Melbourne: 2010. 13 p.
Culture, Health and Sexuality, Volume 12, Issue S1 August 2010 , pages S5 - S18
This paper argues that young Vietnamese men's beliefs around women's changing sexual identities and habits generate some anxiety around their own heterosexual abilities, while contributing to growing doubts around 'traditional' masculine advantage within sexual relations. It explores this notion in regard to eight Vietnamese men aged 18-30 years, interviewed over 13 months of fieldwork in Hanoi, Vietnam. The paper suggests that young men are increasingly ambivalent about notions of 'gendered morality' in general and the significance of female virginity in particular, because of popular ideas around women's changing sexual behaviours since the economic liberalisation of Vietnam in the late 1980s. However, while such ambivalence might at first suggest a shift toward improved gender and sexual equality, findings reveal that some young urban Vietnamese men construct and reinforce explicitly 'masculinist' gender ideologies by watching heterosexual pornography in groups with male friends or by visiting female sex workers for the purpose of watching their friends have sex. In a time of rapid change around discourses on women, some young men seek to build a stable community and relationships with each other by controlling the terms and practice by which women's bodies are used and consumed.
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