When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958

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University of Illinois Press, Dec 30, 2014 - Social Science - 288 pages
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Breaking new ground in the understanding of sexuality's complex relationship to colonialism, When Sex Threatened the State illuminates the attempts at regulating prostitution in colonial Nigeria.

As Saheed Aderinto shows, British colonizers saw prostitution as an African form of sexual primitivity and a problem to be solved as part of imperialism's "civilizing mission". He details the Nigerian response to imported sexuality laws and the contradictory ways both African and British reformers advocated for prohibition or regulation of prostitution. Tracing the tensions within diverse groups of colonizers and the colonized, he reveals how wrangling over prostitution camouflaged the negotiating of separate issues that threatened the social, political, and sexual ideologies of Africans and Europeans alike.

The first book-length project on sexuality in early twentieth century Nigeria, When Sex Threatened the State combines the study of a colonial demimonde with an urban history of Lagos and a look at government policy to reappraise the history of Nigerian public life.
 

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Contents

Sex and Sexuality in African Colonial Encounter
1
Lagos and the Phenomenon of Colonial Urbanism
24
Prostitution Criminality and Immorality
49
Child Prostitution and Moral Anxiety
73
Race the Medicalization of Sex and Colonial Secur
93
AntiProstitution Law and the Making of a New Socio
113
Chapter 6 Men Masculinities and the Politics of Sexual Control
135
Chapter 7 Lagos Elite Women and the Struggle for Legitimacy
156
Prostitution and Trafficking in the Age of HIVAIDS
170
Notes
183
Bibliography
217
Index
237
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About the author (2014)

Saheed Aderinto is an assistant professor of history at Western Carolina University and co-author of Nigeria, Nationalism, and Writing History.

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