Robert Murphy once remarked that exogamic patrilineal societies have a relatively easy time "abiding women." Among the Iteso, he observed, "some of the most important economic and residential ties between families are established through their women." This he attributed to the processes of social change in eastern Uganda whereby agnatic units have been undercut by Western economy. He speculates further that "when the corporate ties of patrilineality are subject to attrition, the negative side of the descent system is left... Women are not just 'exchanged,' as in Levi-Strauss; they are the connective tissue of the social whole" (1971: 219-220). This paper explores the implications of this structural attrition for the dialectics of gender with particular attention to the control of women's sexuality.