‘When there's no underbrush the tree looks taller’ : a discourse analysis of men’s online groin shaving talk

Hall, Matthew (2015) ‘When there's no underbrush the tree looks taller’ : a discourse analysis of men’s online groin shaving talk. Sexualities, 18 (8). pp. 997-1017. ISSN 1363-4607

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It seems many men continue to be obsessed with their penis and especially its size and look. Two thirds of men in a recent UK study (Veale et al., 2013) reported some dissatisfaction with their genitals. Arguably much of this anxiety is perpetuated by the media and marketers, but may also follow more general trends in male body image consciousness (Grogan, 2007; 2010; Flowers et al., 2013). Marketers have been quick to offer both surgical and non-surgical remedies to help change the size, shape and image of the penis, especially online. Stepping aside from more traditional scholarly foci on culture (Lehman, 2006), media (Lehman, 2007), social (Davison, 200) and personal relationship issues (Lever et al., 2006), I focus instead on how men account for pubic hair shaving to enhance image. I use discourse analysis to examine online electronic dialogue in response to an advert promoting male groin grooming showing the complex ways in which men discursively negotiate their interest in this non-typical gender practice. The analysis shows charges of vanity are swept under the carpet in favour of heterosexual pleasure, cleanliness, self-respect and individuality. The implications for understanding traditional and contemporary masculinities are also discussed.

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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Sexualities, 18 (8), 2015, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2015 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Sexualities page: http://sex.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? body imagediscourse analysismasculinitiespenis aestheticspenis sizegender studiesanthropology ??
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21 Oct 2015 04:54
Last Modified:
18 Dec 2023 01:26