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 especially dramatic modifications for young women that have actually consumed changing tips about sex, wedding, and gender equality, and who may have had active premarital sexual life. When you look at the eyes of culture, these ladies must transform from being promiscuous girls to good spouses. This paper examines these modifications and, particularly, exactly gay hairy men how young hitched women’s lives are influenced by the truth of male infidelity and a gendered that is persistent standard in connection with acceptability of extramarital intercourse.

In Africa’s most country that is populous Nigeria, such as other elements of the entire world, young adults increasingly suppose being in love is really 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 sensed to be connected with greater sex equality, as alterations in objectives for and techniques in wedding are linked with the erosion of a highly intercourse segregated unit of labor. In a lot of settings, transformations when you look at the characteristics of marital closeness have already been interpreted as providing females the alternative of utilizing psychological leverage making use of their husbands to negotiate more equitable domestic plans (Collier 1997, Hirsch 2003, Rebhun 1999). However in Nigeria alterations in wedding plus in the general public and private proportions of sex asymmetry never have taken place uniformly or beyond the influence that is continuing of kinship systems and structures of inequality. Extended 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 often impinge on modern life that is conjugal maybe many overtly pertaining to fertility and parenting.

A gendered unit of labor will continue to characterize numerous spheres of Nigerian social life, even as urbanization, formal education, and broader styles toward individualism create changes that push against entrenched gendered social company.

In this essay, We focus on 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 just how love as being a relationship perfect changes after wedding and, especially, just exactly how young hitched women’s lives are influenced by the truth of a gender that is persistent standard about the acceptability of extramarital intercourse. We argue that a transformation that is significant within the nature of women’s agency plus in the sorts of leverage they’ve making use of their guys as their identities move from single to married. In wedding, women can be constrained in lots of ways they failed to experience once they had been solitary, even while they will have brand brand new capabilities, having accomplished a status this is certainly extremely respected.

These modifications, while the real ways ladies adapt to them, emphasize the complex and multivalent proportions of sex characteristics into the context of modern Nigerian courtship and wedding.

The transition to wedding happens to be described as noteworthy changes. Almost the onset is marked by every society of wedding with rituals that signify and facilitate these transformations. However, wedding in modern southeastern Nigeria appears to include particularly dramatic changes for young ladies who have actually absorbed changing a few ideas about sexuality, wedding, and gender equality, and who may have had active premarital sexual life. A significant majority of young women are exposed to these new ideas as Nigeria becomes more urban and as most females attend secondary school. Further, the majority of women are intimately active before wedding. These young adults face considerable challenges because they confront society’s objectives for married females. Underlying an even more rigid framework of sex functions for females after wedding is that, despite many changing ideas about sexuality, wedding, and sex relations, both women and men nevertheless view wedding and parenthood once the sine qua non of a life well resided (Fortes 1978, Smith 2001).