This study investigates contextually rich talk about sex and sexual activity among Malawian male youth. While their sexual ideologies have a potential to prompt them into risky practices, a more urgent driver of their vulnerability is their sexual scripts which constitute masculinity as very fragile and in need of constant protection, making the boys wary both of female partners who refuse them sex and of sexual practices which offer little or no control and power over women, raise suspicions about their manliness, or do not clearly validate their identities as powerful, go-getting males. These were, however, inherently risky sexual partners and practices. Urgently needed are strategies to help male youth realize the ways in which defense of masculinity, which may seem like self-defense, puts them at risk.
International Journal of Sexual Health, Volume 20, Issue 4, 281 - 294 [doi:10.1080/19317610802412043]