International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


Traditional perspectives and control mechanisms of adolescent sexual behavior in Kenya

Felix Ngunzo Kioli1, Allan Rosh Were1 and Kennedy Onkware2*
  1Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Maseno University-Kenya. 2Department of Emergency Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology-Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 December 2011
  •  Published: 31 January 2012



The discourse of this paper is on theoretical perspectives on mechanisms applied by selected traditional Kenyan ethnic groups to induct, control and check sexual behavior of adolescents. The sexual behavior of the adolescents has been an area of concern for a long time to societies throughout the globe. In Kenya, traditional societies had premised this concern on the understanding that if not checked; sexual behavior of adolescents could not only jeopardize the social order but also the overall functioning of the society. In view of this, majority of traditional Kenyan cultural groups are documented to have applied elaborate mechanisms of socializing, controlling and regulating sexual behavior of the adolescents until they became of age. These control mechanisms varied cross culturally but each society endeavored to produce a well adapted young person, with standard morals and keen to perpetuate it. While majority of the societies enacted strict restrictive measures to regulate and check adolescent sexual behavior, only one cultural group in Kenya allowed adolescents to express as well as, get involved sexually.


Key words: Adolescent, sexual behavior, sexuality, traditional mechanisms.