Masculinity and Virility: representations of Male Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century Sweden
2007 (English)In: Collegium : Studies across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, ISSN 1796-2986, Vol. 2, 57-81 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
What should historians do with contrasting and contradictory accounts of male sexual practices and how should these be connected to notions of masculinity? Although the analysis of masculinity has developed sophisticated models of hierarchic and multiple masculinities, the history of sexuality has long been dominated by a phallocentric model. In this model, before the emergence of modern concepts of sexual identity in the nineteenth century, male sexual behaviour and desire were really about domination and the demonstration of social power, primarily symbolized by the active performance of penetration and the passive submission of the penetrated partner whether in hetero- or same-sex relations. The first sections of this essay deal with the relevance of this model for eighteenth-century Sweden, with reference to male self-apprehension and descriptions of male sexual practices in two secret diaries and autobiographies which, taken together, provide very different images of male sexuality. It will be argued here that the concept of virility in the sense of culturally constructed notions of bodily and sexual comportment as ultimate symbols of masculine strength and vigour could play a crucial role in connecting male sexual practices and meanings of masculinity. The essay closes with a brief suggestion of where the basis for hegemonic ideas of masculinity may be found.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies , 2007. Vol. 2, 57-81 p.
Gender history, Masculinity
Humanities Gender Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18239ISBN: ISSN 1796-2986OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-18239DiVA: diva2:157912
Volume 2, The Trouble with Ribs: Women, Men and Gender in Early Modern Europe, ISBN: 978-952-10-4073-32007-11-292007-11-292015-07-15Bibliographically approved