. I confess to having felt perplexed and uncomfortable many times when colleagues in the academic world push me to discuss the concept of social role.
I felt that this would simply give a bit more prestige prestige which I had, after all, gained through the Somos group members' trust to an idea that would only weaken Somos' group solidarity Id. Fry's work itself must be read in this context of valuing ambiguity, criticizing essentialism and deeply suspecting the social impact of binary systems of classification what's today known as "binaryism".
Many people prefer to not submit themselves to these new social categories which tend to push them into restricted "ghettos". They'd prefer to see these social categories themselves questioned and end up entering into conflict not only with scientific medicine, but also with those "politically conscious homosexuals" who, for whatever reason, are interested in maintaining these distinctions. After all, if one denies the inevitability of the border separating "homosexuals" from "heterosexuals", one calls into question the very notion of a homosexual identity that has given meaning and happiness to many peoples' lives and which has often been assumed at great personal cost Fry e MacRae, They are also concerned with the very particular ways in which class differences can now be formulated in terms of a more or less complete acceptance of either a hierarchical or egalitarian understanding of homosexuality.
In their view, a hierarchical relationship was being established between the two models themselves and this relationship was being converted into symbols of class distinction. This "hierarchy" did not simply maintain the stigma and social repression attached to "effeminate" men and travestis, it actually intensified them, marking such individuals as "backwards", politically incorrect and etc. Without wishing to sound nationalist, it seems to us quite surprising that the very recent practice of treating as linked different social markers such as gender, sexual orientation, race and class was already established in Brazil at the end of the s.
It is also quite interesting to note that today's worries regarding the naturalization of difference and the restriction of identities ideas associated with influential post-structural thinkers such as Judith Butler were already being voiced in Brazil in the late s. This point of view is today understood as having originated in the revolutionary works of Eve Sedgwick, who spliced literary and sociological theory together in order to create a theoretical and epistemological revolution in several disciplines in the human and social sciences.
The above observations have not been made in an attempt to claim for Brazil the banner of intellectual vanguard in the social sciences, or in order to obfuscate the brilliance of later thinkers' ideas regarding the social, political and cultural aspects of sexuality or other regimes of knowledge.
We believe, however, that an intellectual genealogy which seeks to look beyond the production of the great metropolitan centers should definitely recognize the importance Brazilian socio-anthropological thought regarding homosexuality, highlighting its original character as a precursor of the kind of critical thought which would later be labeled queer theory.
This requires a brief overview of the set of references used by Brazilian authors or by those foreign scholars who "acclimatized" themselves in Brazil and who were interested in sexuality and homosexuality as objects of study and reflection. It also requires that we look at these references with an eye towards the theoretical contributions which characterize today's studies of sexuality. Within Brazilian academia during the s and '80s, the discussion of homosexuality was accompanied by critique of the identity concept itself, which was based on a series of theoretical references.
To the contemporary reader, what is immediately apparent are the affinities these ideas and concerns maintain with the work of Michel Foucault.
Foucault was certainly a great influence on the formation of a denaturalizing view of sexuality, given that he underlined the role medical knowledge played in the consolidation of modern sexual identities. Above all, the work of the French philosopher offered a compelling conceptual frame which characterized the wider process of the constitution and dissemination of a capillary and disciplinary modality of the operation of power and the exercise of social control which produced new social characters and new political challenges.
Foucault's impact would become more obvious and intense beginning with the second half of the s, when the author visited Brazil and works like Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality Vol. I: The Will to Knowledge 16 were read, translated and incorporated into university debates. This process coincided with the intensification of the movements in opposition to the Brazilian military dictatorship and the growing politicization of those questions linked to race, gender and sexuality.
Referring to the political and academic contexts of Brazil during this period, Fry and MacRae wrote in Up until about , the opposition political parties considered the feminist, Black and homosexual movements to be irrelevant to the overall struggle, which was seen to be dominated by the question of inequality between social classes.
The influence of Foucault, however, must be situated within the several references which have stimulated research and reflection regarding sexuality among Brazilian anthropologists during this period. Fry's discussion here evokes, in part, symbolic interactionism and, more specifically, Howard Becker's version of "labeling theory" and its ethnographic applications in the study of masculine homosexuality, most notably the pioneering and controversial study Tearoom trade , authored by Laud Humphreys.
Published in , Humphreys' book dealt with the social organization of impersonal sex between men in public spaces, meticulously describing the interactions and classifications of men who engage in sexual contact in public bathrooms Humphreys, It showed public men's' rooms were not a meeting point for "typical homosexuals", but were in fact "a kaleidoscope of sexual fluidity" In this way, Humphreys anticipated today's emphasis on performances and on the destabilization of sexual categories.
Humphreys' work was itself the result of a series of tendencies within North American sociology during the s which included Becker's reconceptualization of "deviance", Goffman's social drama approach and Garfinkel's ethnomethodology. It was also influenced by the pragmatic, denaturalizing and anti-psychiatric approach developed by John Gagnon and William Simon, which conceived of the "sexual" as an ordinary social process, the fruit of a complex set of negotiations and social definitions that were played out in different niches of daily life.
The work of these authors was marked by efforts to comprehend the contingent and historical ways through which people assimilated life styles and put them into practice, thus producing and modifying their own perceptions and presentations of themselves.
This style of approach was expressed in the use of the metaphor of the "career", which took on an important role in the reflections of many of these sociologists. Though these authors do not entirely share the same theoretical background and affiliations, what they had in common was a view that any human behavior, including the sexual, was always submitted to moral evaluation and was thus a social undertaking. This distanced them from both the psychoanalytical approach and from that of Alfred Kinsey which, even though recognizing the social genesis of the homo- and heterosexual categories, continued to focus on sexuality as individualized and objectively measureable body behaviors which were linked to excitation and orgasm.
The sociologists, by contrast, not only distinguished practices from identities, but also sought to comprehend the ways in which sexuality was regulated and reinvented in the social interaction dynamic by means of the operation of structuring categories which borrowing jargon influenced by classic French sociology we can call "social representations". In his article on the historical construction of masculine homosexuality in Brazil, Fry proposes a similar approach, but one that places greater emphasis on "representations" and less on the subtleties of everyday behavior.
To do this, he draws upon the pioneering question formulated by Mary McIntosh regarding the social conditions that make it possible to think about "homosexuality" as a singular human state and the "homosexual" as a category which expresses a fundamental attribute of identity and a correspondingly adequate conduct.
McIntosh brought together the sociological and historical evidence available in in order to suggest that, although homosexual desires and behaviors could exist in different periods and societies, only in some of these would a specific homosexual identity be produced. This would occur according to concerns regarding the definitions and limits of what was acceptable in terms of sexual conduct and it was what McIntosh saw as occurring in England since the 17 th century.
McIntosh's next step was to re-examine Kinsey's data regarding the gradations between homosexual and heterosexual behaviors in order to suggest that the greater concentration of men classified as behaving in an exclusively homosexual fashion was due to the coercive effect of the historical existence of a more developed homosexual role for men in Anglo-American societies. As Fry comments:. McIntosh argues that the existence of a strongly developed label constricts behavior by pushing it to conform to the social and sexual expectations generated by the label.
In this way, in a certain manner, taxonomies are self-fulfilling prophecies. Fry then goes on to incorporate the work of British social historians such as Jeffery Weeks and John Marshall who, following McIntosh's insights, salient the role scientific discourse has had in the production of the "homosexual condition", reuniting proof of social concerns regarding the control of the masculine libido, which the medical theories of the time believed to be at the root of both homosexuality and extramarital sexual relations in general, including prostitution.
In this way, the male libido was seen as a threat to the integrity of the family and the physical and moral health of the nation itself. We must reserve a special place for social anthropologist Mary Douglas in this brief overview of old dialogues and most notably for her concern with the role played by ambiguous and anomalous categories in the organization of social experience, due to the challenge these pose to the control and coherency of classificatory principles.
Ambiguities and anomalies situated along the borders and interstices of classificatory systems create disorder which destroys patterns but which also furnishes the raw material for new social forms.
Disorder itself thus has an ambiguous status in that it not only represents destruction, but also creative potential. Disorder symbolizes power and peril and thus can't be simply expunged without also undoing all sense of symbolic and social order Douglas, These ideas had been explored by Fry in order to interpret the correlation between homosexuality and Afro-Brazilian religious groups, categories which were both considered to be "marginal", dangerous and thus gifted with special powers.
And thus reduce ambiguity and anomaly, the "sources of power and poetry which, by their own nature, inhabit the spaces which limit the 'normal' and quotidian" Fry, It is interesting to note that Douglas' ideas reappear in Judith Butler's theories regarding the embodiment and performance of gender and that these theories have had enormous repercussions on today's study of sexuality from within a queer perspective.
For Butler, the categories of gender operate as social taboos which exaggerate sexual difference and seek to naturalize it, thus securing heterosexuality by means of the ritualistic and reiterated institution of the body's borders Butler, , Butler's reflections initially sustain themselves on Douglas' observation that the body's borders orifices and surfaces symbolize social limits and are dangerously permeable regions which require constant policing and regulation.
This, in turn, leads to the observation that homosexuality and above all masculine homosexuality is dangerous and polluting. Following Douglas, Butler takes up the notion that the body, understood as something distinct and naturalized, 27 is itself a product of these regulations.
The deregulation of these exchanges consequently ruptures the very borders which determine what a body is. In fact, any critical investigation which reveals the regulatory practices which are used to construct the outline of the body constitutes a genealogy of the "body", in its singularity, which is capable of radicalizing Foucault's theory Butler, Space prevents us from continuing with this digression.
Even the most sympathetic reviewers of the Anglo-American socioanthropological traditions of the s and '70s study of sexuality criticize these for their lack of attention to institutional structures and for their lack of a wider analysis of power and inequality.
The same criticisms most certainly cannot be leveled at the Brazilian-oriented thinkers which we are analyzing here. The reflections developed in the s and divulged in the beginning of the s would be reviewed by many anthropologists in the s. In this context, with the advent of AIDS as a backdrop, studies of masculine homosexuality in Brazil multiplied. These were carried out by both Brazilians and foreigners, but the work of Richard Parker deserves special mention in this respect.
In his book Beneath the Equator, Parker sought to systematically approach the interaction of the homosexual "subculture" that was being consolidated in post-AIDS Brazil with the trajectories of similar communities in the "center" nations In many aspects, Parker accompanies Fry's argumentation, contributing importantly to the maintenance of an anti-essentialist position throughout the s, one which was tuned to possible dissonances between sexual practices, identities and classificatory categories.
Parker, however, also significantly shifts the hierarchical model's position in his scheme of things. What Fry earlier attributed to the popular classes, Parker situates as "tradition": the product of Brazil's distinctive and singular culture and society in opposition to a world which Parker designates as "Anglo-European". This supposedly dominated Brazilian life for almost four centuries, only partially disappearing in the country's most recent historical period Parker, For Parker, the notion that homosexuality as a distinct sexual category is a relatively new concept and the ideas that are linked to gay identity have only emerged during the last decades of the 20th century, as the Brazilian tradition confronts "a wider set of cultural symbols and sexual meanings in an ever more globalized world system".
In this shift, processes which were earlier understood to be parallel and which contained both common and singular characteristics are now organized under a model which postulates cultural "influence", "importation" and "exportation". This model is made explicit when Parker claims that it is his intention to contribute to filling a gap in the study of homosexuality, given that while the process by which the categories relating to a new emphasis on sexual orientation in the western medical and scientific discourse has been well described by several authors, the processes of " importation and exportation of these categories out of the Anglo-European world has received hardly attention at all".
Parker also connects the appearance of sexual identity based on sexual orientation to such processes as urbanization and the emergence and professionalization of the middle classes. This, in turn, caused "the importation and incorporation into the Brazilian reality" of a new set of scientific disciplines, rationalities and new modes of conceptualizing sexual experience:.
In particular, a new medical-scientific model of sexual classification was initially introduced into Brazilian culture via medical, psychiatric and psychoanalytical texts, which were gradually translated into wider popular discourse.
This process appears to have marked a fundamental change in cultural attention, which shifted from distinguishing between passive and active roles, supported by hierarchy and gender, to recognizing, along Anglo-European lines, the importance of sexual desire and, in particular, of the choice of sexual object as being a basic part of the definition of the sexual subject Id.
In Brazil up until the s and '70s, these categories were restricted to the highly educated elite who were in contact with and influenced by "Anglo-European" culture. Afterwards, the confluence of certain economic processes the emergence of a pink market 32 in the country and socio-political pressures such as the activities of the anti-AIDS groups 33 and, less crucially, the gay movement which Parker classifies as "also based in important ways upon Anglo European models" Id.
This, Parker explains, is due to the fact that the country's economy maintains and deepens social inequalities and thus reinforces the hierarchical character of Brazilian society. This continued permanence of the "old", mixed with new "imported" categories, creates a profusion of categories and sexual types Id. Parker sees virile male prostitution and travestis as two of these "made in Brazil" categories. It is precisely here, in the glorious figure of the travesti, that the author pin-points the impact of Brazilian culture upon the international gay scene.
Richard Parker's work is definitely intriguing and stimulating, but from our point of view it also reveals the continued reproduction of a problematic analytical scheme. First of all, it is risky to transform the "popular" into the "national" or "traditional", rooting Brazilian "tradition" in the plantation mode of production.
The affirmation, then, that these roles are based upon a particular mode of production is at best a very vague ideal typification and at worse something of an economic fantasy. Secondly, by postulating a particularly Brazilian tradition into which new and imported terms are supposedly incorporated and transformed, Parker makes Brazilian and Latin American cultures appear to be essentially different from those of the metropolitan North or, at the very least, they are understood to be partaking of an essential difference.
The initial movements occur in the "center" and are independent of the "periphery", which imports, incorporates and processes these movements but which only re-exports them under very limited and specific conditions. Movement, in this model, always begins in the center and moves outwards. We feel that the activity of the "peripheries" is much more complex.
They co-produce not only because they "export" and we are not simply talking here of sexual categories but also of theoretical elaborations , but because it is through them, or in their name, that the "center" is maintained. One needs only to imagine how the "central" countries would be different without the network of researchers, financing agencies and government and non-government agencies which are constituted within "the West" and justify their existence due to "the Rest", which needs to be studied, understood and aided.
Aside from this, by not dealing with the discontinuities and conflicts within the Brazilian homosexual movement, Parker ends up not exploring the impasse which initially was created around the question of homosexual identity and the refusal to treat homosexuality as a form of quasi-ethnicity. The activities of these people do not seem to us to be less important than the effects of economic determinants in understanding why travestis and virile male prostitutes were not completely demonized by the nascent "gay movement" in the s.
It's worth lingering a bit more in our examination of this point. The death and violence created by the AIDS epidemic dramatically changed the norms of public discussion regarding sexuality and left an unprecedented legacy of visibility of and recognition for the socially disseminated presence of homosexual desires and practices. AIDs prevention mobilization in Brazil was organized against a backdrop which consisted of a refusal to compartmentalize sexualities.
In this process, the experience of the first wave of gay activists from the s who had dialogued with academics and problematized the question of gay identity was as important as the establishment of partnerships and alliances with governmental agencies and international organizations. We must also point out that the Brazilian homosexual movement in the s emerged transformed into a polymorphous configuration which embraced more communitarian-oriented groups sectors of political parties, NGOs, student associations and even religious groups In this context, the movement's intensified connections with state agencies and the segmented market does indeed contribute to reinforce adhesion to a classificatory system based on distinct sexual orientations.
However, it is also true that the multiplication of categories which seek to name the subject of the movement, codified in today's LGBT acronym "lesbians, gays, bisexuals, travestis and transsexuals" has been proposed in a critical dialogue with other options such as GLS gays, lesbians and supporters which reiterate classificatory ambiguity in order to widen inclusion, or HSH "men who have sex with men" - "homens que fazem sexo com homens" , which has sprung up in health policy and which seeks, perhaps erroneously, to overcome the perceived gap between behavior and sexual identity.
These parades are expressions of an inclusive politically active space which is harbored within a celebration of the tolerance of sexual diversity. Finally, it seems to us that the problems we have pointed out regarding some sociological approaches are linked to the difficulty they demonstrate in accessing the properly cultural dimensions of the construction of sexual identities in Brazil and the transformation of these over the period we have analyzed here.
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