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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Role of BDSM Orientation on Heteronormativity and Shame in Anoreceptive Heterosexual Males
by Pitagora, Dulcinea Alex, Ph.D., Widener University, 2019, 171; 13814421
Abstract (Summary)

Despite the direct connection between anal sex and pleasure (Hite, 1981; Morin, 2010), the majority of academic literature on anal sex frames the topic in terms of homophobia (when referring to male-bodied people) and/or disease (Aguilar, 2017; Brody & Weiss, 2011; McBride & Fortenberry, 2010). While only two academic articles (Branfman & Stiritz, 2012; Branfman, Stiritz, & Anderson, 2017) have been published on the topic of anoreceptive heterosexual males (ARHMs), there is evidence of this type of sexuality dating back to Ancient Egypt and Greece (Bullough, 1976; Foucault, 1990b). This is indicative of the socially systemic heteronormativity and associated constructs of heterosexism, homophobia, and phallocentrism that can instill shame and stigma in those with non-conforming sexual preferences, such as ARHMs, BDSM practitioners, and BDSM-oriented ARHMs (Ayres & Leudeman, 2013; Bosson, Prewitt-Freilino, & Taylor, 2005; Crane & Crane-Seeber, 2003; Heasley, 2005; Taormino, 2008; Yost, 2010). Therefore, this research examined levels of heteronormativity, sexual shame, and sexual pride to determine whether higher levels of heteronormativity predict higher levels of sexual shame and lower levels of sexual pride in ARHMs, and whether heteronormativity, sexual shame, and sexual pride in ARHMs differ according to BDSM status. In multivariate linear regressions and independent-samples t-tests on data from 906 ARHMs, heteronormativity did not significantly contribute to the prediction of sexual shame in ARHMs; there was not a significant difference in heteronormativity between BDSM-oriented and non-BDSM-oriented ARHMs; there was a significant difference in sexual shame between BDSM-oriented and non-BDSM-oriented ARHMs, but not in the hypothesized direction (there were higher levels of sexual shame among BDSM-oriented ARHMs); and there was not a significant difference in sexual pride between BDSM-oriented and non-BDSM-oriented ARHMs. These findings highlight the nuance in sexual orientation and expression. It remains unclear whether the constructs of masculinity and heteronormativity are expanding to accommodate what were previously considered non-conforming sexual and gender expressions, or whether these constructs continue to obfuscate and repress through a manipulation of language that reinforces privilege. These findings have implications for clinicians who work with those who have both privileged and marginalized identities and/or sexual orientations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wells, Brooke
Commitee: Anderson, Eric, Hawkins, Linda
School: Widener University
Department: Human Sexuality
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-B 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sexuality, Behavioral psychology, Social psychology
Keywords: Anal sex, Anoreceptive sex, BDSM, Heteronormativity, Male heterosexuality, Shame
Publication Number: 13814421
ISBN: 978-1-392-09238-5
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