Sensitive Masculinity: Gendered Representation of Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Taiwan and Its Implication on Highly Sensitive Men (79955)

Session Information: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Session Chair: Mario Liong

Sunday, 26 May 2024 14:10
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 603
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In recent years, there has been much focus on the concept of "toxic masculinity" due to heightened concerns about sexism and sexual assault against women. Nevertheless, it has been shown that around 15-35% of males in the general population exhibit characteristics such as deep cognitive processing, emotional intensity, strong empathy, and sensitivity to sensory and internal stimuli. These individuals are referred to as highly sensitive males (HSM). The presence of highly sensitive features in males contradicts prevailing norms of masculinity, resulting in negative consequences such as diminished self-esteem and mental health challenges for HSM. Psychologists have observed that the high sensitivity attributes have significant value within society, as they contribute to the development of caring fathers, communicative partners, and empathetic peers. However, there has been a lack of study of the subordination and marginalization experienced by HSM. Drawing on textual analysis of online articles and discussion forums, this paper explores the understanding of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) in Taiwanese society and its implications for HSM. The findings suggest that although there is little explicit stigma on HSM, the prevailing portrayal of SPS tends to associate it primarily with femininity. This paper discusses the possible implications of this gendered representation of highly sensitive individuals on HSM in relation to the various notions of masculinity in Taiwan.

Mario Liong, National Taipei University, Taiwan

About the Presenter(s)
Mario Liong is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology in National Taipei University in Taiwan. His research interests span various areas, including critical studies of men and masculinities, migrant families, and youth sexualities.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00