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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Talking about Sex: Contemporary Construction of Sexuality in Rural Kenya
Author:Prazak, Miroslava
Year:2000
Periodical:Africa Today
Volume:47
Issue:3-4
Period:Fall
Pages:82-97
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:Kuria
sexuality
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Women's Issues
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Cultural Roles
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v047/47.3prazak.pdf
Abstract:In the eyes of the Kuria community in southwestern Kenya, circumcision marks the beginning of adolescent sexuality; and for girls, the coming out of seclusion following circumcision signals their eligibility for marriage. Today, more and more adolescents spend the years following circumcision completing their primary education. The growing importance of education is helping to redefine sexual roles and expectations, but has not yet become fully integrated into the discourse needed to define guidelines for regulating adolescent sexuality to reflect more closely the contemporary situation. Drawing on gossip, interviews, and fertility histories of men and women, young and old, opinion polls of adolescents, and popular press and the media, this paper traces perceptions of appropriate and inappropriate sexuality and how these reflect changes in the political economy of rural Kenya, in moral values and in the notions of agency. The paper shows that grandparents and peers continue to be the main sources of knowledge and information on sexuality. As the arbiters of norms and values, grandparents convey reproduction as the goal of sexual activity; peers provide a more practice-oriented perspective. The ideology of sex for procreation remains the normative guide to sexual behaviour. Bilbiogr., notes, ref., sum.
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