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Title: 'Would ya, could ya?' : male perspectives on the meaning of penetrative sex, and the issues involved in forgoing this activity in their emotionally committed relationships with women
Author: Williams, Barney
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 295X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis has arisen primarily out of academic and clinical work conducted in the field of 'intersex'. Many women diagnosed with intersex conditions elect genital surgery as adults in order that they may engage in penetrative sexual intercourse with men. This decision is based not on any expectation of increased sexual pleasure for the women themselves but rather on an assumption that male partners would not accept anything 'less'. The results of such surgeries are often disappointing on a number of levels and many women still report pain during intercourse post-surgery. A major aim of this current research was to 'test out' this assumption by asking a community sample of men about the significance they attach to penetrative intercourse in the context of their emotionally committed relationships with women. The men were also asked if there were any circumstances under which they would be prepared to forgo intercourse in this context and, if so, what might help them adapt to such a situation. Seven men were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format and the data was analysed using a mixed method of thematic analysis (TA) and limited Foucauldian discourse analysis (PDA). TA revealed three themes relating to the meaning intercourse held for the men personally: i) Physical aspects; ii) Power and control; and iii) Mutuality and connection. Two themes were also identified in relation to how the men felt they might be helped to adapt to living without intercourse iv) Alternatives to intercourse and v) Honesty and openness. The PDA explored how the men drew on two contrasting discursive constructions of sex and sexuality, a sociobiological discourse, or sex as reproductive drive and a humanistic discourse or sex as recreation and relationship building. These results are discussed in the context of previous research both in the field of male sexuality and intersex. Implications for woman diagnosed with intersex conditions and for those professionals involved in their psychological care are also outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available