Women's Economic Status and Sexual Negotiation: Re-evaluation of the 'Normative Precedent' in Tanzania
MetadataShow full item record
Women's ability to negotiate the conditions and circumstances of sexual relations is central to their sexual and reproductive health, including mitigating HIV risk. In Africa, gender-based power imbalances constrain women's sexual agency. Research has suggested that among couples in sub-Saharan African countries, such as Uganda and Nigeria, sexual decision making is defined by a ‘normative precedent’ in the form of a set of rules and practices conferring sexual authority on men. Using qualitative data among women in paid work and among men, this study explored interpersonal relations and sexual negotiation in Tanzania. Data were collected in two sites, Dar es Salaam and Mbeya. The normative precedent for sexual decision making was universally understood by men and women. Women did not perceive paid work as giving them greater bargaining power in the domain of sex. In Mbeya, a high-HIV area, some women perceived that refusing sex would encourage men to have additional sexual partners, thus increasing their susceptibility to HIV. Other women, however, believed that suspicions about men's behaviour combined with accurate HIV knowledge, provided leverage for women to refuse sex. In both sites, challenges to the normative precedent were evident, particularly among younger men. Both men and women expressed a preference for equality in sexual decision making.
CitationSeema Vyas (2020) Women’s economic status and sexual negotiation: re-evaluation of the ‘normative precedent’ in Tanzania, Culture, Health & Sexuality, 22:10, 1097-1111, DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1652933
Rights holderCopyright © Informa UK Limited
- Gender