Sexual Behavior and Polygyny: Poverty-Driven Slum, Urban, and Rural Differences in Kenya

Yetty Shobo, Pennsylvania State University
F. Nii-Amoo Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University

The prevalence of poverty has been shown to vary in rural, urban, and slum area. Its effect on mate selection and union formation is observed for males and females in Kenya in this study. Multiple partner relationships seem to be an adaptation to poverty. Differences are observed in reproductive dynamics of multi-partner relationships in rural, urban and slum areas of Kenya to see which exemplify the sexual strategy theory. The data used in this study were taken from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and the Nairobi Cross-sectional Slum Survey (NCSS). The slum relationship and sexual behavior dynamics for females exemplify sexual strategy theory (Buss & Schmitt) in that women seek multiple partners to fulfill their resource need. Surprisingly, the same finding is observed for adolescent males. The effect of poverty on mate selection and union formation processes differs significantly by area.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements