Sexual network partners in Tanzania

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This qualitative analysis of transcripts from focus groups with men and women in Tanzania explores how patriarchal power is reflected in labels used to describe individuals who engage (or not) in multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships. Label research and muted group theory provide theoretical frames to assess how sexual network-related labels are used by women and men. The use of power-embedded labels was found to show women’s identities and agency as muted while maintaining gender inequality through language. Ramifications for sexual health interventions developed in contexts undergoing economic development, increasing egalitarianism, and social modernization are discussed.


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