Queering gay male body dissatisfaction
thesisposted on 2021-05-24, 06:50 authored by Alexander T. Vasilovsky
A sizable body of psychological research suggests that gay men exhibit greater body dissatisfaction than heterosexual men. However, much of this research has been critiqued for presenting explanatory models that pathologize homosexuality by suggesting that it is the cause of gay male body dissatisfaction. This thesis relied on the voices of 19 gay/queer men/genderqueers to problematize the explanatory models’ characterization of gay identities, communities, and body ideals as monolithic. The participants expressed ideas that were antithetical to the explanatory models’ restrictive formulations of homosexuality. Additionally, this thesis developed a theory of gay/queer embodiment based on the Foucauldian concept of subjection. How the participants negotiated embodied gay and queer identities was explored in relation to larger discursive regimes of power, like heterosexism, hegemonic masculinity, and neo-liberalism. Specific attention was given to queer forms of embodied resistance.