Love, Sex, and the Modern Girl in 1930s Southern Africa

Lynn M. Thomas

in Love in Africa

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226113524
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226113555 | DOI:
Love, Sex, and the Modern Girl in 1930s Southern Africa

Show Summary Details


This chapter places white South African anthropologists' discussions of sex during the 1930s to contemporaneous debates about love that appeared in the black South African newspaper Bantu World. Specifically considered are editorials, articles, and letters that appeared in the newspaper Bantu World. This newspaper was the first to provide extensive discussion and advice regarding courtship and marriage. Its writers may well have rejected Isaac Schapera's assessment that most African marriages—or at least their Christian ones—lacked deep personal attachment. On the other hand, through deploying the flapper and modern girl, Schapera sought to ensure that his detailed accounts of courtship and marriage supported rather than sabotaged his view that southern Africa was becoming a single society. Thus, his deployment of the modern girl partially resonated with that of Bantu World's male writers.

Keywords: love; sex; Bantu World; courtship; African marriages; Isaac Schapera; modern girl

Chapter.  10764 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.