Compulsive Heterosexuality within Comic Books

In C.J. Pascoe’s article, “Guys and just homophobic”, the gendered norms in which young boys are raised in are analyzed. He claims that adolescent males are brought up to be homophobic, and that attacks toward actions and behaviors that are not explicitly heteronormative further the attacker’s own masculinity. The article provides multiple case studies of young boys in social settings and Pascoe was able to discern how the male social sphere operated by saying that: “men or boys who do not conform to normative understanding of masculinity and sexuality should be mocked, humiliated, and possibly feared.” But what contributes to this compulsive heterosexuality? How can we stop it? This article will look at the role Marvel has played in shaping the compulsive heterosexual norms of young males, and what steps it has since taken to rebrand itself.

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Sexual Socialization Gone Wrong

“He says ‘I don’t get it, why are you still a virgin at 24?’

He says ‘I don’t believe you, I’ve seen you walk, virgins don’t walk like that’

(…)

He asks ‘Why though? No offence though.’

I ask ‘When was your first time?’

He says ‘I was 12’

He says ‘I know what you’re thinking, that’s too young.’

(…)

He says ‘She was older than me.’

I ask ‘How old?’

And he says ‘It’s better that the girl is older, that’s how I learnt all things I know’

He licks his lips.

I ask again ‘How old?’

He says ‘I could use one finger to make you sob’

(…)

I ask again ‘How old?’

He says ‘Boys become men in the laps of women, you know?’

(…)

He says ‘I’d look after you, you know?’

I laugh, I ask for the last time ‘How old?’

He says ’34.’

He says ‘She was beautiful though and I know what you’re thinking but it’s not like that, I’m a man, I’m a man, I’m a man. No one could ever hurt me’.”

  Warsan Shire, Crude Conversations With Boys Who Fake Laughter Often

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