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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Kate Hampshire

Hampshire, K., Porter, G., Mashiri, M., Dube, S. & Maponya, G. (2011). Proposing love on the way to school: daily mobility, sexuality and youth transitions in South Africa. Culture, Health and Sexuality 13(2): 217-231.

Author(s) from Durham


Young people's daily mobility in sub-Saharan Africa remains largely invisible and under-researched. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data from the Child Mobility Project in South Africa, we show how young people's daily journeys (to school and other places) shape, and are shaped by, the possibility of sexual encounters. Young women are seen to be at risk of sexual violence as they travel around their neighbourhoods and fears of sexual violence and transgressive relationships lead to controls over their mobility, with potentially negative consequences for education and social opportunities. However, mobility can also present opportunities for welcomed sexual encounters and experimentation, which are seen as part of growing up. We discuss the implications for young women's ability to negotiate safe routes to adulthood.