Being the butt of the joke: Homophobic humour, male identity, and its connection to emotional and physical violence for men

McCann, Pol Dominic; Plummer, David; Minichiello, Victor
December 2010
Health Sociology Review;Dec2010, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p505
Academic Journal
This qualitative study into Australian manhood featured 63 men discussing 'acceptable' masculinity. Homophobic humour emerged as central to the formation of Australian male identity, but it had the potential to induce violence and emotional damage when the 'humour' moved along a malleable continuum from good-natured banter to abuse. Significantly, it was men of all sexualities who were targeted, indicating that it was non-conformity to gender norms as well as sexuality being policed, as boys and men used humour to control and humiliate each other. Recollections of these instances ranged from 'it was just a joke' for some perpetrators, to 'orchestrated cruelty' for men who had been victimised. Some of the latter group reported depression extending into their adult lives based on their youthful experiences. Understanding the impact when humour goes 'beyond a joke' is important for policy makers, educators and healthcare workers, as a potential for emotional damage and physical violence is highlighted. The study highlights the importance of understanding masculinity as an influence on men's health and wellness.


Related Articles

  • The community network: an Aboriginal community football club bringing people together. Thorpe, Alister; Anders, Wendy; Rowley, Kevin // Australian Journal of Primary Health;2014, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p356 

    There are few empirical studies about the role of Aboriginal sporting organisations in promoting wellbeing. The aim of the present study was to understand the impact of an Aboriginal community sporting team and its environment on the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of young Aboriginal...

  • The gendered nature of South African teachers' discourse on sex education. DePalma, R.; Francis, D. A. // Health Education Research;Aug2014, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p624 

    In South Africa, high pregnancy and infection rates show that many teenagers are having sex, and that they are not adequately protecting themselves against undesired pregnancies and disease. Sex education is usually taught as part of the subject area Life Orientation. In a qualitative study of...

  • Perceptions of gender-based violence among South African youth: implications for health promotion interventions. Mosavel, M.; Ahmed, R.; Simon, C. // Health Promotion International;Sep2012, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p323 

    Gender-based violence is a widespread problem in South Africa. Past structural inequities have created a climate conducive to violence against women. As an initial step toward developing a health promotion program, we conducted exploratory formative research to examine the barriers that affect...

  • Perceptions of adolescent women regarding gender differences: a descriptive study. da Silva, Silvana Cruz; Ressel, Lúcia Beatriz; Pedro, Eva Neri Rubim; Alves, Camila Neumaier; Stumm, Karine; Wilhelm, Láis Antunes // Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing;Jun2014, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p255 

    Aims: To understand the perceptions and meanings of being an adolescent woman in our society and to reflect upon the sociocultural construction of these women. Method: This is a field descriptive study, in which a qualitative approach was used, carried out in a public school in Rio Grande do...

  • An exploratory study of gang-affiliated young men's perceptions and experiences of sexuality and gender relations. Fleury, évelyne; Fernet, Mylène // Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2012, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p1 

    The literature on gangs frequently associates them with gender inequality and violence against women. Some recent studies that have addressed the sexual practices of gang-affiliated young men have painted a portrait of their romantic and sexual experiences that is incomplete because violence and...

  • Bisexual People's Experiences with Mental Health Services: A Qualitative Investigation. Eady, A.; Dobinson, C.; Ross, L. E. // Community Mental Health Journal;Aug2011, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p378 

    Bisexual people experience minority stress and social isolation as a result of their marginalized sexual identities, and likely due to this stigmatization, previous research has identified high rates of psychological distress, anxiety, depression, suicidality, alcohol misuse, and self-harming...

  • Views of Women and Clinicians on Postpartum Preparation and Recovery. Martin, Anika; Horowitz, Carol; Balbierz, Amy; Howell, Elizabeth // Maternal & Child Health Journal;Apr2014, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p707 

    To explore important domains of women's postpartum experiences as perceived by postpartum mothers and obstetricians/midwives, and to investigate how postpartum care could enhance patient preparation for the postpartum period. Qualitative research study was conducted to explore women's and...

  • Gender implications of the teaching of relationships and sexuality education for health-promoting schools. McNamara, Patricia Mannix; Geary, Tom; Jourdan, Didier // Health Promotion International;Jun2011, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p230 

    Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) was introduced in Irish schools in 1995 to address pressures on young people specific to relationships and sexuality. RSE is part of a whole school health promotion project. Emphasis is put on personal and social development of students,...

  • The Social Meanings of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Elderly Chinese Immigrants' Health Practice in the United States. Kong, Haiying; Hsieh, Elaine // Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health;Oct2012, Vol. 14 Issue 5, p841 

    We situate elderly Chinese immigrants' utilization of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in social contexts (e.g., family and social networks), exploring how TCM is used as a tool, a resource, and a product of meaning-construction in their everyday life. We conducted in in-depth interviews with...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics