Sociology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 54:2 (2015), pp 330–344.

doi 10.1111/jssr.12182


Copyright © 2015 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Published by John Wiley. Used by permission.


The experiences of men in traditional religions are complex, at times inconsistent, and not necessarily the direct result of religious teachings. This article draws from two qualitative case studies to examine the ways in which evangelical and Latter-Day Saint men understand masculinity and their spiritual beliefs in the context of sexual activity. The authors present two masculine practices—acceptance of sexual rejection and sexual indifference— that allow religious men in this study to simultaneously challenge and uphold the system of hegemonic masculinity that their traditions promote. These findings point to the moments when creative, interpretative work helps religious men to reconcile their experiences with religious expectations and to alleviate the tensions they face in their everyday lives. This article offers new insights into how gender and sexuality studies may be integrated into the sociology of religion.