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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Working through a paradox about sexual culture in South Africa: tough sex in the twenty-first century
Author:Steinberg, JonnyISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Volume:39
Issue:3
Pages:497-509
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:sexuality
attitudes
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070.2013.818848
Abstract:South African sexual culture appears to embody a paradox. Sex, and the comfortable fact that everyone is having it, pervades the surface of South African life. Yet South Africa is also a country where the stigma associated with being HIV-positive is notoriously unforgiving. Breezy licentiousness and dark opprobrium appear to live at close quarters. Recent scholarship has been stumped by this paradox; most scholars attempt to deal with it by dissolving one pole of the paradox, arguing that HIV stigma in fact has nothing to do with sexual shame. The author argues here that easy public talk about sex and deep sexual shame do indeed inhabit the same sexual culture and are in fact symptoms of the same syndrome. In a context of chronic unemployment, where paths to adulthood have been delinked from work, the sex lives of young adults have been infantilised. Incessant public talk about sex is a manifestation of this infantilisation for it is a sign of the diminishment of the dignity of the sex lives of those who live in the aftermath of South Africa's 'patriarchal bargain'. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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