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The State of Knowledge on Sexuality in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Synthesis of Literature

Chi-Chi Undie, Kabwe Benaya


Sexuality as a field remains an underdeveloped domain in sub-Saharan Africa, with few scholars demonstrating keen interest in, and focus on, the subject. Ironically, sexuality underlies numerous socio-economic and development challenges currently confronted in sub-Saharan Africa. The challenges facing the region are numerous most notably, perhaps, the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The urgent need to stem the disease has necessitated an almost exclusive focus on behavior change. This has, unfortunately, limited a fuller understanding of sexuality and how it is conceptualized and applied in various societies in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this paper is, thus, to synthesize accessible literature that examines sexuality as a broad concept within the context of sub-Saharan Africa. By so doing, the paper attempts to fill in gaps left by the conventional approach to sexuality in SSA, which has typically fixated upon crises related to sexuality, to the neglect of more conceptual issues that are equally important to define. In a word, the paper presents the knowledge base on sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa that has emerged as a consequence of the regions socio-economic and development challenges. It then examines sexuality issues more comprehensively, in an attempt to redress some of the imbalance within the base of knowledge that is most readily available in the region.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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