The Theoretical Approach to the Discourse on Sexuality in Ghana: Law, Power, and Cultural Resistance: the Case of Minority Groups (Homosexuals)

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Authors : Elijah Tukwarlba Yin


This paper presents a critical discourse on sexuality in Ghana. It examines the religious, constitutional and legal arguments on sexuality. It also examines the issue of sexuality (Homosexuality) as a normal or an abnormal behaviour, private or public matter, as well as the place of morality in sexual matters. All these were examined in respect of power relations and law. The study used a letter written by the Christian Council of Ghana, internet news sources, and some responses that were gathered via informal discussions.

The study used various theoretical tools such as perspectives of queer theorists, Foucault, and Brock’s writing on sexuality to interpret and interrogate the data. The paper explores the clashes in the legal orders i.e. it shows how the Ghana Criminal Code and other traditional norms criminalize ‘Unnatural Carnal Knowledge’ intercourse whilst at the same time the constitution and other international laws guarantee the right to freedom from discrimination. These legal ordersbring into sharp focus issues of legal pluralism as the normative orders contradicts a statutory order whilst at the same time the statutory orders clash each other. The study also shows that whilst the dominant group considers homosexuality as an abnormal sexual behaviour homosexuals through the theoretical perspectives consider their sexual orientation as one of the terrain towards sexual citizenship.

The study further shows how ‘power’ permeate the whole sexual discourse as to who even determines morality. The paper concludes by settling on recommending a balanced approach to dealing with homosexuality rather than adopting an abusive approach.


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