It is apparent that existing social conventions unofficially mandates women to refuse sexual advances even when there may be the intention to engage. The adherence to this social script is what is referred to as token resistance or scripted refusal. Some studies have explored the subject of token resistance from a number of perspectives that attempt to identify the underlying reasons why women engaging in token resistance. However, there is very little research on this subject from the Nigerian perspective. This this study sought to explore token resistance further in order to understand the cultural cogency or peculiarity of the concept in the Nigerian context. This is because based on available literature, the conceptualization of token resistance may be different. With the use of purposive sampling technique, four sexually active women and undergraduates, volunteered to participate in the study. They were interviewed to understand their unique experiences and perception about token resistance using the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) It was discovered that factors like personal pride, self-control, emotional security of relationship and the gratification of increased attention were responsible for women’s rejection of sexual advances even when there was the intention to do so. The study also got a better understanding of how women culturally represent this concept in Nigeria. We highlight limitations of the study and suggest areas for further study research.


Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Nigeria, scripted refusal, sexual advances, token resistance

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Alex Igundunasse is a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Psychology, University of Lagos. Nigeria. He teaches research methods and social psychology. Please direct correspondence to aigundunasse@gmail.com.

Mr. Nathan Odiase is a graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently a graduate student at the Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, UK. Please direct correspondence to nathanosas@gmail.com.


We profoundly thank the students who accepted to participate in this study.

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