Analysing the economies of transactional sex amongst young people: case study of Madagascar.
de Dieu Randrianasolorivo, Jean.
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This article aims to explore the social and economic determinants of transactional sexual (TS) relationships in Madagascar, to explain the normalisation of this type of relationship amongst young women, and the increasing involvement of young men. We aim to contribute to existing research on TS by showing the complexities of the meanings and pathways into TS which are not limited to economic necessity, and the blurred boundaries between TS and other forms of sexual exchange. We will argue that for young women in Madagascar engaging in TS is a choice which is constrained by structures of poverty and wider gender inequality, structures which lead to the transformation of traditional gender norms within a wider globalised economy of sexual exchange. These highly unequal structures can further be argued to perpetuate and reproduce various forms of violence both through the modification of traditions and customs, and within newer forms of TS relationships such as those with foreign men. Whilst it might seem an impossible task to address all these determinants of TS relationships in Madagascar in order to reduce the constraints and violence exercised against these young women, their situation could be improved through better programmes and services addressing their needs, and particularly their sexual and reproductive health needs.