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Peter M. Nardi

In: Men's Friendships

Chapter 9: Sex, Friendship, and Gender Roles Among Gay Men

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Sex, Friendship, and Gender Roles Among Gay Men
Sex, friendship, and gender roles among gay men
PeterM.Nardi

The connection between sexual orientation and gender roles has been confused by many people. Too often, assumptions about homosexuality or heterosexuality have led to assumptions about masculinity or femininity. Altman (1982, p. 55) states it succinctly:

[T]he belief that homosexuality is somehow a reflection of a blurred sense of masculinity/femininity remains central to the Western imagination, and to the extent that our concepts of gender have implied a heterosexual norm, this is important in understanding the development of homosexual identity.

Understanding the differences between sexual identity and gender roles is enhanced when focusing on the issues of friendship and sex among gay men. For many people, being gay has been interpreted in terms ...

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