IndexAfricaIvory Coast

The mother generally takes care of sexual instructions at girl’s puberty rites (Aka-Anghui et al., 1972)[1]. One study examined the sexual behaviour of pre-adolescents (aged 9 to 14) in schools in Abidjan (Aonon, 1993)[2]. In a concurrent study on their parents[3], the following was observed:


“There is a strong influence of what we might call the “traditional model” (mimicry and things left unsaid) on the parents’ conception of sexuality. They have lived in a context where there was a family taboo on the subject of sexuality, hence it was never spoken of. Even when sex could be alluded to indirectly, in terms that the children might be able to understand, they were always left in ignorance by the parents, and by the extended family too (by all the preceding generation, in fact). The parents realize that they must speak to the children about sex, but do not know how to bring the subject up. They believe that sex education is the responsibility of the family (93%) but they do not talk much about sexuality with their children, and leave it to the school to teach them (54%), giving priority to the “moral” aspects of the question (they hope that the children will be taught a code of good conduct and that teachers will speak about fidelity or abstinence, rather than contraception)”.


Clitoridectomy “includes sexual education by means of sensuous dances and songs [in which] sexual liberty is accorded the youth of both sexes”[4].

In a recent study[5] on students, the average age of the first sex was 14.3 and 15.6 years in males and females, respectively. According to another study: “En Côte d’Ivoire, la moyenne d’âge d’entrée en activité sexuelle est de 15,48 ans dans la population adolescente. Cependant, les filles entrent en activité sexuelle en moyenne beaucoup plus tôt que les garçons (15,38 ans contre 15,91 ans). Par ailleurs, tandis qu'à 16,47 ans la moitié des filles a déjà eu un premier rapport sexuel, cet âge se situe à 17,19 ans pour les garçons”[6].




Additional refs:


·        Adams, M. J. (1991) Celebrating Women: Girls’ Initiation in Canton Boo, Wè/Guéré Region, Côte d'Ivoire, L'Ethnographie 86,2:81-115

·        CRLP (2000) Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: Francophone Africa. Progress Report, p111-32

·        Dago-Akribi, Hortense Aka & Marie-Chantal Cacou Adjoua (May 2004) Psychosexual Development among HIV-Positive Adolescents in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Reproductive Health Matters 12,23:19-28

·        Holas, B. (1957) L’Evolution du Schéma Initiatique Chez les Femmes Oubi (Région de Tai, Côte d'Ivoire), Africa 27,3: 241-50

·        Holas, B. (1962) Les Toura: Esquisse d'une Civilisation Montagnard de Côte D'Ivoire. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (pp. 104-10 about female genital operations)

·        Silberstein, A. J. (1977) Circoncision Féminine en Côte d’Ivoire, Ann Société Belge de Médecine Tropicale 57,3 :129-35

·        EXCISION IN COTE D'IVOIRE. Women's International Network News, Autumn2002, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p42

·        Talnan, E. et al. (nd) Social inequalities and at risk sexual behaviours among teenagers in urban Ivory Coast. L'Association Internationale des Démographes de Langue Française [http://www-aidelf.ined.fr/colloques/seance5/t_talnan.pdf]

·        http://www.interpol.int/Public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLaws/csaCoteivoire.asp






Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Dec 2004


[1] Aka-Anghui et al. (1972) La femme et l’éducation dans les sociétés traditionelles, exemple Cote-D’Ivore, in La Civilisation de la Femme dans la Tradition Africaine. Paris: Présence Africaine, p182-96

[2] Aonon, A. A. (1993) Comportements Sexuels en Milieu Scolaire. Étude des Attitudes et Opinions des Jeunes de 9 à 14 Ans face aux MST et au SIDA à Abidjan. Orstom: Centre de Petit-Bassam

[3] Aonon, A. A. (1996) Family environments and social logics in sexual conduct and AIDS in Abidjan, Newsletter of the Sociétés d’Afrique & Sida Network, April

[4] Aka-Anghui et al. (1975) La femme et l’éducation dans les sociétés traditionelles exemple de Cote-d’Ivoire, in La Civilisation de la Femme dans la Tradition Africaine: rencontre / organisée par la Société Africaine de Culture, Abidjan, 3-8 juillet 1972. Paris: Présence Africaine, p182-96, at p183, 195

[5] Kobayashi, M., Murakami, Y. & Yoshidome, A. (2001) [Knowledge, behavior, and attitudes toward sex among adolescent students at a junior/high school in Cote d’Ivoire], Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi [Jap J Public Health] 48,2:132-41

[6] Akoto, E. M., Tambashe, B. O., Amouzou, J. A. & Djangone, A. M. R. (Sept., 2000) Sexualité, Contraception et Fécondité des Adolescents en Cote d’Ivoire. Projet Régional Santé Familiale et Prévention du Sida (SFPS), p4