Moving beyond Resistance and Medicalization: Challenging Common Representations of Bareback Sex and HIV through Ethnography

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Title: Moving beyond Resistance and Medicalization: Challenging Common Representations of Bareback Sex and HIV through Ethnography
Authors: Brisson, Julien
Date: 2015
Abstract: Condomless sex between gay men, also known as bareback sex, has been a popular object of research since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. One of the most common perspectives on studying bareback sex has been through a medicalization approach, as it may be observed notably with public health and psychology. In other instances, the abandonment of condom use is framed as an intentional act of resistance to public health. Through the methodological approach of ethnography, I studied how young gay men in their twenties from Toronto understand bareback sex in relations to popular discourses of the sexual practice. While my informants initially had a certain way of talking of bareback sex, their narratives on the sexual practice changed with time and challenged the common representations of bareback sex as either a site of resistance or medicalization, which I argue was possible because of the methodological approach of ethnography. During fieldwork, other themes also emerged in regards to shaping understandings of bareback sex and HIV as it relates to young gay men, such as the traumatic memories of an older generation who witnessed the earlier days of the AIDS epidemic. From this anthropological research, I seek to invite the opportunity to rethink the relationship between sex, biomedical science, and HIV.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/32991
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-2825
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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