South Africa has seen a rapid increase in scholarship and programmatic interventions
focusing on gender and sexuality, and more recently on boys, men and masculinities.
In this paper, we argue that a deterministic discourse on men's sexuality and masculinity
in general is inherent in many current understandings of adolescent male sexuality,
which tend to assume that young women are vulnerable and powerless and
young men are sexually powerful and inevitably also the perpetrators of sexual violence.
Framed within a feminist, social constructionist the oretical perspective, the
current research looked at how the masculinity and sexuality of South African young
men is constructed, challenged or maintained. Focus groups were conducted with
young men between the ages of 15 and 20 years from five different schools in two
regions of South Africa, the Western and Eastern Cape. Data were analysed using
Gilligan's listening guide method. Findings suggest that participants in this study
have internalised the notion of themselves as dangerous, but were also exploring
other possible ways of being male and being sexual, demonstrating more complex
experiences of manhood. We argue for the importance of documenting and highlighting
the precariousness, vulnerability and uncertainty of young men in scholarly and
programmatic work on masculinities.