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Virginity Testing as a Local Public Health Initiative: A 'Preventative Ritual' More Than a 'Diagnostic Measure'
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0587-3399
2019 (English)In: Cultural Anthropology: Contemporary, Public, and Critical Readings / [ed] Keri Vacanti Brondo, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 2, p. 313-320Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter focuses on virginity testing in Nkolokotho in northeastern rural KwaZulu Natal. I argue that testing is a strategy that involves the deployment of collective pressure and symbolic means both to increase the individual’s and the community’s responsibility for sexual relations, and to strengthen girls’ and women’s positions at a time of chronic HIV/AIDS. In the absence of effective measures against AIDS, inhabitants try to find alternative ways to protect young people. An older tradition that emphasizes the status of virgin girls and the significance of the collective is used in a strategy that incorporates HIV blood tests. I show how virginity testing is a ‘preventive ritual’ more than a ‘diagnostic measure’, while emphasizing how both South African and Western projects aimed at improving the situation are grounded in perspectives that sometimes collide with how local people conceive of both relationships and sexuality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 2. p. 313-320
National Category
Social Anthropology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158071ISBN: 9780190925239 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-158071DiVA, id: diva2:1329261
Available from: 2019-06-24 Created: 2019-06-24 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Wickström, Anette

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  • apa
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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