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Money, Status, Love, and Death: Sexual Relations With Considerably Older Persons in African Societies-A Systematic Review.

Authors
  • Tener, Dafna1
  • 1 Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, 26742Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel. , (Israel)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Trauma Violence & Abuse
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2021
Volume
22
Issue
3
Pages
527–540
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1524838019869092
PMID: 31405358
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sexual relations between adolescents or young persons and considerably older persons are considered illegal or deviant in many countries. Yet legal and social definitions and constructions do not capture the complexity of such relations and the various perspectives surrounding them, including that of those involved and other members in the community. In a previous publication, the author examined perspectives on sexual relationships between minors and older persons in Western societies. The current review broadens the perspective on this phenomenon by examining perceptions of sexual relationships between minors, young adults and older persons in African societies, using a similar approach informed by and adapted according to the unique sociocultural context of the articles reviewed. All samples were located in Africa. All studies were published in English. In the current review, the ages of the adolescents or young adults were higher than in the review of Western societies, up to 25, and the age gaps were higher as well. Three main themes emerged from the meta-analysis: adolescents and young adults' motivations to be involved in sexual relations with an older person, relationship characteristics as perceived by both partners, and the negative consequences of such relationships for the younger partner. The findings are discussed and implications for future studies and practices are suggested, highlighting the important role of sociocultural perceptions and calling for a more nuanced and intellectually modest understanding of the complexity of these relationships.

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