In die Skriflig
versión On-line ISSN 1018-6441
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.