Silence, pleasure and agency: sexuality of unmarried girls in Dakar, Senegal
until further notice
SourceContemporary Islam, 3, 1, (2009), pp. 7-24
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
The article investigates the way unmarried Muslim girls in contemporary Dakar construct their sexuality. It explores in what way and to what extent female sexuality is being silenced, and if any, in what way pleasure and sexual agency are present in the narratives of those girls about their intimate lives. Such an analysis is called for in relation to understanding young people’s safe sex practices and concerns about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. Women’s own experiences and understandings are often downplayed in studies that focus on and reproduce the dominant discourse of patriarchal control. This article shows the silencing in a male-centered construction of pre-marital sexuality in Dakar, but also reveals female pleasure and sexual agency. This multi-dimensional understanding of female sexuality of Muslim girls in Senegal provides a more dynamic insight of the power processes surrounding safe sex practices.
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