African Sexualities: A Reader by Sylvia Tamale

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By Sylvia Tamale

A groundbreaking ebook, obtainable yet scholarly, by means of African activists. It uses research, lifestyles tales, and creative expression—including essays, case reviews, poetry, information clips, songs, fiction, memoirs, letters, interviews, brief movie scripts, and photographs—to learn dominant and deviant sexualities and examine the intersections among intercourse, energy, masculinities, and femininities. It also opens an area, relatively for youth, to consider African sexualities in several methods.

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Jones (1933), too, argued that the girl’s “phallic phase” was essentially defensive. Challenges have also come from a series of studies stemming from infant and child observation. Kleeman (1976), for example, confirmed the importance of learning, cognitive functions, and language, compared to penis envy in the emergence of femininity. He stated that toddlers’ discovery of sexual differences came much earlier than Freud had thought and hence logically could not serve as the initiator of the much later oedipal phase.

Most clinicians (Moulton, 1970) have linked penis envy to problems between the girl and her mother and conceptualize it not as an inevitable or necessary cog in a stepwise schema, but as a passing experience of childhood (Chasseguet-Smirgel, 1970; Frenkel, 1996). In an influential paper, Grossman and Stewart (1976) examine the concept of penis envy, emphasizing the need to analyse its mean- Femininity and the Oedipus complex 43 ings and functions when it appears, rather than reflexively taking it as “bedrock”.

2. , 1976, Parens, 1990), whom we mentioned above, argue that a biologically programmed differentiation of the sexual drive moves the toddler into the oedipal or triangular phase. In terms of other biological pressures towards triangularity, we suggest the girl’s body disposes her to fantasies of being pregnant and, often, being penetrated by her father. But what determines future objectchoice—that is, heterosexual or homosexual—at this stage? After reviewing research on the biological domain and sexual preference, Young-Bruehl (2003) concluded that no causal biological explanation for object choice has yet been found, but that biological factors seem to have some unspecified but as yet unknown influence.

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