"The fathered fatherless?" disruptions of fatherhood and connections of paternity of offspring of same-sex and spare-sex partners in contemporary Nigeria
Ezinwanyi Adam (Babcock University)
Paper short abstract:
This is a study on disruptions and continuities of paternity and fatherhood of products of 'same-sex' marriage and 'spare' sex partners in Nigeria. It considers the clash between the indigenous African and Eurocentric models and practices of paternity and impact on identified victims and society
Paper long abstract:
African traditions provide indigenous solutions to specific health and social problems such as impotency, barrenness, and male-child-succession syndrome. Examples of such provisions are 'same-sex' marriage - women marrying women and 'spare' husband - a secret male sex partner who does the fertilization for the sole purpose of succession and inheritance. The result of the unions is the birth of children whose identity and paternity experience disruptions, particularly in adherence to norms based on Anglo-American standards despite acceptable and recognized methods or strategies adopted by traditional societies, which have been in practice even before colonization, to, legally, protect such children's paternities and self-identities. This paper, therefore, is a qualitative study of the disruptions and continuities in the identity and paternity of products of 'same-sex' marriage and 'spare' sex partners in contemporary Nigeria. It considers the clash between the indigenous African and Eurocentric models and practices of paternity and the impact on identified victims and society as portrayed in narratives and popular cultures. The study adopts the descriptive and in-depth analytical methods and finds the literary approaches of feminism, psychoanalysis and new historicism very relevant. The paper finds some notions regarding the identity and paternity of the 'fatherless' as misguided and Eurocentric, and reasserts, according to accepted norms and traditions of Nigerian people, persons not to be regarded as fatherless and whose paternity are never to be questioned. This paper stems from research carried out as an African Humanities Program (AHP) Postdoctoral Fellow under the auspices of Carnegie Incorporation, New York.
Continuities and disruptions in 'doing fatherhood' in Africa