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Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men, and Ancestral Wives: Female Same-Sex Practices in Africa Paperback – June 30, 2006
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The study trained women to interview lesbians in their native country. Each "author" talked with 3-5 women, but none were able to keep any of the audiotapes they may have used because of the fear their subjects had of discovery, so most of the interviews quoted were from memory.
There were quite a few common themes that emerged. Most of the countries in the study outlawed homosexuality but did not specifically mention lesbians. If a country did not consider it a crime, it still used legal discrimination and sometimes used religion to shame lesbians for their "immoral" behavior. Namibia and South Africa were the exceptions. Both countries have legal rights barring some form of discrimination based on sexual orientation. While most of the women in the study had these feelings from grade school, they were closeted. Sometimes they were involved with men to cover up their sexuality or to get pregnant.
All of the countries represented had male-dominated societies with some giving no rights, land and inheritance to women. But even within these societies, some women challenged stereotypical female roles.Read more ›