Attitude towards sexual control among women in conjugal union in the era of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Mahikeng, South Africa

Godswill N Osuafor, Akim J Mturi


Husbands continue to be the greatest source of sexually transmitted infections including HIV to their wives. Using a survey of 568 respondents and 33 in-depth interviews, this study examined the attitudes of women in marital and steady relationships towards sexual control in Mahikeng. Data analysis using logistic regression showed that age, type of union, education, occupation, and number of living children were significantly associated with attitudes towards rejecting sex.  Additionally, age, type of union, education, and number of living children were found to be significantly associated with demand for sex. Qualitative data revealed that social-cultural factors influence the disposition of most women regarding demanding or rejecting sex from their husbands. Their attitudes to sexual control are intertwined with cultural, religious belief and perception that husbands have sexual right over their wives. Women empowerment initiatives should continue to be considered as a means to assist women to control their sexuality.


Sex; Sexual control; HIV/AIDS; sexually transmitted infections; South Africa

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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