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Before HIVSexuality, Fertility and Mortality in East Africa, 1900-1980$
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Shane Doyle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265338

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265338.001.0001

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Early Colonial Sexuality and Fertility

Early Colonial Sexuality and Fertility

(p.105) 3 Early Colonial Sexuality and Fertility
Before HIV

Shane Doyle

British Academy

This chapter examines why Buganda and Buhaya's population crisis was regarded by European observers as resulting much more from sub-fertility rather than excess mortality. The perception that urbanization, the cash economy, Christianity, and the legal protection of women's rights discouraged the young from marrying and undermined sexual restraint provoked a series of interventions aimed at reforming marriage, gender relations, and sexual behaviour, and so curbing syphilis, the presumed cause of these societies' low birth rates and high miscarriage and stillbirth rates. These reforms though were marked by ambiguity and inconsistency, tending to undermine the institutions that they aimed to support. The chapter also analyses the contrasting experience of Ankole, where the chiefly hierarchy was relatively successful in its attempt to stabilize marriage and maximize fertility.

Keywords:   Tanzania, Uganda, Ankole, Buganda, Buhaya, sexuality, fertility, syphilis, gender, marriage

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