To understand Ghana dating habits is to understand Ghana itself. Even in modern times, Ghana is still regarded as a male-dominated culture. The women exist to marry and have children, which seems a contradiction considering the high rate of highly educated Ghanaian women who work as doctors, teachers and scientists.
Marriage is still considered a pre-arranged agreement between two families. This practice may conflict with a Ghanaian women's exposure to the Western concept of women's independence. In fact, it is considered that the "sexual culture" in Ghana is a paradox of sorts. Ghana dating habits and sex are widely discussed on television and in the tabloids but it is an area of discussion that is not in the foreground.
It has been perceived by my foreigners that Ghanaians don't know love, marry for love or include love in Ghana dating. This may be more of a cultural restriction, as generally the culture frowns upon outward displays of affection in public.
Regardless of whether the couple is married or not. Ghana dating and sex are not nearly as important as marriage and having children. As children as a by-product of a marriage is a high premium a sign of a successful marriage.
In fact, research has shown that sex for sex sake in Ghana has less to do with "love" per se than with a female using the act as a means to increase her income. Men on the other hand may seek out extramarital affairs less out of a sense of betrayal and more out of an innate obligation to have children. And seeing as how Ghana recognizes multiple marriages as completely normal, it is perfectly reasonable - at least from the man's point of view - to have children with a woman other than his wife.
Ghana dating goes much deeper however. As a society, Ghanaian women are sexually active at an early age. Studies show that most young girls have intercourse as early as 15 years old, but the median age seems to be about 17. Although Ghana has been exposed to Western culture in the last 10 years - MTV and other music video channels are a good example - this does not translate into a promiscuous society. Surveys have shown that the majority of Ghanaian women are uncomfortable with the though of performing or receiving oral sex, are not sold on the benefits of foreplay and have varied interest in sexual positions other than the "missionary" position.
Having said that, the Ghana dating culture "outside" of the country can be viewed upon as quite Westernized. Many Ghanaian women currently living in the Untied States have stated quite directly that they could never return to the lifestyles of their parents or their original upbringing.
Similarly, Ghana personals are a thoroughly Western practice. Not used apparently within Ghana as used as a tool outside of the country with the hopes of landing a husband who will take them to greener pastures. Almost all of the Ghana personals listed on the Internet are offered up by matchmaking or bridal services.
Ghana dating within the context of its culture at home is in no doubt accepted, but to foreigners it may lack a sense of intimacy present in other Western countries.