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Friday, December 6 • 9:00am - 11:00am
BREAKOUT SESSION SEVEN: Gender & Sexuality

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Chair: Moeata Keil

Thibaut B. Bouttier--Esprit: Ending an epidemic: The possibility of bio-social HIV prevention

The number of HIV-positive individuals is continuously increasing. With many academics staring to look at the social aspects of the disease, HIV prevention is taking a new turn, with each nation having its particular social method to prevent the virus from spreading between its citizens. Looking at the United States, the primary source of the epidemic in the Western world, this essay will explain its current relationship with social and psychological prevention of the virus. By explaining this biosocial epidemic and the ways it influences the construction of citizen identities and communities, this presentation will critique the current governance of bodies that influence HIV prevention and consider what New Zealand can learn from such investigations.


Brooke Hollingshead: The new social contexts of HIV: Social and sexual networking apps as places of risk and opportunity for men who have sex with men in the Philippines

The HIV epidemic in the Philippines has been expanding rapidly, with most new diagnosed cases occurring among ‘men who have sex with men’ (MSM). New social contexts of HIV are evident with the evolving phenomenon of more MSM seeking partners online in social and sexual networking apps. The apps create new ways of being, new ways to negotiate ‘risk’, and new opportunities for healthcare workers to intervene.
This research examines some of these, reporting findings from focus group discussion and interviews conducted with healthcare workers, academics and community members in Metro Manila. It argues that apps are viewed as both sites of risk, and an opportunity for intervention with the capacity to reach new ‘discreet’ sexual subjectivities. However, this presentation will argue that these interventions often function as a form of surveillance and a window on bodies of risk, perpetuating biomedical understandings of risk through targeting individuals qua individuals and assuming they are rational, empowered subjects. The interventions have also created new complexities for healthcare workers by reconfiguring boundaries and operating in a sexualised space.


Carol Harrington: “Toxic masculinity”: The Life of a Concept

Based in a literature search for “toxic masculinity” and thematic analysis of the findings, I explore a leap in references to the term beginning around 2014. Coined in late 20th century men’s movements, the term spread to therapeutic and social policy settings in the early 21st century. Literature referencing toxic masculinity offered a psycho-social analysis of violent, criminal and irresponsible men as lacking father-love. Feminists rarely mentioned toxic masculinity until around 2013. The increased currency of the phrase coincided with the popularization of feminism since 2014. Feminist commentary associated toxic masculinity with an array of political problems, from sexual violence to environmental destruction. Yet feminist scholarship often leaves the concept under-defined and risks blaming gender inequality on men’s personality flaws. The term’s popularity signifies a mainstreaming of conversations about masculinity as a political problem. However, disparagement of toxic masculinity may construct a contrasting “non-toxic” masculinity without challenging masculine hegemony.


Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

Presenters
avatar for Carol Harrington

Carol Harrington

Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington
My research concerns politics and policy on violence against women, sexual violence and sex work. I teach courses on sociology of violence, sexuality and comparative welfare regimes.