Sex roles

Moçambique: Homossexualidade – Quando a escolha da orientação sexual fere a “norma ” Social

Moçambique: Homossexualidade – Quando a escolha da orientação sexual fere a “norma ” Social

Maputo, 5 de Dezembro: A homossexualidade tradicionalmente considerada um comportamento desviante e sancionado pela sociedade, tem tido nas últimas décadas, uma maior divulgação, bem como, uma tentativa de reconhecimento e integração na sociedade moderna o que entra em choque com a maioria que considera a heterossexualidade uma relação a ser reconhecida como uma norma de orientação sexual.

International: Quelles vies comptent vraiment?

International: Quelles vies comptent vraiment?

Johannesburg, 5 décembre: Lorsque des amis et la famille me demandent pourquoi je suis plus occupée que d’habitude ces temps-ci, ma réponse plutôt morose et un rien amère est: «Les 16 jours de paroles en l’air me donnent beaucoup Á  faire ».

Resisting responsibilisation : a narrative-discursive analysis of young peoples’ talk about high school sexualities and school sexuality education

The most widespread intervention in South Africa into the sexualities of young people is school based sexuality education. However there is a dearth of research in this area, and studies that have been conducted highlight major weaknesses with implementation. Research from Western countries indicates that the messages conveyed in sexuality education are resisted if they conflict with the desired sexual subjectivities of young people. This indicates a need for further research into desired youth sexualities, and school based sexuality education. While South African studies of young people’s talk about sexualities have been conducted, there is a paucity of literature in this area from a discursive perspective. This study is situated within a feminist post-structuralist paradigm, utilising a performative-performance analytical approach which synthesises Butlerian theory with a narrative-discursive methodology. This approach enables an analysis of both the macro-discursive power webs within which sexualities are situated, and the micro-discursive activity through which sexual subject positions are constructed. I used this approach to analyse the talk of groups of students from a Further Education and Training College about the sexualities of High School learners and their own past sexuality education. Findings showed that that the most dominant discursive resources which were utilised to construct sexualities were societal sexual norms discourses. These foundational discourses constructed gendered sexualities of compulsory hyper-heterosex for men, and compulsory compliant girlfriendhood for women. Such gendered sexualities reinforced patriarchal and abusive gendered and sexual practices. Ways in which participants troubled the dominant gendered sexualities through the performance of alternative sexual positions were analysed, as these ‘troubling’ performances indicate mutable aspects of the normative gendered field. Participants drew on a discourse of disconnect when talking about their school sexuality education, and their parents’ (lack of) communication with them about sex. This suggests that adultist attempts to construct a ‘responsible’ sexual subject position for young people are resisted when such a position is constructed in a non-relational manner. Collusion between the constructed gendered sexualities and the discourse of disconnect results in the un-performability of a ‘responsible’ sexual subject position. These findings were used to provide suggestions for enhancing school based sexuality interventions.

Knowledge and participation of men in antenatal care in the catchment area of kalulushi township clinic in kalulushi district

The purpose of this study was to establish Knowledge and Participation of men in Antenatal care (ANC) in Kalulushi District. It has been observed that very few pregnant women at KTSC in Kalulushi District, are escorted for ANC by their partners.A non-interventional descriptive research design was used because it provided for the description of knowledge, participation in ANC and barriers to non participation of men in ANC. A pilot study was conducted on five respondents at KGC whose characteristics of respondents were the same as the ones for KTSC where the actual study was conducted. Purposive sampling method was used to select fifty respondents since few men attended the clinic where the study was conducted. Collection of data was done by use of structured interview schedule. The data was analysed manually by use of scientific calculator and a data master sheet. Presentation of data was done by use of frequency tables, pie charts and cross tabulations.All the respondents 50 (100%) had high knowledge on men participation in ANC, and 40% were aged between 29 and 35 years old. The study also revealed that 82% respondents were married while 72% had attained the secondary level of education. 16% of respondents had high participation in ANC while 84% had low participation. 14% of the respondents indicated inadequate space at ANC as a barrier for non participation of men in ANC while 42% pointed out cultural hindrances. KDHMT should therefore enact a policy to encourage men to participate in ANC and also to increase space at MCH.

A study to determine how cultural practices and beliefs influence the spread of HIV/AIDS, Lusaka

The study sought to determine how cultural practices and beliefs influence the spread of HIV/AIDS in Lusaka urban. The objectives of the study were to: examine how gender roles make girls and women vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, establish the actual significance of sex education in the spread of HIV/AIDS, explore the risks of HIV infection in the marriage patterns, establish the role of other forms of sex union in the spread of HIV/AIDS.A cross sectional study was carried out from July to August 2000, in Lusaka urban. The researcher divided the eight health zones in Lusaka into four areas (i.e. two zones per area). Matero Girls, Kabulonga Girls, Satung Modern and Arackan Secondary Schools, were randomly selected from the four areas. An open-ended interview questionnaire and focus group guide were used to collect data. Quantitative and qualitative data techniques were used to analyse data. The results revealed that several cultural practices are taught during initiation i.e. sex education lessons (e.g. dry sex, pulling labia minora), Gender roles (e.g. obedience, respect and submission), marriage patterns (e.g. polygamy and spouse inheritance) and Sexual unions (e.g. sexual cleansing).

The experiences and meanings that shape heterosexual fathers’ relationships with their gay sons

Previous research indicates that gay menÀŸs relationships with their mothers are generally more warm, supportive, and emotional than their relationships with their fathers, and that fathers are less likely to be told, less likely to be told first, and more likely to react negatively to disclosure than mothers would. Most of these findings are derived from asking sons to report on their parental relationships. As such, very little is known about the nature of the father-son relationship before, during, and after disclosure, from the fatherÀŸs perspective. The aim of this thesis, therefore, is to uncover and explore first-hand accounts of the experiences and taken-for-granted meanings that potentially shape heterosexual fathersÀŸ relationships with their gay sons. A sample comprising six Afrikaans-speaking, white fathers, between the ages of 53 and 61 years, from a middle to upper-middle income bracket, and residing in Gauteng, South Africa, were selected purposively through the use of opportunistic or convenience sampling. Utilising an interpretivist approach located within the qualitative research paradigm, an individual in-depth interview strategy was adopted as a means of gathering data. A brief questionnaire probing demographic characteristics was also utilised to further contextualise the data obtained in the interviews. All the interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed for later coding and analysis. Through the use of thematic network analysis, eight organising themes were uncovered, including (a) subliminal awareness prior to coming out; (b) epistemic rupture of internal system of beliefs; (c) personal paradigmatic shifts; (d) acceptance as a complex and ongoing dialectical and reconciliatory process; (e) ambiguous loss; (f) persistent history of thought; (f) wrestling with the reason why; and (g) coming out as a dual experience. Each organising theme contained several basic themes. On the whole, the themes support the view that most parents are neither totally rejecting nor fully accepting of their gay sons. The fathers are seen to navigate their way through a plethora of experiences and meanings that are not only likely to inform the development of their multidimensional identities as men and fathers, but also shape their unique relationships with their gay sons. While the fathers may have attained a level of “loving denialÀ in their relationships with their gay sons, most continue to struggle with the meaning and expression of same-sex sexuality, and appear to wrestle with the challenge of integrating their understanding of same-sex sexuality with their constructions of traditional Afrikaner masculinity, as well as their meanings associated with having a gay son. However, unlike prior reports of a poor father-son dyad, the fathers reported a general improvement in their relationship with their gay son after he came out. This discrepancy may be attributed to the possibility that the particular group of fathers who volunteered to discuss their father-son relationships willingly were further along in the acceptance process. Recommendations for future research, includes an exploration of the dynamic interaction between heterosexual and gay constructions of masculinity within the father-son dyad before, during and after disclosure, examining the role that mothers play in influencing the quality of the father-son relationship before, during and after disclosure, uncovering the intra- and inter-personal variables that may facilitate the adaptive adjustment processes among fathers over the longer term, and exploring the contexts and processes associated with transitions within fatherhood across the life course of fathers of gay sons.

The culture of “silent sexuality” amongst the Shambala of Tanzania : towards an intercultural approach in the pastoral ministry

This dissertation aims at discussing the influence of two eminent trends on African culture: modernity and globalization with special reference to the culture of silent sexuality as understood and practiced by the Shambala of Tanzania. It is based on secondary data collected through review of studies, reports, policy documents and surveys from various data sets from national, regional and international organizations. The two trends have not only transported the good side of the economic and social development across the globe and connected people from different cultures or nations in the world, but have also changed the culture of host communities. For example, the change from collectivism social structure that characterizes African society to individualism social structure that characterises the market-oriented culture of western society. This change indicates that without doubt “globalization and modernity are the most important and developed theories of the twentieth centuryÀ (Ritzer 2008:230). The process of globalization for example allows two different cultures to either coexist or create a dynamic or transformation to a new and third type of culture, one to be absorbed by the other. If the new incoming culture dominates local culture to absorb it, it sources a conflict between the two cultures, in this case the conflict between the culture of silent sexuality and the western culture, popularly termed by Mankiw (2007:12) as “cultural westernizationÀ. The trend of cultural westernization of Africa has become very pervasive and prevalent, such that Western civilization has taken precedence over African values and culture and the latter are regarded as inferior to the former. As with other societies and cultures in the developing countries, the impact of western civilization on Africa has occasioned a discontinuity in forms of life throughout the continent. This has led to a cultural dualism that often presents itself as a real dilemma in concrete, real-life situations. In other words, the African experience of modernity and globalization is fraught with tensions at every level of the communal and social settings. The post-independence Africa is confronted with how to have a true identity, a new culture that is African in nature. Before the era of globalization there existed local, autonomous, distinct and well-defined, robust and culturally sustaining connections between geographical place and cultural experience. These connections constituted one’s community “cultural identityÀ. This identity was something people simply had as an undisturbed existential possession, an inheritance, a benefit of traditional long dwelling, of continuity with the past. Identity, then, like language, and other cultural practices, for instance the culture of silent sexuality, were not just descriptions of cultural belonging, they were collective treasures of local communities. But they were also discovered to be something fragile that needed protecting and preserving that could be lost, due to foreign influences. According to Ritzer (2008:231), into this world of diverse, discrete, but to various degrees vulnerable cultural identities there suddenly burst (apparently around the middle of the 1980s) the corrosive power of globalization which has swept like a flood tide through the world’s diverse cultures, destroying stable localities, displacing peoples, bringing a market-driven, “brandedÀ homogenization of cultural experience, thus obliterating the differences between locality-defined cultures which had constituted people’s identities. The Shambala culture of silent sexuality prior to modernity and globalization was aimed at preserving dignity and courtesy in the society. It maintained peace, created a harmonious environment for all people, and stabilized the moral standards of the entire community. Silent sexuality was also connected to the religious meaning of sacredness. Specifically, sex and sexuality were considered sacred and should be abused under no circumstances. The Shambala believed that sexuality was part of life itself; it was liable, by the same token, to be extremely destructive of life if mishandled. Sexual taboos helped to maintain a stable social structure by defining social relationships among members of the family, for example, husband-wife, father-daughter, and mother-son relationships. However, some members of the Shambala society have embraced modernity and globalization which have influenced their traditional sexuality. Sex, to them, is no longer a private matter, and they undermine traditional customs and taboos by regarding them as uncivilized and savage. The result shows that there are many sex related problems which have surfaced among the Shambala, such as unwanted teenage pregnancy, school dropout due to pregnancy and/or early marriage, abortion, rape, child prostitution and other factors. The research findings could serve as a call to the Shambala, the Church and the state to work together to find lasting solutions for the detrimental consequences of recent changes in patterns of sexuality among the Shambala and Tanzanians in general to ratify a gender based anti-violence bill that will be cherished in the constitution to guard women and girls from all forms of sexual violence and create public awareness of the privileges and dignity of women and children.

The interplay between fatherhood and male identity in family life among the Ovawambo of Namibia : a pastoral hermeneutical approach

The goal of this study was to investigate the driving force behind family conflicts, its relation to change in gender roles, male power abuse, and their impact on Ovawambo family life. Firstly, this research indicates that Ovawambo males are trained to be breadwinners, heads of families, owners of family properties, supervisors for their wives and children, and protectors of their families and the entire community. Secondly, the research indicates that both have also influenced the masculine identity of these males. The missionaries, as well as colonialism, promoted Western patriarchy, justified male dominance and reinforced the power of the male as the head of the family and exclusive holder of authority in the family, community and the state. The direct and indirect participation of men in the struggle for Namibian independence also possibly influenced them to apply power and threats. However, this study also indicates that Ovawambo males are under the influence of the modern mass media, which reflect and reinforce gender stereotypes and portray males as controlling or leading characters who tend to dominate women in relationships. Thirdly, this study indicates that the rapid socio-economic and political change, which took place in Namibia after independence, also directly affected Ovawambo male and female relationships. Through law reforms, gender roles were redefined and laws for gender equality were introduced. These laws (the Married Persons’ Equality Act, Family Law on Rape and Domestic Violence and Maintenance Act) challenged the male-dominant norms; thus, the men feel that law reforms favoured only the women. The second purpose of this study was to examine whether a pastoral-anthropological and theological understanding of God’s vulnerability could help pastoral care to address the problem of the Ovawambo male identity within the cultural setting of Namibian males and the notion of power abuse. In order to reframe male identity through a theological understanding of GodÀŸs power, the researcher selected the theopaschitic interpretation of the theology of the cross. The theopaschitic approach renders God’s power, in terms of the Pauline notion of astheneia, as weakness and compassionate vulnerability. The value of theopaschitic thinking, in terms of God’s praxis, is based on a shift from the substantial approach in theological reflection to the relational and encounter paradigm. Through appropriate understanding of the fatherhood of God, Ovawambo men can appreciate their power and ability to enrich relationships, rather than destroy. It is argued that, the power of God interpreted as “weaknessÀ and “vulnerabilityÀ, can contribute to a paradigm change in the interpretation of male identity within the cultural setting of the Ovawambo. The paradigm shift emanating from this theological understanding of power, is from “threat powerÀ (the need to control, to abuse, to dominate) to “intimate powerÀ (the need to comfort, to be compassionate and understanding and to bestow intimacy and love within the dynamics of family and social relationships). The study concluded that the church has a major role to play in helping families to survive the intrusiveness of modern family crises through a holistic systematic pastoral care model. The pastoral ministry of the church should help men to shift from selfishness, enmeshment, domination, dissociation and rejection, towards a healing family environment wherein intimacy, caring, trust, openness, understanding, supportive guidance and respect prevail. The church should fulfil this through models for relational, educational and therapeutic family enrichment programs. Pastoral care is one of the basic ways to promote, not only physical, but also spiritual well-being. It has been argued that an understanding of GodÀŸs power in terms of a theopaschitic interpretation of a theologia crucis can play a fundamental role as regards a theological reframing of the existing patriarchal and hierarchical paradigms. Instead of male dominance, a disposition and attitude of compassionate intimacy is proposed. Such a disposition should reflect a kind of diakonia position within the dynamics of family life. In terms of a Christian spiritual understanding of fatherhood, males should represent the sacrificial ethics of diakonic outreach as well as a stance of unconditional love.

Enacting masculinities: Pleasure to men and violence to women

Feminist anthropologists have shown how women’s bodies have been appropriated and rendered ‘docile’ by so called cultural or traditional practices, as well as by discourse. The compelled docility of African women (as that of other women in the global south), is perhaps especially visible within subtly coerced performances within a context of ‘traditional’ masculinised practices, such as unprotected sex, that leave many African women vulnerable and forced to negotiate a host of health concerns around sexually transmitted diseases and of course HIV/AIDS. This is to be seen as a form of violence perpetrated by men against their female partners. However, in probing condom use through a qualitative study with a small group of women, we notice that it is not simply a case of discerning patterns of hegemonic masculinities in relation to condom use or non-use, and that masculinities are also propped up and held together by the relational configurations of practice formed by (mutual) gender relations.

Narratives of transactional sex on a university campus

Given the imperatives of HIV and gender equality, South African researchers have foregrounded transactional sex as a common practice that contributes to unsafe and inequitable sexual practices. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study with a group of students at a South African university, drawing on narratives that speak to the dynamics of reportedly widespread transactional sex on campus. Since many of these relationships are inscribed within unequal power dynamics across the urban-rural and local-‘foreigner’ divides, and across differences of wealth, age and status that intersect with gender in multiple, complex ways, it is argued that these may be exacerbating unsafe and coercive sexual practices among this group of young people. The paper further argues for a critical, reflexive position on transactional sex, pointing to the way in which participants articulate a binaristic response to transactional relationships that simultaneously serves to reproduce a silencing of a discourse on female sexual desires, alongside a simplistic and deterministic picture of masculinity underpinned by the male sexual drive discourse.