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Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly

Editor-in-Chief: Višnovský, Emil

Ed. by Bianchi, Gabriel / Hrubec, Marek / Tartaglia, James

CiteScore 2018: 0.26

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.288
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.221

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Volume 22, Issue 2


Transactional sex and the ‘aristo’ phenomenon in Nigerian universities

Oludayo Tade / Adeshewa Adekoya
Published Online: 2012-03-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-012-0020-5


‘Aristocratic’ transactional relationships are widespread in Nigerian universities. Nigerian cultures positively sanction repressive sexual activities among single unmarried adolescents until the wedding night. Modernity has confronted this cultural prescription, as youths, particularly girls, engage in transactional exchange in different contexts. However, the literature on transactional sex in the ivory towers is not rich enough on client recruitment and management among female undergraduates in Nigeria. This study utilised in-depth interviews to collect data from 30 purposively selected female undergraduates. Findings show that the prostitution label is substituted for ‘runs-girls’, as a distinct social category. Clients are recruited on and off campus through mastery of routine activities of ‘aristocrats’ on campus, connection and referrals. The ‘aristos’ include wealthy postgraduate students, politicians, business men, and military personnel, among others. The sex work is undertaken on and off campus, in hotels or in the private residences of ‘runs-girls’. ‘Aristocratic’ transactional sex is sustained by erotic capital, including dexterous bed skills, such as sucking and romance. Luxury possessions, such as cars, BlackBerry phones and social security (job placement) after school life are the perceived derivable benefits of the erotic association. Provision of part-time jobs for vulnerable students could positively reduce transactional sex in ivory towers.

Keywords: aristocrats; transactional sex; erotic capital; Ivory tower; Nigeria

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About the article

Published Online: 2012-03-20

Published in Print: 2012-04-01

Citation Information: Human Affairs, Volume 22, Issue 2, Pages 239–255, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, ISSN (Print) 1210-3055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-012-0020-5.

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© 2012 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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