The idea that a young woman has been something of a free sexual agent for most men

Economically, the facets shaping young women’s premarital and married men’s extramarital intimate behavior are complex.

It is certainly the case that such relationships are common in southeastern Nigeria while it would be a mistake to assume that all men’s extramarital sexual behavior takes the form of so called sugar daddy relationships, where young women are perceived to participate in sexual relationships with older married men for economic gain, or to suppose that young unmarried women’s sexual relationships can be completely subsumed under this label (Luke 2005. A few of the characteristics that are typically glossed both in scholastic and popular Nigerian interpretations beneath the label for the sugar daddy phenomenon accurately characterize attributes of the relationships between more youthful unmarried females and older married male enthusiasts. Age and economic asymmetry function prominently in both Nigerian discourse about women’s premarital sexuality and hitched men’s infidelity plus in the particular landscape that is sexual. But even yet in sugar daddy plans, the motivations of both women and married males are frequently multifaceted. Although married males who cheat on their spouses with young solitary ladies are undoubtedly looking for sex, my interviews and observations claim that men’s motives are attached to a selection of aspirations pertaining to the performance of social course and also the enactment of socially rewarded masculinity for male peers (Smith 2007a, 2008).

For young unmarried ladies who partner with older married guys, financial motivations are prominent. It can never be incorrect to claim that the proven fact that females use their sexuality for financial purposes is an effect, to some extent, of sex inequality.

But this kind of interpretation misses their education to which, for a lot of women that are young the capability to use their sex for strategic goals practical knowledge as agentive. In past research, We worked extensively with unmarried people that are youngSmith 2003, 2004a, 2004b). Many unmarried women plainly viewed their sex as being a good resource, never as something which demeaned them. In a culture where most people faces significant hurdles to attaining their social and economic objectives, women’s agency that is sexual numerous desired advantages, including possibilities to carry on advanced schooling, use of work, and also the capability to assist kin. Certainly, the young ladies who are usually to be hitched men’s lovers in sugar daddy relationships aren’t the poorest for the bad, exchanging intercourse for financial assistance as a result of abject poverty, but instead an even more educated and trendy group who will be more disposed to see by themselves as agentive.

The task why these young ladies face is the fact that even because they are in a position to use their intimate desirability to satisfy academic, financial, and social objectives, they need to finally navigate the wedding market, where culture generally speaking and males in specific have actually various expectations for just what they desire in a lady. Igbo culture expects a spouse to be faithful to her spouse and dedicated to her kiddies. The idea that a young woman has been something of a free sexual agent, utilizing her body for economic purposes, or even just for her own pleasure, contradicts the ideal typical image of a good wife for most men. In addition, the increasingly provided expectation that wedding should really be predicated on intimate love is notably in conflict with a far more strategic notion of women’s sex. For that reason, young unmarried ladies are traversing a complex landscape before wedding, while they seek some intimate lovers for solely financial purposes while also maintaining an eye away for a love match, or at the least a person whom could compatibly confer the status of spouse and mom. Exactly just How females guide through these perilous currents and just how they feel the transformation from agentive woman that is single constrained wife, to the stage the place where a husband’s philandering is usually tacitly tolerated, delivers a revealing screen onto the unfolding of sex characteristics into the context of modern southeastern Nigeria’s habits of change to wedding.

Research Practices

This paper attracts on significantly more than a dozen several years of ethnographic fieldwork in southeastern Nigeria and especially on two research projects: one that analyzed the aftereffects of rural migration that is urban the intimate behavior of adolescents and unmarried adults and another that focused on married women’s risk of HIV illness. The very first research addressed just just exactly how young people’s intimate behavior ended up being affected by the difficulties of modification to metropolitan life. The next study, called “Love, Marriage, and HIV,” examined the complex intersection between changing marital ideals and methods in addition to effect among these changes on gendered sexual behavior, specially men’s infidelity. My Nigeria research was element of a larger relative ethnographic project in that we additionally had colleagues employed in Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, and Vietnam (Hirsch et al. 2007, 2009; Parikh 2007; Wardlow 2007; Phinney 2008). 1