Cattle for Wives and Extramarital Trysts for Husbands? Lobola, Men, and HIV/STD Risk Behavior in Southern Africa

University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research, 3535 Market Street, Ste. 520, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309.
Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 01/2011; 21(1):73-81. DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2011.534903
Source: PubMed


Lobola is in many Southern African countries a tradition, which is expected to be adhered by anyone who is part or want to be part of the community. It is about paying respect to the elders, the family and the community. It is a significant element of marriage among many tribes and there are strict rules to adhere. In order to determine how much the actual fact of payment of lobola would influence the behavior of husbands and wives, we conducted several focus group discussion with men, women, mixed groups and couples. We analyzed the data collected during these sessions and compared these with the literature. Many participants see lobola as part of their African culture, although they wished that they would not actually have to pay lobola. We could not determine a difference in the husband's behavior, whether they had paid lobola or not and having extramarital affairs.

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