Gendered sexual behavior and marriage in southeastern Nigeria

Daniel Smith, Brown University

The transition from premarital sexual relationships and courtship to marriage and parenthood in southeastern Nigeria involves particularly dramatic adjustments for young women who have absorbed changing ideas about sexuality, marriage and gender equality, and who have had active premarital sexual lives. In the eyes of society, these women must change from being promiscuous girls to good wives. This paper examines these adjustments and, specifically, how young married women’s lives are affected by the reality of male infidelity and a persistent gendered double standard regarding the acceptability of extramarital sex.

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Presented in Session 83: Gender and SRH: issues of masculinity and femininity