Gender roles and sex roles can be discussed as interconnected notions which can influence each other significantly.
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If the connection and interdependence of gender and sex roles in the context of heterosexual relations are rather obvious, the connection and the impact of the notions on each other from the perspective of homosexual or bisexual relations require their further investigation.
From this point, the discussion of anal sex roles among men is important for revealing and analyzing the correlation between the male gender role and the anal sex roles of men in their homosexual relations.
It is significant to answer the question about the impact of masculinity as the male characteristic on the men’s sex roles and possible impact of sex preferences on the man’s everyday behavior0.
In addition to these points, the topic about anal sex roles among men was chosen because of the current interest of the public in the questions of homosexuality which is observed with the help of examining contemporary movies, books, and shows’ themes.
Thus, there are a lot of prejudice associated with the topic which should be discussed from the point of homosexual men’s gender and sex roles and their interdependence.
Although much prejudice is connected with homosexual relations, those men who have sex with the other men are also characterized by such feature as masculinity and its components as responsibility and bravery, but the level of masculinity in a man’s nature can influence his preference according to anal sex roles.
Today people are inclined to develop definite stereotypes about homosexuality and provide common assumptions the main idea of which is that homosexual men are rather sensitive, tender, acquire certain female features in their behavior and actions, and unable to do the work which is considered as appropriate for men according to the visions of male and female gender roles.
The public’s opinions on the problem of homosexuality can be divided into tolerant and quite aggressive. This point is still discussed as controversial in society. That is why the issues depicted in the movie Brokeback Mountain (2005) directed by Ang Lee provoked the great discussion of the question of homosexual relations.
Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, the main characters of the movie, are two men from the American West who discover their homosexual preferences and fall in love with each other.
The story develops during the period between the 1960s and the 1980s, and it concentrates on the detailed depiction of the romantic and intimate relations between these two men.
The controversy associated with the issues discussed in the movie depends on the history of the question of homosexual relations and the public’s attitude to this phenomenon.
It is possible to say that today the people’s vision of the relations of this kind is rather progressive, but biases still exist. Several decades ago the level of prejudice was extremely higher.
Nevertheless, this phenomenon is known for people since the period of Ancient Greece when homosexual relations were discussed as the part of Zeus’s religious cult and the necessary aspect of the military service.
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However, in spite of the fact these relations are depicted in many pieces of art, there was not a single vision of the issue. Homosexual relations developed and were the common aspect of the personal life, but they were also criticized.
The situation which is described in the movie also presents many aspects of the problem. Ennis Del Mar is portrayed as a man with highly developed masculine qualities.
He is strong, in a good physical form, and hard-working. Ennis tries to resist his feeling of deep love toward another man when he becomes aware of his homosexuality. Jack Twist is more passionate and emotional, his masculine features are not as developed as Ennis’s ones, and he actively admits his homosexuality.
According to Wei and Raymond, homosexual men can identify their sex roles strictly or they can change their preferences, thus, they can be ‘versatiles’ (Wei & Raymond, 2011).
In spite of the fact Ennis strives to reject his homosexuality and cannot be discussed as an active homosexual according to his vision of the problem, his active anal sex role of a ‘top’ supports the idea that was developed by Moskowitz and Hart.
The researchers analyzed the connection between masculinity and anal sex roles and concluded that ‘tops’ are more masculine than ‘bottoms’, and this fact also depends on their physical features (Moskowitz & Hart, 2011).
Moreover, Jack who actively searched for the sexual satisfaction, but revealed less masculine features, was depicted as a ‘bottom’. That is why masculinity as the main male feature in relation to their gender characteristics also influences the men’s anal sex roles.
The analysis of Ennis and Jack’s sex roles with references to the investigations provided by the specialists in the field allows discussing the deep connection between male gender role and homosexual relations.
Men’s preferences according to their anal sex roles can be explained with referring to their character features. From this point, homosexuality can be discussed only as a certain kind of sexuality characterized by its peculiarities.
Moskowitz, D. A. & Hart, T. A. (2011). The influence of physical body traits and masculinity on anal sex roles in gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 835-841.
Wei, C. & Raymond, H. F. (2011). Preference for and maintenance of anal sex roles among men who have sex with men: Sociodemographic and behavioral correlates. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 829-834.