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The Experience of Intimate Relationships Among Homosexual Men in Malaysia


Liow, JW and Khalaf, ZF and Ameeruddin, NAM and Foong, A, The Experience of Intimate Relationships Among Homosexual Men in Malaysia, Sexuality and Culture, 21, (4) pp. 1140-1156. ISSN 1095-5143 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12119-017-9442-x


Malaysia is relatively conservative regarding topics like sex, and, especially, research on homosexual relationships is scarce. The current study aims to understand the experience of intimate relationships among homosexual men in Malaysia using a phenomenological qualitative approach. A total of 12 participants of various ethnic backgrounds (between 21 and 35 years of age) were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling via the Malaysian-based LGBT-friendly Facebook group. Thematic analysis was applied for data analysis, and themes emerged through looking into the perception and practice of intimate relationships. The findings of the current study reflect that the hetero-normative perception of intimate relationships is common among the participants, and is compatible with the cultural norms. However, in terms of sexual practices, the findings show similarities with more liberal parts of the world, as open relationships and casual sex is common among homosexual men. Hence, open relationships are being adopted as a strategy to improve the survivability of the relationship instead of just to satisfy sexual needs. The findings highlight the lack of a frame of reference for homosexual relationships in Malaysia. The current study adds to the scarce research on homosexuality in this country, which could assist professional helpers to better understand the different dynamics and beliefs of relationships among homosexual men and the challenges they may face.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:experience,intimate relationship, homosexual men, Malaysia
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Men's health
UTAS Author:Foong, A (Dr Andrew Foong)
ID Code:125309
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2018-04-12
Last Modified:2018-05-08

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