Kissing and Holding Hands: Constructions of Male Same-Sex Attraction and Implications for HIV/AIDS Risk in Vietnam

Dare, Phillip (2011) Kissing and Holding Hands: Constructions of Male Same-Sex Attraction and Implications for HIV/AIDS Risk in Vietnam. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Employing an auto-ethnographic approach this thesis combines a number of different research traditions in the social sciences to consider what is gay sex and homosexuality in the Vietnamese context. Using auto-ethnographic narrative I tackle the sensitive and culturally imbedded subject matter via a personal journey presented as a memoir. The memoir is not about describing sex and labelling the other through the lenses of Western understandings of this phenomena; rather it is an attempt to address how these aspects of life play out in non-Western settings while considering the ramifications for HIV/AIDS public education programs. In Vietnam gay men, homosexual men, MSM or same sex attracted men are not included in any national surveillance testing. The state links research on MSM to, and constructs homosexuality as, transvestism. There is a paucity of research on Same-Sex attracted men in Vietnam. This research may well be the only ethnographic research undertaken on same-sex attracted men in contemporary Vietnam and the ways and by what means they negotiate new found opportunities to explore and experience sex and sexuality. These opportunities and experiences question Western understandings and Western research on Vietnamese homosexuality and HIV/AIDS risk. This ethnographic study highlights a contradiction between desk-bound literature reviews and real life events. Therefore this research has the capacity to both expand and contest the current literature on sex between men in Vietnam.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords homosexuals, gays, gay men, sexual experiences, sex, auto-ethnography, cross-cultural comparison, STD's, sexual diseases, prevention, education, Vietnam
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