Promiscuous Girls, Good Spouses, and Cheating Husbands: Gender Inequality, Transitions to Marriage

Promiscuous Girls, Good Spouses, and Cheating Husbands: Gender Inequality, Transitions to Marriage

Daniel Jordan Smith

The change from premarital intimate relationships and courtship to wedding and parenthood in southeastern Nigeria involves specially dramatic alterations for young women that have actually absorbed changing some ideas about sexuality, wedding, and gender equality, and who may have had premarital that is active life. These women must transform from being promiscuous girls to good wives in the eyes of society. This paper examines these modifications and, especially, just exactly just how young hitched women’s lives are influenced by the truth of male infidelity and a persistent gendered dual standard about the acceptability of extramarital intercourse.

In Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, like in a number of other elements of the whole world, teenagers increasingly imagine that being in love is a foundation so you can get hitched (Hirsch and Wardlow 2006, Cole and Thomas 2009). Historically, the increase of intimate love as a marital ideal has often been observed to be connected with greater gender equality, as alterations in expectations for and methods in wedding are associated with the erosion of a highly intercourse division that is segregated of. In lots of settings, transformations within the characteristics of marital closeness have already been interpreted as providing ladies the likelihood of utilizing psychological leverage with regards to husbands to negotiate more equitable domestic plans (Collier 1997, Hirsch 2003, Rebhun 1999). However in Nigeria alterations in wedding plus in the public and private proportions of sex asymmetry haven’t happened uniformly or beyond the influence that is continuing of kinship systems and structures of inequality. Extensive families and their objectives continue steadily to influence young people’s selection of a partner. Further, as soon as a couple of is married, kin relationships frequently impinge on modern life that is conjugal maybe many overtly pertaining to fertility and parenting.

A gendered unit of labor continues to characterize numerous spheres of Nigerian social life, even while urbanization, formal education, and broader styles toward individualism create modifications that push against entrenched gendered organization that is social.

In this specific article, We give attention to young women’s experiences and handling of the change from premarital relationships that are sexual courtship to wedding and parenthood in southeastern Nigeria. We examine just how love being a relationship perfect changes after wedding and, particularly, exactly exactly just how young hitched women’s lives are influenced by the truth of the persistent sex dual standard about the acceptability of extramarital intercourse. We argue that the transformation that is significant when you look at the nature of women’s agency plus in the forms of leverage they will have along with their guys as his or her identities move from single to married. In wedding, women can be constrained in lots of ways they failed to experience once they were solitary, even while they will have brand brand new capabilities, having accomplished a status this is certainly very respected.

These modifications, as well as the means females adapt to them, emphasize the complex and multivalent proportions of sex characteristics within the context of modern Nigerian courtship and wedding.

The change to wedding is without question described as noteworthy modifications. Almost the onset is marked by every society of wedding with rituals that signify and facilitate these transformations. Nonetheless, wedding in contemporary southeastern Nigeria appears to include specially dramatic corrections for young women that have actually consumed changing some ideas about sex, wedding, and gender equality, and who may have had active premarital sexual lives. As Nigeria gets to be more metropolitan and also as many females attend additional college, an important majority of young women can be confronted with these new tips. Further, the majority of women are intimately active before marriage. These people that are young considerable challenges while they confront society’s objectives for married females. Underlying an even more structure that is rigid of roles for females after wedding is that, despite many changing a few ideas about sex, wedding, and sex relations, both women and men still see wedding and parenthood whilst the sine qua non of a life well resided (Fortes 1978, Smith 2001).

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