oa Central African Journal of Medicine - The infrequency of homosexuality in traditional Shona society

Volume 25, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



For over 35 years my contact with the tribal trust lands of Mashonaland has been a very close one. Hardly any period during this time was I not working in one of these areas in the country. My work was concerned not only with pure medical matters but extended more widely to embrace any aspect bearing on the customs and social life of the people themselves. I was always in close contact with those responsible for their religious, social and moral behaviour. In the society among whom I moved their attitudes towards sex were clearly defined. It was an offence for any man to despoil an unmarried girl or to commit adultery with a married woman. Any man guilty of such an offence would be summoned before the chief's court, where he would be severely fined. Such irregularities were easy to detect in a society in which everyone lived in close contact with one another.

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