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Sex, custom and population: a Nigerian example

Peter J Ezeh, University of Nsukka, Nigeria

Sexuality is key to the social life of the Orring, a minority ethnolinguistic group in south-eastern Nigeria. Like in most so-called simple societies, rules on sexual conduct also govern such relational principles as marriage, descent and kinship. But here they go a little further than this because propriety or otherwise of sexual conduct is not limited to the acts of sexual partners. It affects also the status of children of such partners or those that may be socially connected with them at other levels. Relying on ethnographic data from two Orring communities, this paper argues that population policies that ignore local customs may not deliver their expected impacts. A cross-disciplinary approach to population policy issues is suggested.

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Presented in Session 82: Sexuality in the African context