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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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Marriage and Sexuality in Buganda, 1925–69

Marriage and Sexuality in Buganda, 1925–69

(p.139) 4 Marriage and Sexuality in Buganda, 1925–69
Before HIV

Shane Doyle

British Academy

This chapter firstly examines how cash cropping heightened gender and generational tensions within colonial Buganda. As female labour increased in value, so did bridewealth demands. As in much of Africa, high divorce rates and delayed marriage were the most obvious results. But the unusual openness of mid-colonial Ganda society facilitated the development of a distinctive sexual culture. Opportunities for women to set themselves up as independent householders arose from Buganda's freehold land tenure, its largely unregulated urban centres, and legal protections for widows. During the middle decades of the twentieth century, meanwhile, new forms of socializing provided Ganda of all ages with opportunities to acquire new sexual partners, increasingly across generations, fostered a growing tolerance of non-marital sex, and facilitated ever wider urban-rural sexual networks. The sexuality of the young changed fastest, due to schooling, parental employment, a new culture of adolescence, and resentment at excessive bridewealth demands.

Keywords:   Uganda, Buganda, bridewealth, divorce, marriage, widows, generation, sexuality, adolescence

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