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Young men in love: the (re)making of heterosexual masculinities through ‘‘serious’’ relationships

Forrest, Simon

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In this paper I examine how young men’s experience of what they termed 'serious' relationships are contexts in which they were engaged in the processes of exploring and, in some important ways, remaking their masculine identities. I refer to data drawn from in-depth interviews with eight middle-class, white young men who are reaching the end of their studies in a Scottish secondary school and planning to enter higher education. I identify and explore aspects of the intimate relationship in which these young men contest culturally patterned discourses of gender difference and show how, in trying to resolve these differences, their sense of masculine identities is altered. I suggest that familiar gendered differences – relating to the ways that sex and love, commitment and independence and emotional expressiveness are linked to heterosexual masculinity and femininity – are three of the distinct fields of which these young men are aware and via which they engage in ‘‘gender’’ work. I argue that how this work is done, the resources employed and the meanings that are generated are independent on specific local and temporal realities of these young men lives.


Forrest, S. (2010). Young men in love: the (re)making of heterosexual masculinities through ‘‘serious’’ relationships. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 25(2), 206-218.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2010
Deposit Date May 4, 2010
Publicly Available Date May 10, 2010
Journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy
Print ISSN 1468-1994
Electronic ISSN 1468-1749
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 2
Pages 206-218
Keywords Love, Relationships, Young men, Masculinities, Gender, Emotion.
Publisher URL


Accepted Journal Article (75 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an electronic version of an article published in Forrest, Simon (2010) 'Young men in love : the (re)making of heterosexual masculinities through 'serious' relationships.', Sexual and relationship therapy., 25 (2). pp. 206-218. Sexual and relationship therapy is available online at:

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