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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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Prostitution in Buhaya, 1925–69

Prostitution in Buhaya, 1925–69

(p.178) 5 Prostitution in Buhaya, 1925–69
Before HIV

Shane Doyle

British Academy

This chapter details how in colonial Buhaya the scarcity of land suitable for coffee farming enriched elders, delayed young men's establishment of new households, and heightened pressures to secure an heir. Marriage was delayed and destabilized, sexual affairs grew increasingly commodified, and divorcees migrated to East Africa' s cities, where they dominated the region's sex trade, seeking to repay their bridewealth and secure their autonomy. From the 1940s many women who returned from the cities continued to accept money for sex when they resumed village life, trading on their reputation for exotic modernity as well as sexual skill. Meanwhile, many of the broader changes in sexual culture seen in Buganda also affected Buhaya, though the sexuality of young unmarried women remained carefully controlled until near independence. These developments unsurprisingly were the subject of repeated criticism and attempted regulation, but few of the interventions that resulted had a lasting impact.

Keywords:   Buhaya, Tanzania, coffee farming, sexual affairs, divorcees

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