This paper discuses defilement as a crime in relation to sexuality among adolescents in Uganda.
Following a review of related literature, an extended field study of the prevalence of the practice and attitudes
towards it was made. The findings were that, as a legal term, defilement has many theoretical and policing
gaps and dilemmas. It was also found that the manner in which the practice is policed deters adolescents’
sexual development. It is concluded that, in light of section 129 of the country’s penal code act, consensual sex
between adolescents may not be a crime. Therefore, it is argued that adolescents’ smooth psychosexual
development should not be sacrificed, notwithstanding the law regarding child sexual abusers, who must be