Cover for ADERINTO: When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

When Sex Threatened the State

Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958

Examining the intersection of sex work and the imperial project in British Nigeria

British colonizers saw prostitution as a distinctively African form of sexual primitivity and as a problem to be solved as part of the "civilizing mission" they used to morally justify imperialism. Saheed Aderinto details the Nigerian response to imported sexuality laws and the contradictory ways both British and African reformers advocated for prohibition or regulation of prostitution. Tracing the tensions within diverse groups of colonizers and the colonized to highlight their concerns, he reveals how wrangling over prostitution camouflaged the negotiating of separate issues that threatened the social, political, and sexual ideologies of Africans and Europeans alike.

The first book-length project on sexuality in early twentieth century Nigeria, When Sex Threatened the State combines the study of a colonial demimonde with an urban history of Lagos and a look at government policy to provide a cutting-edge reappraisal of the history of Nigerian public life.

"The first comprehensive history of sexuality of colonial Nigeria, Aderinto's book is an invaluable addition to both historiographies of colonial Africa and African sexualities."--Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality

"This book makes important inroads in the history of sexuality and gender, childhood, urban history, colonialism, the military, and the history of medicine in Africa and in twentieth-century world history."--American Historical Review

"A rigorous and innovative study of illicit sexuality and attempts at regulating it in colonial Lagos. . . . Without question the most detailed and systematic examination of prostitution in west Africa. . . . This is an innovative, well-researched, and extremely valuable work of scholarship."--Steven Pierce, author of Farmers and the State in Colonial Kano: Land Tenure and the Legal Imagination

"A significant contribution to Nigerian and African historical studies as well as to the study of sex and sexuality within the British Empire."--Gloria Chuku, author of Igbo Women and Economic Transformation in Southeastern Nigeria

Saheed Aderinto is an assistant professor of history at Western Carolina University and coauthor of Nigeria, Nationalism, and Writing History.

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