The issue of masculinity discussed from the perspective of sexual abstinence before marriage is a controversial topic, especially in the US. However, by examining the viewpoints and reasoning of these men, one can understand gender more comprehensively and develop a framework that describes different types of masculinity. This paper aims to examine the implications of the article After the Wedding Night: Sexual Abstinence and Masculinities over the Life Course and discuss its findings as well as their application for the future and present.
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Sexual purity prior to marriage is generally considered to be an issue that concerns females. In the article After the Wedding Night: Sexual Abstinence and Masculinities over the Life Course the author Diefendorf (2015) argues that in the US, men who adhere to abstinence challenge the conventional views of masculinity. The change in the perception of masculinity displayed by these men is discussed by the author, which is an essential implication for understanding the views of these individuals and its transformation.
Religion has a significant impact on the opinions of these men and their perception of marriage and sex. However, cultural implications and the pressure for reinforcing one’s masculinity has a significant impact on a person’s behavior. Therefore, it is critical to have a better understanding of the limitations that specific gender standards have to be able to change the societal perception of them.
The presented material affects both future and present situations because it provides an assessment of issues that contemporary men encounter due to their beliefs that do not correspond with the accepted social views of masculine behavior. Diefendorf (2015) states that “a shifting balance of both sacred and beastly discourses” is the primary viewpoint of the sex and gender displayed by the men in question (p. 648). All in all, an essential implication of this article is the need to view masculinity from a different perspective and account for life changes, for instance, marriage.
Thus, the concept of hybrid masculinities is a more suitable framework, which can help one understand the gender in question.
The article examined in this paper provides an understanding of the complexity that the concept of masculinity has. In accordance with Diefendorf’s (2015) findings, hegemonic masculinity, which is usually reviewed in social studies, is only one element of this matter. However, this type of masculinity has many limitations, and it can be argued that no man can display its features thoroughly.
Additionally, the findings suggest that masculinity perception is connected to one’s sexuality, which in the case of hegemonic masculinity correlates with heterosexuality. In the context of marriage, it can be argued that men who adhere to sexual abstinence may struggle with defining their desires and developing an appropriate relationship due to a lack of support, especially from specialized institutions. Moreover, the understanding of the change in men’s perception of masculinity prior to and after the marriage has an important implication for the evaluation of life transitions.
Overall, the article After the Wedding Night: Sexual Abstinence and Masculinities over the Life Course raises a question of masculinity before and after marriage in individuals who choose to avoid sex before their wedding. This paper examines the complexity of masculinity and provides implications for understanding different elements of it. Thus, the hegemonic masculinity that embodies patriarchy should be reviewed only in the context of other masculinity types to enhance the knowledge of gender relations.
Diefendorf, S. (2015). After the wedding night: Sexual abstinence and masculinities over the life course. Gender & Society, 29(5), 647–669. Web.