An Examination of the Phenomenon of Cohabitation: A Case Study of the Fante Tribe of Ghana

George Emmanuel Acquaah ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.9 No.9 September 2023 Issue  Article 5  pp. 472-481
DOI : |   Published online 28th  September, 2023.
© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


Cohabitation, a practice which is not accepted in Ghanaian culture, is on the rise and is becoming a growing concern that needs an outreach. An outreach involves interacting with those living together in unmarried and intimate relationships. This research, therefore, sought to examine the history, etymology, and scriptural underpinnings of cohabitation among the Fante people of Ghana, investigated the phenomena of cohabitation among the Fantes and offered approaches for reaching cohabitants in Ghana. The study used the qualitative method, and snowball sampling method to analyse cohabitation phenomena in Fante Land and interviewed twenty people about their reasons for cohabiting and its perceived effects. The study showed that cohabitants view marriage as a dangerous institution, with many experiencing agony, frustration, violence, abuse, despair and death. It offers minimal opposition and is prevalent in premarital and trial marriages. It is also a test before marriage due to fear of divorce, emotional and financial complications, and the high bride price. The study further revealed that cohabitants prioritise freedom of choice and self-fulfilment and face low sexual exclusivity, abuse, mental health issues, and high divorce rates. The study suggests support and education for cohabiting couples, counselling services and theological reflection on cohabitation’s compatibility with Christian values. It also recommends public awareness campaigns, educational programs, property rights reforms, and support systems like affordable childcare and social services. Further research is needed to understand the long-term effects on relationships and faith. The research serves as a valuable foundation for future studies on cohabitation, providing valuable insights for religious leaders, policymakers, and scholars interested in the intersection of faith and contemporary societal trends.

Keywords: Cohabitation, Marriage, Sexual Intercourse, Fante People, Outreach, Bride Price, Phenomena

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Pastor George Emmanuel Acquaah, is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Systematic Theology from Adventist University Africa. He also serves as the Executive Secretary of the Pioneer Ghana Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He holds an MPhil in Biblical Theological Studies from the Adventist University of Africa, Kenya, MA in Human Resource Developments from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and BA in Theological Studies from the Valley View University, Accra, Ghana. His research focuses on Ethics in Religious Studies.

Acquaah, George E. “An Examination of the Phenomenon of Cohabitation- A Case Study of the Fante Tribe of Ghana , “ E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 9 no.9 (2023): 472-481.

© 2023 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Journals. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (