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UBC Theses and Dissertations

"It’s not about being male, it’s about being cool" : a case study of male peer sexual health educators Ripley, Lu


This thesis examines the cultural norms relating to gender, sexuality and race in the work and lives of male youth educators who volunteer with Condomania, a Vancouver based sexual health promotion program. A qualitative, case study action-oriented methodology was utilized. Individual interviews and a focus group were conducted with 7 male sexual health educators from the Condomania program over a one-year period. The researcher was also coordinator of the program, and integrated observations and self-reflection during the process of this project. Aspects of educators' subjectivities, such as maleness, whiteness and sexual identity are explored. The thesis suggests that although it is essential to foreground males in the development and execution of programs that deal with issues such as sexual health, the process of doing so is not uncomplicated. Contradictions and tensions emerged throughout this study in how the participants perceived, viewed and took up gender and sexuality in the classroom and their own lives, demonstrating concurrently the hegemony and instability of heterosexual masculinity.

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