Original Research

Pastoral care to or with sex-starved pregnant women in an African context

Magezi E. Baloyi, Matsobane J. Manala
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a109 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.109 | © 2013 Magezi E. Baloyi, Matsobane J. Manala | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 July 2012 | Published: 12 September 2013

About the author(s)

Magezi E. Baloyi, Department of Practical Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Matsobane J. Manala, Department of Practical Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

The aim of this article is to highlight some African women’s problematic sex life, even in their married lives, as a result of prescribed and lengthy periods of abstinence from sex – especially during pregnancy. Literature studies, especially on Yoruba sexual practices, showed that forced abstinence from sexual activity during pregnancy is rife and that many women seem content with the situation, probably as a result of their internalisation of patriarchal beliefs and values, prescribed as a means of socialisation. This phenomenon of abstinence from sexual intercourse during pregnancy by the women in some African societies is the focus of the study. The article examined the following: views of sex amongst Black African people, medical views of sex and views of sex in Christian tradition. Also examined at length was the phenomenon of abstinence from sex in an African context. The findings led to a critical evaluation of the phenomenon and a search for pastoral guidelines that could facilitate transformation, intimacy and committed sexual life in African families.

Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die problematiese seksuele lewens van sommige vrouens in Afrika na vore te bring. Die probleme kom voor ten spyte van die feit dat hulle getroud is omdat lang tydperke van onthouding, veral tydens swangerskap, vir hulle voorgeskryf word. ’n Literatuurstudie, veral oor die Yoruba se seksuele praktyke, dui daarop dat gedwonge onthouding van seksuele aktiwiteite gedurendede swangerskap heersend is. Verder kom dit ook voor asof baie vrouens nie daarmee probleme ervaar nie, waarskynlik as gevolg van hulle geïnternaliseerde patriargale oortuigings en waardes, wat vir sosialiseringsdoeleindes voorgeskryf word. Hierdie studie fokus op die verskynsel van onthouding van geslagsomgang gedurende swangerskap deur vrouens in sommige Afrika-gemeenskappe. Die artikel ondersoek die volgende: Swart Afrikane se tradisionele seksbeskouing, die mediese seksbeskouing en die Christelike tradisie se seksbeskouing. Die verskynsel van seksonthouding in ’n Afrika-konteks word ook ondersoek. Die bevindinge lei tot ’n kritiese evaluering van die fenomeen en die soeke na pastorale riglyne wat transformasie, intimiteit en toewyding in seksuele verhoudings in families in Afrika sou kon fasiliteer.


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