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Sex in Geneva, sex in Lilongwe, and sex in Balaka

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  • Tawfik, Linda
  • Watkins, Susan Cotts
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    Abstract

    This paper compares three interpretations of women and the transmission of HIV in rural Malawi. One is disseminated world-wide by institutions with a global reach such as the World Health Organization in Geneva and United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the second is provided by urban Malawians situated in the capital of Lilongwe, the seat of government and the site of the many international and national non-governmental agencies; the third is articulated by rural women and men in Balaka District, Malawi. We focus on women's motivations for extramarital sex, using qualitative interview data. We find that whereas in Geneva and Lilongwe women from rural Malawi are said to engage in sexual relationships outside of marriage because they need money for survival, in Balaka they are said to be motivated not only by money for survival but also for attractive consumer goods as well as by passion and by revenge for a husband's infidelity. We also find that data collection procedures influence explanations for women's affairs, as does the respondent's gender. An implication of this study is that AIDS-prevention policies based on the view from Geneva and Lilongwe need modification for Balaka, and by implication for rural Africa more generally.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 1090-1101

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:5:p:1090-1101

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    Related research

    Keywords: Malawi Sex perceptions Political economy of sex HIV/AIDS;

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    Cited by:
    1. Ning Hsieh, 2013. "Perceived risk of HIV infection and mental health in rural Malawi," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(13), pages 373-408, February.
    2. Leigh Johnson & Rob Dorrington & Debbie Bradshaw & Victoria Pillay-Van Wyk & Thomas Rehle, 2009. "Sexual behaviour patterns in South Africa and their association with the spread of HIV: insights from a mathematical model," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(11), pages 289-340, September.
    3. Julia Cordero Coma, 2013. "When the group encourages extramarital sex," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(30), pages 849-880, April.
    4. Durevall, Dick & Lindskog, Annika, 2009. "Economic Inequality and HIV in Malawi," Working Papers in Economics 425, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Jan 2010.
    5. Telalagic, S., 2012. "Domestic Production as a Source of Marital Power: Theory and Evidence from Malawi," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1243, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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