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De-sexualised bachelors

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Chapter Summary

In Mankon, the author collected genealogies concerning some 5,000 different persons. Analysing this database, the author came to the conclusion that in about 1900, one in two men remained a bachelor for life, and most of these were also excluded from sex. The slave trade concerned mostly young men, as a result, the proportion of bachelors must have been reduced to a "mere" 30 per cent of the total adult male population residing in Mankon. In Mankon, until the onset of colonisation, the condition of women does not seem to have been particularly harsh or debasing. By marriage, they acquired a status, even if it was a subordinated one to that of their husbands. Maternity, in spite of the serious hazards and the burden it entailed, was rewarding and, in the vast majority of cases, won them the respect of men.

Keywords: colonisation; de-sexualised bachelors; genealogy; Mankon; maternity; slave trade



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