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Sex for LifeFrom Virginity to Viagra, How Sexuality Changes Throughout Our Lives$
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Laura Carpenter and John DeLamater

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772522

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772522.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 03 April 2020

Secrets and Magic Pills

Secrets and Magic Pills

Constructing Masculinity and Sexual “Normalcy” Following Spinal Cord Injury

(p.198) 10 Secrets and Magic Pills
Sex for Life

Alexis A. Bender

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on how men reconstruct masculinity and sexual “normalcy” following spinal cord injuries. There are at least four paths for men's sexual trajectories following spinal cord injury (SCI). Men who used “Adaptation” strategies appeared to be most successful, and satisfied, in their sex lives. Their high level of agentic control offered ways to overcome some of the negative stereotypes facing people with SCI. Men in the second group, Performers, are also able to assert control over their sexual trajectories. However, their narratives reflect a high reliance on hegemonic masculine presentation. Men in the remaining two groups indicate more feelings of powerlessness in relationships. The Conformers were the oldest men in the sample and therefore faced ageist stereotypes about their inability to have or desire sex. Finally, the Relinquishers have internalized many idealized aspects of masculinity but are prevented from meeting these standards in part because of their lack of social and financial resources.

Keywords:   masculinity, sexual normalcy, spinal cord injury, hegemonic masculinity, ageist stereotypes

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