Stockholm university

Lucas Gottzén

About me


Section for Child and Youth Studies


youth, gender, sexuality, masculinity, violence, affect


Teaching mainly at the Master's Programme in Child and Youth Studies and courses on Ph.D. level.


Lucas Gottzén is professor of Child and Youth Studies. After his Ph.D. in Child Studies at Linköping University (2009), he has acted as postdoctoral researcher at the University of California–Los Angeles (2009-2010), senior lecturer at Uppsala University (2013-2014) and research fellow and senior lecturer at Linköping University (2010-2015), where he was appointed as "docent" (associate professor) in 2013. In 2015, he joined Stockholm University as a senior lecturer and was promoted to full professor in 2017.

Gottzén takes feminist and critical perspectives on youth, gender and sexuality, particularly focusing on affect and violence. He has also studied food and cooking, fatherhood, family life, intergenerational relations, and school-based violence prevention. 

Gottzén is the author of Av det känsligare slaget (Makadam 2019), which explores the role of affect and gender in young and adult men's intimate partner violence; and Genus (with Mia Eriksson, Liber 2020), an introduction to feminist approaches to, and critiques of the concept of gender. He is co-editor of Andra män: Maskulinitet, normskapande och jämställdhet (with Rickard Jonsson, Gleerups 2012); Sociologins teoretiker (with Ulrik Lögdlund, Gleerups 2014, new rev. ed. 2021); Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies (with Ulf Mellström & Tamara Shefer, Routledge 2020); and Men, Masculinities and Intimate Partner Violence (with Margunn Bjørnholt & Floretta Boonzaier, Routledge 2021). He has served on the editorial board of Gender & Society, is currently on the board of Boyhood Studies and Senior Editor of NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies.


Research projects

Masculinity, masculinist politics and political extremism in the Nordic (NOS-HS 2023-24)

Young men and sex: between risk and pleasure (Public Health Agency Sweden 2022-2023)


Previous projects:

Masculinity and violent extremism (Swedish Center for Preventing Violent Extremism & Swedish Gender Equality Agency 2021-2022)

Parents' and friends' responses to young men's intimate partner violence (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 2016-2020)

Evaluation of Mentors in Violence Prevention in Swedish Schools (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions 2018-2020)

Evaluation of Mentors in Violence Prevention (Swedish National Agency for Education 2015-2017)

Grandparents' responses to intimate partner violence: Children's experiences and perspectives (Children's Welfare Foundation Sweden 2014-2015)

Femicide across Europe (COST Action 2013-2016)

Men’s violence against women in intimate relations: A study of the perpetrators' social networks. (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 2010-2015)

International network on responses to interpersonal violence: Research across countries and disciplines. (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 2011-2013)

Hegemonic masculinities and men in Sweden and South Africa: Theorizing power and change (Swedish Research Council 2009-2011)

Involved fatherhood and men's parental practices in Sweden and the U.S. (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 2009-2010)



Big boys' bedrooms, WIFTI Talks, June 16 2019

The Swedish, gender-equal man is a myth, ScienceNordic September 10, 2012. About the project: "Men’s violence against women in intimate relations: A study of the perpetrators' social networks."


Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Swallowing and spitting out the Red Pill: Young men, vulnerability, and radicalisation pathways in the manosphere

    2023. Matteo Botto, Lucas Gottzén. Journal of Gender Studies


    During the last decades, new forms of men’s rights activism have emerged, commonly referred to as the ‘manosphere’. This loosely connected, misogynistic online movement particularly attracts young men. Its shared ideology is the Red Pill, a neoconservative ideology that adopts essentialist notions of gender and sexuality, and selectively employs evolutionary psychology to support male supremacy. While the discourses of the manosphere have been mapped, little research exists on how and why young men join and leave such misogynist groups. This article contributes to critical youth and feminist scholarship by analysing the gendered dynamics of online misogynist radicalisation pathways. Based on narratives shared on a Reddit community for former ‘redpillers’, this article explores 30 young men’s experiences of entering and exiting the manosphere and details the essential role of vulnerability in these processes. The stories are synthesised into three phases to illustrate the paths in and out of the manosphere. 

    Read more about Swallowing and spitting out the Red Pill
  • Self-regulating or supervised boys? Young masculinity and sexuality in online pornography filter debates

    2023. Lucas Gottzén. Boyhood Studies 16 (1), 18-39


    This article analyzes debates about online pornography filters and youth in the Swedish press between 2016 and 2020, focusing on the depiction of boys and young men. Critics of filtering software argued that boys could self-regulate if they were provided better sex education and if parents communicated with them about pornography. In contrast, advocates posited that boys are incapable of developing healthy sexuality because online pornography is a powerful drug that leads to addiction and contributes to a rape culture. As boys were considered unable to get a filter “in their head,” proponents argued for disciplinary supervision through software in schools.

    Read more about Self-regulating or supervised boys? Young masculinity and sexuality in online pornography filter debates
  • Boys’ brains on porn: Affect, addiction and cerebral subjectivity

    2023. Lucas Gottzén. Posthumanism and the man question, 73-84


    This chapter explores the relationship between brain, media technology and young heteromasculinity by analyzing contemporary discussions about boys and pornography addiction. While concerns about these issues have been raised in many Western societies for some time, my starting point is recent debates in Sweden, where neuroscience has become a dominant way of framing pornography consumption. I further my discussion by analyzing Gary Wilson’s Your brain on porn, which has been influential to anti-pornography activists and young men desisting from pornography. Central to his claims about pornography addiction is plasticity, which presents the brain as becoming, but also reduces subjectivity and corporeality to mere brain processes. While pornography addiction discourse may make young men to passive recipients of mediated sex, constituting themselves as cerebral subjects also enables a neuro-based care of the self where they are encouraged to abstain from pornography.

    Read more about Boys’ brains on porn
  • Affect and gender-based violence: Event, atmosphere, memory

    2023. Lucas Gottzén. Routledge companion to gender and affect, 90-98


    Drawing upon the example of Annie Ernaux’s memoir A Girls’ Story (2020), and conceptualizing affect as working both within and beyond interpretive frames, this chapter presents three useful concepts when exploring affect and gender-based violence: event, atmosphere, and affective memory. Event refers to both dramatic experiences and the “silent cracks” that may materialize in connection with violence; both enable becoming-other and disintegration of sense. Atmosphere is a concept that stresses how collective, spatial moods may envelop both the violent event and the response from the relational setting. Finally, the chapter foregrounds the concept of affective memory to show how traumatic experiences may, at times, reside in our bodies and continue to affect us no matter how we comprehend the event.

    Read more about Affect and gender-based violence
  • Från befriade män till alfahannar: Remaskulinisering och identitetspolitik i mansrörelserna.

    2023. Lucas Gottzén. Fronesis 76-77, 78-92


    Essän skisserar historiska och samtida mansrörelser, diskutera deras förutsättningar samt presentera två analytiska begrepp användbara för att förstå mäns könspolitiska aktivism: remaskulinisering och identitetspolitik

    Read more about Från befriade män till alfahannar
  • "It’s not just dad who’s got problems": Feminist phenomenology and young men’s violence against women

    2023. Kalle Berggren, Lucas Gottzén. Men and Masculinities


    Research on men who have been violent against women has often shown how these men justify or excuse their violence, minimize their responsibility, as well as construct dominant forms of masculinity. However, as attitudes in support of intimate partner violence are declining around the world, we might expect perpetrators to become less self-righteous and more self-critical about their violence. This article reports data from a qualitative interview study with 14 young partner-violent men in Sweden. While our participants sometimes downplayed their responsibility, more often they condemned violence in intimate relationships, and reflected upon the place of violence in their lives. This included experiences of domestic violence as children, as well as their processes of moving away from violence. Drawing on feminist readings of phenomenology, particularly Heidegger, we suggest that phenomenological conceptualizations of embodiment, consciousness and practice are helpful in understanding the experiences of partner-violent men.

    Read more about "It’s not just dad who’s got problems"
  • Rethinking male peer support theory: Social network responses to young men’s violence against women

    2022. Kalle Berggren, Lucas Gottzén. Journal of Men's Studies 30 (2), 291-307


    Male Peer Support Theory (MPST) is one of the few principal theories about masculinity and men’s violence against women. The theory foregrounds the role of social networks in encouraging violence. This article offers a critical discussion of MPST, particularly the assumption that social networks primarily support violence. Drawing on a qualitative study of young men perpetrators in Sweden, we suggest that the concept of response is better suited than support in capturing the diversity of social network responses to violence. In our data, there were few stories about unmitigated pro-abuse support. Instead, we found responses that unequivocally condemned violence, as well as ambiguous and transformative responses. We suggest that such responses be understood in relation to changing attitudes concerning violence.

    Read more about Rethinking male peer support theory
  • Män, maskulinitet och våldsbejakande extremism: En kunskapsöversikt

    2022. Lucas Gottzén.


    Den överväldigande majoriteten inom våldsbejakande extremistiska miljöerär män, ett faktum som sällan tas i beaktande i arbetet mot våldsbejakande extremism (VBE) eller ses som analytiskt viktigt inom den etablerade forsk- ningen inom området. Män, maskulinitet och VBE är ett växande, men jämförelsevis litet, forskningsfält. Det saknas kunskapsunderlag kring hur maskulinitet påverkar VBE-relaterade problem. Syftet med denna rapport är därför att ge en översikt av forskning kring män, maskulinitet och VBE. Genom att analysera refereegranskad, internationell empirisk forskning publicerad mellan 2000 och 2022 utforskas grundläggande ideologier och praktiker kring män och maskulinitet i extremistiska miljöer och fördjupar den samlade forskningen. Syftet är vidare att belysa kunskapsluckor och behov med bäring på förebyggande arbete mot våldsbejakande extremism. Rapporten redogör för forskning kring maskulinitet och våldsbejakande högerextremism, vålds- bejakande vänsterextremism och våldsbejakande islamistisk extremism samt våldsbejakande misogyni, vilket inkluderar grupperingar där kvinnohat är drivande i det politiska våldet.

    Read more about Män, maskulinitet och våldsbejakande extremism
  • Queering desistance: Chrononormativity, afterwardsness and young men’s sexual intimate partner violence

    2020. Kalle Berggren, Lucas Gottzén, Hanna Bornäs. Criminology & Criminal Justice 20 (5), 604-616


    Queer criminology has primarily focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people as victims and perpetrators of crime, as well as on the criminalization of non-heterosexual practices. In this article, we contribute to the emerging discussions on how queer theory can be used in relation to criminological research by exploring desistance processes from a queer temporality perspective. Desistance research emphasizes how and why individuals cease offending and is often guided by a teleology in which individuals are expected to mature and develop new, non-criminal identities. Work on queer temporality, in contrast, has developed thinking that destabilizes chronology and troubles normative life trajectories. In this article, we draw on queer temporality perspectives, particularly the concepts of chrononormativity and afterwardsness, in analysing narratives of young men who have used sexual violence against women partners in Sweden. We demonstrate how criminal identities may develop in retrospect, after desisting, and that identity and behaviour may not necessarily go together.

    Read more about Queering desistance
  • Chafing masculinity: Heterosexual violence and young men’s shame

    2019. Lucas Gottzén. Feminism and Psychology 29 (2), 286-302


    The role of shame in feminist activism has been debated lately, where scholars particularly have discussed whether shame could enable individuals with privileged positions, such as heterosexual men, to align with vulnerable groups or prevent them from political action. Drawing on written stories submitted to a feminist anti-violence campaign, this paper explores young men's shame of having been sexist or sexually violent. Through displaying shame, they distance themselves from problematic past violent or sexist actions, producing or reconstructing a respectable masculine subjectivity. In their narratives, the young men at times embrace and adopt a "chafing masculinity", that is, an uncomfortable and troubling heteromasculine position. Drawing on these narratives, the paper discusses how shame - by exposing heterosexual men's uncontrolled discomfort and helping men to unlearn privilege - may be a politically progressive emotion and contribute to pro-feminist politics.

    Read more about Chafing masculinity
  • Men, masculinities and intimate partner violence

    2021. .

    Book (ed)

    Men, Masculinities and Intimate Partner Violence examines how gender and other social identities and inequalities shape experiences of, and responses to, violence in intimate relationships. It provides new insights into men as both perpetrators and victims of violence, as well as on how to involve men and boys in anti-violence work.

    The chapters explore partner violence from the perspectives of researchers, therapists, activists, organisations, media as well as men of different background and sexual orientation. Highlighting the distinct and ambivalent ways we relate to violence and masculinity, this timely volume provides nuanced approaches to men, masculinity and intimate partner violence in various societies in the global North and South.

    This book foregrounds scholarship on men and masculinities in the context of intimate partner violence. By doing so, it revitalises feminist theorising and research on partner abuse, and brings together the fields of masculinity studies and studies of intimate partner violence. The book will be a vital resource for students and scholars in criminology, gender studies, psychology, social work and sociology, as well as those working with men and boys.

    Read more about Men, masculinities and intimate partner violence
  • Sociologins teoretiker

    2021. .

    Book (ed)

    Sociologi är studiet av samhället och människan i samhället. Med sociologins hjälp kan vi förstå hur människor ser på sig själva, hur de relaterar till varandra, hur de organiserar sig och hur samhället förändras. Vi kan också lära oss hur sociala problem skapas och hur ojämlikhet och förtryck reproduceras. Att studera sociologi innebär att hela tiden ha blicken riktad åt två håll: utåt mot pågående sociala förändringar, och inåt mot de teorier och begrepp som utvecklats inom sociologin. Ämnet har en lång och rik idétradition. Alltsedan sociologin växte fram som en egen disciplin under 1800-talet har enskilda tänkare och teoretiker varit viktiga för utvecklandet av begrepp och tankemodeller. För att förstå och tillägna sig dessa begrepp och modeller krävs oftast kunskap om respektive tänkares hela teoribygge. Sociologins teoretiker presenterar sjutton tänkare som har varit, och är, avgörande för sociologin. I varje kapitel beskrivs och diskuteras de centrala teorierna och begreppen hos en enskild tänkare, liksom teoretikerns betydelse för sociologin i dag. 

    I denna andra upplaga har samtliga kapitel uppdaterats med nya referenser och forskning. Dessutom har tre nya kapitel tillkommit med samtida teoretiker.

    Boken vänder sig främst till studenter inom sociologi och andra samhälls- och beteendevetenskaper som möter sociologisk teori för första gången.

    Read more about Sociologins teoretiker
  • Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies

    2020. .

    Book (ed)

    The Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies provides a contemporary critical and scholarly overview of theorizing and research on masculinities as well as emerging ideas and areas of study that are likely to shape research and understanding of gender and men in the future. 

    The forty-eight chapters of the handbook take an interdisciplinary approach to a range of topics on men and masculinities related to identity, sex, sexuality, culture, aesthetics, technology and pressing social issues. The handbook’s transnational lens acknowledges both the localities and global character of masculinity. A clear message in the book is the need for intersectional theorizing in dialogue with feminist, queer and sexuality studies in making sense of men and masculinities.

    Written in a clear and direct style, the handbook will appeal to students, teachers and researchers in the social sciences and humanities, as well as professionals, practitioners and activists.

    Read more about Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies
  • Av det känsligare slaget: Män och våld mot kvinnor

    2019. Lucas Gottzén.


    Mäns våld handlar om känslor. Våldsamma män är förbannade, kåta, irriterade och frustrerade. De utsatta kvinnorna och barnen lever i rädsla för att det kan hända igen. Men våldet rör också upp känslor hos andra. När mäns våld diskuteras i tidningar, tv och sociala medier framstår de män som utövar våld som motbjudande. De är värda vårt hat och vår avsky. De är kvinnomisshandlare, våldtäktsmän och tafsande killar på festivaler.   

    Denna bok bygger på mäns och killars berättelser om sitt fysiska och sexuella våld. Den ger unika inblickar i hur de tänker kring våldet, deras skam och rädsla för vad andra ska tycka, deras frustration och ilska när de blir uthängda som våldsverkare. Boken analyserar också hur mäns våld förstås i medier, inom politiken och bland unga.   

    Ett centralt tema är hur våldsamma män förstås som något annorlunda än vanliga, hederliga, jämställda unga killar och familjefäder. Boken handlar också om vad våldsamma män kan lära oss om föreställningar om manlighet. Om att gränsen mellan vi och dem kanske inte är så skarp, och att vi alla är en del av att upprätthålla en kultur där mäns våld mot kvinnor kan fortsätta, trots att det fördöms.    

    Read more about Av det känsligare slaget

Show all publications by Lucas Gottzén at Stockholm University