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Anthropol Q. 2010 Winter;83(1). doi: 10.1353/anq.0.0118.

Promiscuous Girls, Good Wives, and Cheating Husbands: Gender Inequality, Transitions to Marriage, and Infidelity in Southeastern Nigeria.

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Brown University.


The transition from premarital sexual relationships and courtship to marriage and parenthood in southeastern Nigeria involves particularly dramatic adjustments for young women who have absorbed changing ideas about sexuality, marriage, and gender equality, and who have had active premarital sexual lives. In the eyes of society, these women must transform from being promiscuous girls to good wives. This paper examines these adjustments and, specifically, how young married women's lives are affected by the reality of male infidelity and a persistent gendered double standard regarding the acceptability of extramarital sex.


Nigeria; gender inequality; infidelity; marriage; premarital sex

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