Main Index

Africa Tribal ToC










Afikpo Igbo

Akan / Ashanti






Ariaal Rendille

Asaba Ibo











Bahuma Bajoro

Baifa / Banen


Bajok / Badjok




















Beti / Eton



Borroro Fulani












Dobe Ju/’Hoansi






Fan / Pangwe
































Kaffir [sic]






















Lake Nyasa

















































Nkundo Mongo







Okiek / Ogiek


Pangwe / Fan

























Thonga / Tsonga






Tshidi Barolong















Woodabe Fulani










uncovered SCCS




(see also Supra-Saharan Africa)



“Easy, easy, many women will weep if you err”


“Now unfold your scrotums and sleep in it”


“Nyina owe, nyina owe, mayo wandi fuma ingawile nyina owe,

nyina owe, nalete cisungu candi, nyina owe, nyina owe”[1]


Main IndexAfrica (Generalia)


CSSC ratings (Table)


Tribal ToC (also featured to the left)



Introduction: Is There an “African” Sexual Socialisation?

Ratings and Tabularisation

Current Age of Consent

Contrasexual Genital Morphology Alterating Practices, Female Genitalia

Sunna, Female Circumcision

Female Infibulation, With a Special Attention to Its Prepubertal Timing

Nonbloody Prosexual Morphology Alteration Practices: Cunnus

Infant “Genital Parenting”

Masturbation and Self-Preparation

Childhood Sexual Behaviour: Ethnohistoric Impression

Curricular Aphrodisiaca, Love Magic, etc.

Precolonial Coitarche: Ethnohistoric Impression

Pseudo-Coitarchal and Pseudo-Coital Forms; Virginity Testing

Early and Age-Stratified Betrothal

Early and Age-Stratified Marriage

Girl Meets Boy: Chronological Aspects

Animal Contacts

“Sexual” Initiation: Ceremonial and Pubertal License

Contemporary Coitarche

Age-Stratified Love of Boys; Prostitution

Sugar Daddies

Virgin Cleasing Myth

Initiation and Instruction

The Instructrix/-Tor



Ethnographic Atlas

Additional Reading: Africa


Introduction: Is There an “African” Sexual Socialisation?


Contemporary African sexual behaviour, particularly in adolescence, is exceedingly well studied. Previous material was collected by Barton (1991)[3], in a 2065 item review of works on African sexuality, particularly from a biomedical perspective. Other useful works include those presented by Standing and Kisekka (1989)[4] and Beck (1979)[5] and further by Molnos (1973, III)[6]. The present overview does not purport to present an analysis of “African sexuality” or its legitimacy. Some incidental authors have provided generals (consider Ayisi[7], Cudjoe[8]), but these accounts brush over most of the salience of African sexual socialisation patterns. Whereas Caldwell et al.’s[9] “distinct and internally coherent African system” (as characterized by the scene of decent and the maintenance of the lineage; lineal inheritance systems; female dominated agriculture; and fertility) left “a fair degree of permissiveness towards premarital relations”, Le Blanc et al.[10], Ahlberg[11], Savage and Tchombe[12] as well as Taylor[13] and Heald (1999:p128-45)[14] opposed this view as generalist, selective and even moralistic. The minor controversy, originating from a discussion on HIV transmission patterns, has drawn some attention of historians.

In search of a regionalist view of sexual socialisation, Delius and Glaser[15] broadly argue that:


“Some commentators have suggested that a promiscuous and violent sexual culture is primordial in Africa. But if one turns to the literature on many pre-colonial and early colonial African societies in this region there is evidence which suggests high degrees of sexual education and regulation. These forms of control took place particularly through peer group forms of socialisation and the practice of male and female initiation which limited the form and incidence of pre-marital sex and the levels of sexual violence. There is of course the danger of notions of a lost golden age colouring this characterisation and the evidence for it needs to be critically assessed. The perception and practice of gender relations that reigned at this time also need further scrutiny. But even if this portrait is only partly true it does suggest that a more dynamic and periodised understanding is required of sexual culture. We believe that in order to achieve this it is necessary to examine the impact of Christianity, migrancy, urbanisation, and youth led popular revolt on forms of sexual socialisation”.


Mcfadden[16] further believes that


“Africans foster heterosexuality through socialization from early childhood and discourage any sign of sexual stimulation in their children. After teaching that humans are “naturally” heterosexual, Africans teach their children that marriage is essential for the moral uprightness of society, although most Africans are, in fact, raised in many types of alternative families”.


In Africa, the concept of “traditional” sexual socialisation is voiced in various ways, most arguments being based on a sense of loss and deficiency, particularly in facing HIV. It has been claimed, for instance, that “[t]he incidence of sexual activity before marriage provides an indication of the extent of erosion in traditional practices and in family control of young women’s behavior in urban areas”[17]. Thus, “[i]n the light of civilization that has come to erode some of the sexual constraints in the traditional African society’s opennes today toward sexuality and sexual expression, adolescents commence sexual activity at an increasing earlier age and the average marriage come much later. It is therefore not surprising that an increasing proportion of adolescents in Nigeria are engaging in teenage prostitution”[18]. Dossou-yovo[19] argues that “[i]n traditional Africa, sex education was diffuse and was implicit at the family and society levels; simply stated, there was no fooling around before marriage of any kind. When traditions collapsed after west African colonization and liberation, parents in francophone Africa turned to the school system for help. But, until the last decade, the schools have failed to coordinate a sex education program backed by a stable philosophy [which] is in great contrast to anglophone Africa”. Others have more neutrally argued that “[a]s traditional cultural influences on adolescent sexuality in Africa have diminished, peer interaction and modern influences have gained importance”[20]. In this context, Renne[21] notes that for those educators, “[…] neither an unmitigated return to the “traditional,” nor a wholehearted embrace of a “modern” way of life offers unambiguous answers for those who yearn to protect the younger generation from harm”.


“In African cultures, the discussion of sexual issues is generally considered a sensitive subject. Parents cannot directly discuss sexual matters with their children. Studies found that rural and urban parents, and even the professional community, feel that sexuality can only be discussed through a third party, who might be an aunt, an uncle or a grandparent (Meursuing, 1993; Loewenson & Chikamba, 1994)[[22]]. Due to the breakdown of tradition and the extended family structures, effects of urbanization and migration of people from the rural to urban areas, the role taken by such family members in educating children about sex is diminishing. Uncles, aunts and grandparents now tend to live far away and this makes it impossible for them to provide sex education. Their role has been taken over by the teachers in schools and parents in the home. However, some children such as street children are neither at home nor in an institution such as the school in which they might receive education on sexuality. Even those children at home or attending school do not receive adequate and realistic information about sex, because it is viewed as embarrassing. As a result children get too little or no meaningful information at all about sexuality and tend to experiment with sex, based on the little sexual information they come across in books, on television and from their peers”[23].


For African males,


“[…] sexual access came with complex directives. Although many African societies allowed and even encouraged young men to be sexually expressive, they were not necessarily entitled yet to procreate. Sexual expression might precede marriage, but it was held in check by various means until reproduction could legitimately ensue. Barriers sharply separated sexuality from legitimate reproduction even in practices involving women of low status”[24].


General statements on African sexual development include the (overtly antioccidentalist) one of Guyon (1929)[25] where he notes that “[s]elon beaucoup de voyageurs, dans les pays chauds, à Madagascar, sur les rives de la Plata, en Afrique, etc…, les relations sexuelles commencent entre enfants à l’âge de 6 à 7 ans”.  A further rough, antioccidentalist sketch of sexual development provided by Edwardes and Masters (1963)[26] agrees with that of De Rachewiltz (1963 [1964:ch.5])[27] in that children were raised in comparative liberty. Thus, authors have offered the generalising view that “[i]n traditional African culture, parents taught their children about sex starting from the age of six to eight […]” (Mungazi, 1996:p56)[28].


The “African” concept of childhood and the value of children being discussed in several writings[29], a distinct ethnohistroical juxtaposition of “African” versus “Western” sexual upbringing has not been forwarded. In the mean time, Knapen[30]’s early schematic cultural opposition of “Western” vs. “African” socialisation characteristics (p228-9) offers the tentative, and very global, portrayal of sexual socialisation as being (a, f) more of a social than an individual discourse, by stressing collectivism rather than independence and individualism; (b) more ‘realistic’ and applied; (c) appealing to communal duty rather than to personal inclination; (d) entailing the promotion of certainties “that nature looks after normal growth” rather than “encouragement of the wish to grow up”; and (e) encouraging the normal rather than managing and policing the exceptional.


Not covering sex behaviour socialisation, Welch[31] argued that “our knowledge of African socialization practices is rather limited and, therefore, much more research is needed before we will be able to understand these value transmission processes in any detailed way” (p15). Generally, authors agree on the traditional sexual liberty of children in Africa, but unusual restriction is also noted. To instil shame, for instance, boys could be apparently be punished by slaps on the penis with a twig[32]. African childhood sexual learning depends in crucial ways on the dripping down of data through adult folklore (Lallemand, 1985)[33], children incorporating the way of things by observation, but certainly by overhearing. [Some adolescent folklore (love declarations) were collected in Leopoldville by Raymaekers[34] who writes: “Il semble que les relations sexuelles ente jeunes gens débutent dès la plus tendre enfance sans pour autant, évidemment, que les jeunes réalisent pleinement la signification de l’acte qu’ils posent” (p8).]


[Additional refs.: Sonnabend, H. (1932) Note preliminari di demographia africana, Metron 10: 93-129; Hambly, W. D. (1961) Sex life of Africans, in Ellis, A. & Abarbanel, A. (Eds.) The Encyclopaedia of Sexual Behavior, Volume 1. London: W. Heinemann, p69-74; Staples, R. (1972) Research on Black Sexuality: Its Implications for Family Life, Sex Education, and Public Policy, Fam Coordinator 21,2:183-8; Dougall, J. W. C. (Ed., 1937) Christianity and the Sex-Education of the African. London: S.P.C.K; We Must Teach Children About Sexuality Or They Learn the Wrong Way - NERDC Boss, Africa News Service July 1, 2002; Parents Should Not Be Uptight About Their Children's Sexuality, Africa News Service June 2, 2003;]




Ratings and Tabularisation 


As indicated in Table 1, forty-three African SCCS societies are coded by Barry III, Josephson et al. (1976)[35]. The Thonga, Bemba and Tiv remained entirely unrated for childhood, while three societies are only partially coded for childhood (Suku, Azande, Teda). One or both of adolescent ratings[36] are missing for SCCS Tiv, Ibo, Shilluk, Mao, Masai, and Bogo. Further ratings are indicated for SCCS tribes with initiations characterised by an apparent sexological relevance[37], Deleeuwe’s abstract from Ford and Beach[38], etc.




Current Age of Consent 


For specific data, consult Interpol[39] or other sites[40]. Graupner (2000)[41]is remarkably silent about consent ages, offering data only for South Africa. Legal matters pertaining to “Sexual Offenses Against Minors”, and civil marriage ages, are collected by the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP)[42] and by ECPAT[43] (see further Smyth[44]).


The following ages are given by the ILGA (2000)[45]: in Burkina Faso it is 13 (het)/ 21 (hom). In South Africa, it is 16 (het)/ 19 (hom).

In Swaziland, the age of consent is currently 18. As in South-Africa[46], in Namibia, a girl under the age of twelve years can not legally consent to sexual intercourse. While the legal age of consent for a boy is seven and older (no child under the age of seven can be convicted of a crime under any circumstances), even if the girl has in fact given consent for sexual intercourse, the act is considered rape. If a girl aged between twelve and sixteen consents to sexual intercourse, the accused is not guilty of rape, but guilty of an offence described in Section 14. A recent draft rape statute proposed by the government would make the age of consent 12 for both boys and girls, provided that the perpetrator is at least three years older. This provision would be supplemented by the lesser offence of “statutory rape”, which makes it illegal for males to engage in sexual activity with girls under the age of 16, regardless of consent.

Similarly, in Zimbabwe, the common-law age of consent for rape is 12, but is supplemented by “statutory rape” which covers persons under the age of 16.

In Botswana,“[a]ny person who unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the age of sixteen (16) years is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without corporal punishment”” (Defilement of girls under sixteen (16) years of age’, Section 147, Penal Code). Meanwhile, “[a]ny person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a boy under the age of fourteen (14) is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years” (Section 166). According to the Ivory Coast Penal Code, a sexual exploiter; owner, operator, or proprietor of a place of prostitution; and anyone who traffics, seduces or leads another to prostitution is subject to loss of rights if the victim is under 15 years of age. In Kenya, “[a] male person under the age of twelve (12) years is presumed to be incapable of having carnal knowledge” (Section 14, Paragraph 3 of the Penal Code CAP. 63). Also, “[i]t shall be no defence to a charge for an indecent assault on a girl under the age of fourteen (14) years to prove that she consented to the act of indecency” (Section 144, 2). “Any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the age of fourteen (14) years is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for fourteen years together with corporal punishment” (Section 145, 1), unless the girl is his wife. “Any person who unlawfully and indecently assault a boy under the age of fourteen (14) years is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years, with or without corporal punishment” (Section 164). In Liberia, penal law stipulates that sexual intercourse with a girl below 16 years is “statutory” rape. In Nigeria, where female coitarche occurs on average at 13 years, “[s]exual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape, if she has attained to puberty”. In addition, the Criminal Code provides for life imprisonment for any person who has unlawful “carnal knowledge” of a girl under the age of 13”.




Contrasexual Genital Morphology Alterating Practices, Female Genitalia[47]


Note: for a legal impression, consider the links below leading to a release of Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State, on June 1, 2001:

Full report, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, EthiopiaGambia, The , Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo

The Center for Reproductive Rights ‘Female Circumcision/Female Genital Mutilation (FC/FGM): Legal Prohibitions Worldwide’ factsheet (February 2004) lists the following Criminal Legislation/Decree (year enacted) entries (as accessed Sept 17, 2004):

Benin (2003); Burkina Faso (1996);Central African Republic (1966); Chad (2003); Côte d'Ivoire (1998); Djibouti (1994); Egypt (Ministerial Decree, 1996); Ghana (1994); Guinea (1965); Kenya (2001); Niger (2003); Senegal (1999); Tanzania (1998); Togo (1998); Nigeria (multiple states, 1999-2002)

For more legal data consider Campagne Parlementaire "Halte A La Violence Contre Les Femmes": Les Mutilations Sexuelles Feminines. See also this WHO bibliography and WHO Estimated prevalence rates for FGM (updated May 2001 as accessed Sept 24, 2004). Also consider Charpentier, Carl-Johan (1977) An Annotated Bibliography on Female Genital Mutilations in Africa. Forf, Lidkoping, Sweden. Furthemore, consider David M. Westley’sFemale Circumcision and Infibulation in Africa (Electronic Journal of Africana Bibliography Vol. 4, 1999), which has a Country & Ethnic Group Index. Also consider Dinslage (1981)[48] and Ombolo (1981)[49]. Further reading by Wiggins (2001)[50]. For a note on the scale of the matter, consider[51].


Sunna, Female Circumcision[52]


On discussing early sexual behaviours, one cannot escape the practice of genital surgery of girls, often before or at pubescence. The matter is severely condemned by individualist and collective feminist projects under the terms “mutilation”, regardless of its alleged “emic” significance.

Clitoral amputation is customarily done very early in age; the term, however, is applied to circumcision (Sunna), partial and total removal of clitoral tissue. A report[53] from Nigeria in 1983 indicated that from children under five years of age (96.5%), two in three had been clitoridectomised. By one month and three months of age 75.5 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively had been operated upon. (82% of the mothers believed that (later) promiscuity was less likely in the operated, although only 2.4% volunteered this as a reason for the surgery[54].)

Sunna (removal of the clitoral prepuce and the tip of the clitoris) was practiced in Egypt, Sudan and Somalia (Abdalla, 1982; Hosken, 1982; Koso-Thomas, 1987)[55]. Excision or clitoridectomy (removal of the entire clitoris, usually together with the adjacent parts of the labia minora and sometimes all of the external genitalia, except parts of the labia majora) is practiced widely in Somalia, Chad, Central Africa, Northern regions of Cameroon, and Zaire, Niger, Togo, Benin, Ghana[56], Sierra Leone, Guinea, Upper Volta, Senegal, the Gambia, Southern regions of Mauritania, and Northern parts of Nigeria (Abdalla, 1982; Hosken, 1982)[57]. Infibulation or Pharaonic circumcision is widely practiced in Somalia, Northern parts of Kenya, Djibouti, Eastern part of Ethiopia (Ogaden), Eritrea, Sudan, Mali, Upper Egypt and isolated areas of Nigeria (Hosken, 1982; Gallo Grassivaro, 1985)[58].


Female “circumcision” is frequently ascribed an anti-aphrodisiac intent. A study[59] of 859 rural women in 16 semipastoralist and semiagricultural villages in Southern Somalia reaffirmed the special significance of female circumcision as “a source of full womanhood and an instrument for the control of female sexuality” in Somalia. Bryk (1928:p55) remarks:


“Vom achten Jahre as ist des Mädchen Gemeingut. Jeder, der nur über wenig männliche Überredungskunst verfügt, kann es bekommen. Die ganz kleinen Mädchen schlafen mit gleichaltrigen Buben, die älteren etwa zwölfjährigen und darüber hinaus, werden selbst von verheirateten Kriegern nicht verschmäht. Die Eltern mischen sich in diese Liebeleien nicht ein; sie haben auch keine Gelegenheit, darüber etwas zu erfahren, da Mädchen wie Buben nicht zu Hause schlafen und bei der herrschenden Prüderie, die streng verbietet, in Gegenwart der Äleteren etwas Anstößiges oder Unanständiges nur anzudeuten, ihnen niemand etwas hierüber mitteilt. […] Die Beschneidung […] setzt dem tollen Treiben  der Mädchen Schranken. Aus Gemeingut wird es Privateigentum”.


Clitoridectomy thus was argued to enable enforcement of monogamy, or rather, the production of a monogamous wife.


[Additional refs.: Duncan, B. & Hernlund, Y. (2000) Female Circumcision in Africa: Culture, Controversy and Change. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers]



Female Infibulation, With a Special Attention to Its Prepubertal Timing[60] (®Vol. II, §13.2.2)


Some African tribes took or take considerable measures to preserve chastity even before puberty. De Cardi (1899:p59-60)[61] mentions the practice of  “scraping the labia pudendi externa until a raw surface is formed; then the two parts are brought together and kept in that position until the labia grow together, thus completely closing up the opening into the vagina. When the female thus operated upon draws near the age of puberty, she […] undergoes a second operation which consists of this false hymen being perforated by one of the old women of the tribe by the insertion of an ivory probe about the thickness of a lead pencil, this being done to allow the free passage of the menses”.


The most obvious case of contrasexual morphology alteration is female infibulation, which may include clitoral amputation. Buschan (1912:p235-6)[62] dates the practice at age 7 to 8, Widstrand (1964)[63] at ages 6-8. Worseley (1938)[64] indicates that infibulation was done eighth day after birth among the Abyssinia; a few weeks after birth in Arabia; at 3 to 8 years among the Copts; at 6 to 7 years in Sudan[65] and “modern” Egypt (though this may be much later[66]); at 8 to 10 years among the Somalis; at 9 to 10 years in Upper Egypt; and at age 10 years in Peru. Among the reasons listed were the reduction [prevention?] of sexual passion, and the prevention of labial hypertrophy said to be caused by prolonged masturbation. Another source[67] gives the following age estimates: 3 years (Senaar, South of Nubia; Danakil), 6 years (Sudan), 7 years (Harrar), 8 years (Malayan Mohammedans, Kordofan) and from 8 to 9 years (Massawa; Beja; Galas; Somalia). Concluding, it is said that 80-90% of Somalian and Sudanese girls are infibulated by age seven or eight (Hicks,1986, 1993; Hosken, 1982; Lightfoot-Klein, 1989; Van der Kwaak, 1992)[68]. Lowenfels and Pieters (1977)[69] state that in Somaliland and the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, “the procedure has been freely performed on prepubertal girls […]”. According to data collected by Gallo and Abdisamed (1985)[70] Somalian infibulation was only carried out between the age of 2 and 15, and the mode was 7 years old; Melly (1935)[71] also noted an average of age 7. Many of the attenuated forms were carried out at birth (7.8 %) or in the first year (2.3 %).


Infibulation are frequently legitimised as prophylactic sexologically, as opposed to curative (e.g., Nubia).




Nonbloody Prosexual Morphology Alteration Practices: Cunnus 


Rarely addressed by anti-mutilationists, nonbloody techniques are noted occasionally in Africa, as reviewed in full elsewhere[72] (cf. for cunnus preparation, Growing Up Sexually, Vol. II, §13.1.2).Cosmetic of functional preparation in some way or another is practised in a large number of African (and Oceanic) societies[73]. The technique of preparing the nymphae is taught or performed by the mother (Nkundo, Luba, Hottentot,  Zimbabwe [vaRemba]), or by older comrades (Betchuans, Shona, Baushi), and attached to institutions such as puberty schools (Venda). There seems to be two major timing patterns: one in infancy (maternal), and one peripubertal, commonly peri-initiatory. In the latter case, the custom seems to be a social event, done in secret or semi-private congregations (Batetela, Nkundo, Betchuans, Luba), and also mutually (“Grand Lacs” [Great Lakes] peoples, Burundi, Bemba, Shona, Baushi, Dahomey).


The scene of labial elongation, traditionally typical for Southern African tribes, used to be one of mutuality, a joint venture for attractiveness and sexual identity, or at least a personal quest for future complementation. These practices were saturated with social significance, being colloquial, compulsory, and complementary[74].


The artificiality of the so-called tablier is widely disputed in the past, although many sources have argued for this explanation (e.g., in the Gisu, Ganda, Nandi, Venda, etc.). In Zimbabwe  (Hansson, 1996:p101-2)[75], “[t]he mother soon after birth began to pull the labia minora of the little girl, to lengthen them to around two centimeters at the time of menarche. They should not be too long, it was said. The function aims at giving the husband a better feeling […]. This preparation was widespread among the women in Mberengwa, though the vaRemba women put more weight on its importance. During this early period some women said that they “milk” the clitoris of the little girl. This “milking” is necessary to prevent the girl as an adult woman from wanting excessive sex or becoming hyper active […]”. In the sikuradzi rungombe ritual, a girl of two or three years is given the vagina of a cow to eat. “Among some women it is believed that it prepares the reproductive system of the girl […]”. Bourgeois (1954, [I]:p67-70)[76] also speaks of “l’allongement des petites lèvres” (ugukuna) from early age until menses; the practice may be mutual.


Stephens (1971:p407)[77] mentions “special genital doctoring to enlarge [girls’] genitalia” as occurring among the Dahomey[78], Ila, and Thonga[79]. Childhood elongation of the labia majora was also practised among the Nyakyusa (Wilson, 1957:p87)[80], and the Nama (Schapera, 1930:p243)[81]. The Betchuans (South Africa) were known to elongate the labia minora (Ploß and Bartels, [1905, I:p240-1, 244][82]; Merensky, 1875:[p22][83]; Stoll, 1908:p546[84]) almost from birth on, a chore[85] done by older girls on the younger, “[…] whenever they are alone, which is often the case when they collect wood or search for fruit. The mentioned parts [labia minora] are pulled and rolled on pieces of wood”. De Rachewiltz (1963[1964:p152]) further adds that “[a]mong the Luba and Nkundo, mothers instruct their daughters, while still very young, in the methods of extending the labia and enlarging the vagina, preparatory to marriage. The girls meet in the forest and perform the necessary acts on one another. The Zimba girls use spikes, corn cobs, or animal horns wrapped in cloth. Hottentot mothers tell their daughters, before their first menstruation, to “Go and make yourself a mfuli [artificially extended labia] […]”. Speaking of the Lenda, a female Canadian anthropologist, writing under the name of Manda Cesara, writes in a letter dated July 20, 1973, to her mother: “From the age of three, girls lengthen their labia minora. They are very proud of it” (Cesara, 1982:p147)[86].


According to an Azande informant for Evans-Pritchard (1937:p457)[87]:


“Another medicine is a riverside shrub called nganza. They dig it up and dry it in the sun. They then take it and make a paste from it and pinch the eleusine with it in the early morning. They take a little girl and rub the paste on her vulva and then pinch the eleusine with it, saying: “You are medicine of eleusine. Eleusine, you expand like a woman’s vulva which, be it ever so small, is sufficient for any man. Eleusine, you expand in the granary like a woman’s vulva. Eleusine, you expand like susu. May not eleusine lessen. Let it be sufficient”. The spell is finished”.


Blacking[88] observed that the among the Venda of the Sibasa district of the Northern Transvaal (South Africa) a woman’s labia minora must be lengthened by manipulation. “This operation is begun often long before puberty, its importance is emphasised at vhusha [puberty school], and it must be stopped after a girl has attended tshikanda [intermediary initiation school between vhusha and pre-marital schools]”.

A nonsexual motive for testicular elevation was reported by Johnston et al. (1913:p373n2)[89]: “The practice of pushing up the testicles when the child was young, so that the growth of a pendant scrotum might be avoided as much as possible, least it impeded flight, was not peculiar to the Bushmen and Hottentots, but was recorded by Greek geographers as among the practices of the Hamatic tribes of the Red Sea littoral”.




Infant “Genital Parenting 


As ventured elsewhere (Vol.II, ch. 9)[90], it was assumed that the parental reference to infant genitalia provides an early yet significant index to sexual cultures.  The African case was specifically tied to a concern for fecundity.


In Dahomey (Kossodo, 1978:p113)[91], Fan mothers practice clitoral masturbation, pull labia, stroke the anus and use water beams for then minutes on the vulva. This continues until age four. The practice is said to induce frigidity and cause childlessness. Ashton (1952 [1955:p38])[92]: “Some [Basuto] mothers try to promote the development of his sex organs by fondling the child’s penis and encouraging him to do so himself, though others disapprove of this, saying it makes the child too interested in sex”. According to Schenkel (1971:p322-7)[93] Senegalese mothers are “obsessed with the virile potency of her infant”, and eager to watch his erection. Male but not female stimulation occurred among the Kpelle (Gibbs, 1965:p209)[94]. Among the Zaire Baushi, the maternal task of manual preputial adhaesiolysis in infants is institutional, since the condition of permanent fixation is considered kameme, a defect. However, when the prepuce is so forcefully retracted that it it gets stuck permanently under the corona glandis [?], the boy is lufunu (boy with nude glans), and might not get married or have satisfactory sexual relations. As in the Senegalese, erections are provoked, and medicines are used to combat assumed impotence when the penis remains flaccid (Kokonge and Erny, 1976:p7-27)[95]. In Zaire, Bakwa-Luntu and Bakongo boy infants’ virility greatly pleases his mother (Enry, 1971:p92). !Ko parents try to enlarge the boy’s penis by pulling and sucking it (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1972:p59, 63; p58, ill.)[96]. Similar to the Basuto case,


“Tanten küssen oft die Scham weiblicher und den Penis männlicher Säuglinge, wenn sie diese erheitern wollen […]. Man lutscht und saugt an der Haut des Säuglings und mitunter auch an seinen Geschlechtsteilen […]. Babies erheitert man durch streicheln der Geschlechtsteile und durch Kitzeln. Ich filmte, wie ein Mann oftmals den Penis eines etwa 8 Monate alten Säuglings berührte. Als das Kind dann selbst danach griff, nahm er achtsam dessen Hand und führte sie weg, dann spielte er weiter, und zwar in Gegenwart vieler anderer Buschleute, mit der gleichen Selbstverständlichkeit, mit der Buschleute vor allen anderen die Geschlechtsteile eines Säuglings küssen”.


A boy may be punished in this way (Sbrzesny, [1975] 1976:p237)[97]. When the boy infant touches his member himself, he is prevented to do so (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, p153; 158, ill.). Konner (1972:p292)[98] observed that among the north-western Botswana !Kung (Zhun/ tsasi) , infants are kissed on “faces, bellies, genitals”. Wembah-Rashid (1994)[99] states that Tanzanian mothers were encouraged to carry babies on their back to feel its erection when he needed to urinate.


“As boys and girls develop and manifest sexual growth, parents and society show appreciation of such developments because they point to sexual potency, hence fertility. Grandparents often examine boys’ and girls’ sexual parts without necessarily directly showing that they are ascertaining fertility characteristics. A grandparent can handle a boy’s genitals pretending “to seek snuff” from the phallus or wanting to use the whole apparatus as “bellows” (the testicles) and “tuyere” (the phallus). If fact, he or she want to establish the reaction of the boy: whether the testicles are developing, whether pubic hair is growing, or whether the grandparent can trigger an erection. Grandparents would do the same for girls. When a grandmother would go so far as to check on the genitals, a grandfather would only play with breasts. He would teasingly demand to suckle from the girl” (p51-2).


In Zimbabwe, the custom of “Chiramu” or “Sibale” was described as “aimed at socialising children that induced touching young girls, leading to touching of young girls private parts” (Loewenson et al., 1997:p11)[100]. In Ghana, (Kaye, 1960:p381, 388; 1962:p116-22)[101], mothers stimulated infants’ genitalia[102]. Regarding the people of Ruanda and Burundi, Vincent (1954)[103] describes maternal genital pacification as a first stage of sexual development.

On the Mossi, it is stated (Erny, 1988:p179-80) that: “Les mères prennent […] l’habitude de surveiller très tôt les érections de leurs garçons. On caresse les organes génitaux surtout pour apaiser l’enfant. Des ablutions à l’eau froide visent parfois à rendre le futur homme sexuellement plus puissant. Au Katanga, “les parents se soucient très tôt de la bonne formation des organes génitaux chez leurs enfants. Il suffit de féliciter une mère pour son dernier-né en disant qu’il est muzima (plein de vie) pour qu’elle fasse constater aussitôt le bon état de ses organes génitaux, surtout s’il s’agit d’un garçon [Leblanc, 1960:p44][104]”.

Ackerman quotes a passage in Allen (1903)[105] which reads that a Swahili boy may be “told by his mother to show his aunt his tobacco, and he lifts his clothes and shows her his penis. She tweaks the penis and sniffs and sneezes and says: “O, very strong tobacco.” Then she says, “Hide your tobacco." If there are four or five women, they all sniff and are pleased and laugh a lot”.




Masturbation and Self-Preparation (®Vol. II, § 


Childhood masturbation would have been frequent among the African “primitives” (e.g., Van der Burgt, 1903:p381 and 1904:p90)[106]. Bryk (1928:p117-9)[107] noted that in some tribe, female practice is followed by coitus when stumbled upon by boys (“Werden sie von den Jungen überrascht, so werden sie ohne weiteres koitiert”). De Rachewiltz (1963 [1964:p151]) stated that “[a]mong the Barue, Gisu, Nandi and Sabey, boys become addicted to masturbation, either solitary or collective, when they are about nine years old”. Masturbation would be prohibited by the Ashanti, Chagga and Dahomey. Specifically, a taboo on sexual manifestations is cancelled after circumcision in the Masai, Pedi, Swazi, Chagga, Thonga and Wolof[108]. Tolerance is said to characterise the Bena, Ila, Lango, Mbundu, Venda, Zande and Zulu tribes. “The Luba, Nkudu and Zimba girls […] are given to early masturbation with maize cobs, which automatically leads to a loss of virginity” (p258).


A factor also noted in the Pacifics, masturbation may have been used in preparation of the prepuce. Bryk (1928:p117-9[109]; recited in Bryk (1931 [1934:p200])[110], noted that genital manipulation occurred as a means of self-directed preparation:


“Among the Semi-hamites it (masturbation) occurs more from the desire to have the foreskin drawn back as early as possible, in order thus to resemble the older folks more, than to satisfy awakening desires. It is common practice among the Nandi for the boys to smear sticky, milky juice of the euphorbiaceous plant yeptiringuet on the glans and to masturbate (lat pertit)with it. The juice of this plant is quite caustic and causes the glans to swell up strongly, so that the foreskin can easily be drawn back; which is what is wanted. During the process the boys call out, “Suren suren, ce kwamon pek a metet” (Become big and I’ll give you something to eat). The blossoms of this plant are usually stuck into the hair, the separated milk serving as the agglutinant. Now the little fellow can go to a girl and try it”.


Bryk (1931 [1934:p201]) adds (but also refutes this observation) that an equivalent of this attitude was the case among the Masai:


“Merker (p345) writes the following on “ol jogi”, (Euphorbia spec.): “In order to appear circumcised, the children smear the juice of the Euphorbia on the glans, which then swells up and holds back the prepuce”. P. 63 (note) tells us the same thing in Latin: “Ut decisi (circumcisi videantur pueri interdum glandem succu herbae Euphorbiae genere, nomine ol jogi”, oblinunt. Glans tumescens prohibet, ne praeputium prolabatur””[111].


[Hargraves (1978)[112] relays Bryk’s statement of this use of plant.] Luo boys are said to practice a preputial conditioning at the age of 10 to 12 (Parkin). Shona boys perform the same operation with a bull’s hair to “free the foreskin” to win urination games, and because of “its association with the passage of semen in adulthood” (Shire). The act of circumcision, “a ritual preparation for its legitimate use in reproductive activities”, was anticipated by Zulu herdboys who cut the frenum (Raum). Thomas (1899:p254)[113] assumed that circumcision “[…] is sometimes preformed by the boy himself, sometimes by a friend […]”. Subincision is performed by Samburu herdboys around age seven to ten (Margetts). The boys operate on themselves, and sometimes on their peers. The operation is attributed to custom, to efforts to differentiate the male urine stream from the female (both sexes squat during micturation), and, according to five informants, to make ejaculation faster.




Childhood Sexual Behaviour: Ethnohistoric Impression 


Older sources unanimously lament on the precocity of the African child, (e.g., early observations on Madagascar). Ploß[114] has offered an early “lateral” impression of sex per exemplum, from which it appears that, as is childhood concerned, tolerance discourses as encountered in the 20th century may have characterised at least some of the societies in premodern eras. In the 18th century Antilles, for instance,


“[…] übten sich Sklavenkinder spielend auf das Eheleben ein, und als Labat sie dafür durchprügeln ließ, warf sich ein alter Neger als Verteidiger auf. Die Kinder seien nicht strafbar, meinte er, man müsse doch in der Kindheit lernen, was man in der Ehe als Pflicht zu vollziehen habe” (Ploß / Renz, 1912:p543).


Potentially koitomimic games of childhood have specific names in several societies[115]. One variety is especially well described as being played by Bantu speaking children (e.g., Venda, Bemba)[116].




Curricular Aphrodisiaca, Love Magic, etc. 


Love magic is not commonly employed in association with puberty, but where it is, it happens typically in Africa[117]. Among the Zaire Baushi (Kokonge and Erny) boys use love cosmetics. Aphrodisiacs are used among Batetela and Mongo boys. According to Schapera, the Kgatla employed magic is to facilitate artificial labial extension as in the Venda, the powder of a bat’s wings is used. “In this way the labia will grow long like the wings of the bat”. The purpose is aphrodisacal: “To excite the bull”. Chaga girls “use wish-magic to make their breasts grow” (Raum). Among the Luvale of Zambia, pubertal preparations include the administration of aphrodisiac herbs, intravaginal medicines, steaming of the vagina, and love potions. Shona boys “learnt about a masculinity whose discourse centered on giving pleasure to women”, including knowledge about “medicinal plants” and “ideas about sexual prowess” (Shire). Among the Jekri of the Niger Delta, “[…] juju [medicines, charms] is made to keep [a girl] virtuous, but as a rule women are not chaste until married” (Granville and Roth). Among the Plateau Thonga, children use beautifying medicines, as do adults, and with their silent approval (Colson).




Precolonial Coitarche: Ethnohistoric Impression


Coitarche among traditional Africans is commonly surveyed as being timed before puberty, unlike comtemporarily where it would be rather middle adolescence (Bozon, 2003:p3)[118]. De Rachewiltz (1963 [1964:p152]):


“Among the Rega, Ababua, Kuku, and various Bantu peoples, sexual relationships regularly take place before puberty. The Fan of Gabon practise coition as soon as they are physically capable of it [[119]]. The [Mangbetu] children meet in a hut at night and, if they are not yet able to have intercourse, they imitate the act with each other. One should remember that in Africa, before puberty, especially before circumcision, the individual is sexually insignificant; he, or she, is incapable of fecundation, and consequently without effect either magically or socially. This explains children’s freedom together, and the liberty an adult is allowed with a pre-adolescent child, or a woman with an uncircumcised boy. Many of the girls conceal their first menstruation, so as to enjoy their liberty a little longer”.


Speaking of child betrothal, Mair (1953:p87)[120] states: “The cohabitation of young girls with their future husbands occurs in a number of other tribes beside the Bemba, including Bisa, Lala, and Lunda”. Pedrals (1950:p16-8)[121] mentions a dozen observations of early coitarche in “Dark” Africa. Margold (1926:p644-5)[122] sums up [orig. footnotes]:


“Among [aforementioned African] tribes children for the most part begin their sexual practices long before puberty[123], girls and boys being encouraged in their mwaygini kwayta as the Melanesians call their “copulation amusement”[124], from the earliest age. Among the Pangwe negroes north and west of the Ivindo River, West Africa, children only five and six years old, without any condemnation whatsoever, already imitate the sexual life of their parents and play “intercourse”[125]. Among the Boloki “it is impossible to find a virgin above five years of age”[126]. Azimba Land children play “keeping house” before puberty[127]. Lake Nyasa boys and girls play at being man and wife before puberty[128]. Bakongo parents encourage their girls and boys in their sex play long before puberty, “as it shows that they had proper desires, and later in life they would bear children”[129], and Ila-speaking natives regard their children’s very early sexual practices “as preparation and training for what is man’s and woman’s chief business in life”[130].


Sex life for a multitude of tribes commenced before pubescence, as examples demonstrate.


Hustaert (1938)[131] noted games of “mari et femmes” “d’une façon qui les dispose bien souvent à des embrassements sans innocence”. Among the Yahgan, little girls are betrothed to adult men; sometimes parents agree to unions between little boys and girls[132]. Girls of ten to twelve are found to be no longer virgin[133]. Culwick (1939:p425)[134] observed that Bantu girls had practiced the procreative act seven years before their puberty. Trézenem (1936)[135] on the Fan (Gabon) speaks of coitus from the age of capacity. Prepubertal coitus was common among the Ababoua (Périn, 1991)[136]. Precocity was also noted in the Bayamwezi (Bösch, 1930)[137]. Abbadie[138] found that men bought Nuba girls and sleep with them “long before menstruation”. The Urhobo and Isoko of the Niger Delta begin sexual intercourse “very early in life”[139]. Colle (1913, I:p279)[140] on the Baluba: “Même avant la puberté, garçons et filles se fixent des rendez-vous secrets, dans les herbes ou sur le bord de la rivière”. Vanden Plas (1910:p215)[141], on the Kuku: “Les enfants de sexe différente, se recherchent très jeunes et s’essayent à mettre en pratique les enseignements que leur a procurés leur promiscuité sur un même lit avec leurs parents”. Bruneel (Van Overbergh, 1909:p309)[142]: “J’ai constaté souvent que des enfants se réunissaient la nuit; et s’ils ne pouvaient consommer l’acte charnel, tout au moins en faissaient-ils le simulacre”. Hanolet (ibid.) agrees: “Comme, chez les filles, l’âge de la puberté n’est même pas atteint, les moeurs indigènes ne s’opposent à ces practiques [relations sexuelles]; ces relations restent cachées toutefois”. Schmitz (Van Overbergh, 1908:p253)[143], on the Basonge: “Bien avant leur puberté, tout gosses encore, négrillons et négrillonnes se roulent dans les coins, en quête de voluptés. “Ils ne peuvent pas encore, mais ils essayent”.” Delhaise (1909:p167)[144], on the Warega: “Les rapports sexuels se pratiquent entre gens de sexe différent nonmariés, même avant l’âge de puberté”.Schultze (1907:p298, 309)[145] noted the precocity of the Hottentots. “Bei der sinnlichen Frühreife des Volkes haben Knaben oft schon Geschlechtsverkehr, ehe sie den Kinderspielen entwachsen sind” (Karsch-Haack, 1911:p132). According to Freimark (1911:p163)[146], it was not uncommon among the Senegalese Wolof to find premenarchal coitus[147].


As further ventured in Vol. II, ch. 6 (esp. §, African coitarche age may be estimated higher because of respondents misinterpreting questions on first sexual intercourse and reporting their age at the onset of intercourse with either their first or current husband rather than their age at intromission (cf. Meekers, 1995)[148].



Pseudo-Coitarchal and Pseudo-Coital Forms; Virginity Testing 


“Before marriage, in general, adolescents were permitted varied sexual experiences, although completion of the sex act was to be avoided and was often condemned”[149]. Ericksen (1989)[150] found 24 out of 115 African societies where tests were present in some form[151]. It seems to have survived modernity at least in South Africa[152]. A number of African societies[153] practice nonpenetrative coitus as a means of preserving premarital virginity, customs at times acquiring a (semi-)institutional status, and a specific name[154]. In the Durban area of South Africa, “The testing of girls generally involve[d] examination of the vagina by a teacher while the girl lies on the ground. A virginity test for boys involve[d] looking for lines at the back of the knees, inspecting the foreskin (which should be hard), and testing whether boys can urinate over a wire suspended 1 m above the ground. Testing occur[ed] in a public, ceremonial setting, with certificate[d] subsequently awarded to virgins by the All Africa Cultural Organization”[155].



Further reading:


·          Certified virginity [reviving a South African ritual]. Mother Jones 26,5 (September/October 2001) p78-9

·          Commission on Gender Equality (2000) Consultative Conference on Virginity Testing. Report, 12 – 14 June 2000 []

·          Daley, S. (1999b) Virginity Testing Custom Revived In South Africa Raises A Storm, Sister Namibia 11:45

·          Daley, S., Screening girls for abstinence in South Africa [virginity testing]. New York Times (Late New York Edition) (August 17 1999a) p. A3

·          Hlongwa, Wonder, 'Teens turn to anal sex to keep virginity', SABC News, South Africa 26/06/2004

·          Kaarsholm, P. (2002) Moral Panic and Cultural Mobilisation, Responses to the Crises of AIDS, Crime and Transition in a KwaZulu-Natal Slum. Paper for presentation at WISER interdisciplinary seminar

·          Klein, R., Virginity tests for girls of six [Zulu ritual in South Africa]. The Times Educational Supplement no. 4450 (October 12 2001) p16

·          Kwamashu Boys to Undergo Virginity Testing, South African Press Association Jan 30, 2002, pNA

·          Leclerc-Madlala, S. (2001) Virginity testing: managing sexuality in a maturing HIV/AIDS epidemic, Med Anthropol Quart 15,4:533-52

·          Leclerc-Madlala, S. (2003) Protecting girlhood? Virginity revivals in the era of AIDS, Agenda 56:16-25 []

·          Maharaj, Ansuyah "Virginity Testing a Matter of Abuse or Prevention?," Agenda, no. 41, 1999

·          McGreal, C., Virgin tests come back as AIDS kills the Zulus, The Guardian, September 29, 1999

·          Memela, Zwelihle "Virginity Testers Fight for Their `Cultural Rights,'" Natal Witness, December 6, 2000

·          Ngalwa, Sibusiso (2004) Traditionalists see virtue in virgin testing, Sunday Tribune, August 29, 2004, p16

·          Reuters, J. (2001) Virginity Tests on Comeback Trail in South Africa, Jenda 1,1:1-3 []

·          Scorgie, F. (2002) Virginity Testing and the Politics of Sexual Responsibility: Implications for AIDS Intervention, African Studies 61,1:55-75

·          South Africa: Virginity Testing, IRIN HIV/AIDS Weekly, Issue 8, January 5, 2001



Early and Age-Stratified Betrothal 


Both horizontal and age stratified betrothal was extremely common in pre- and early colonial Africa. Rohlfs reported mothers of ten or twelve at fesan (cited by Sumner, 1906:p382)[156]. The Akan custom of “Asiwa”[157] (infant betrothal) had almost become the principal form of getting married until it was abolished, in 1918, by the Okyeman Council[158]. (“A few child betrothals and maternal cross-cousin marriages are still made but they are increasingly difficult to enforce among the younger generation which prefers more freedom in the selection of a mate” (Warren, 1975:p33)[159]).


Among the Fanti, children could be betrothed before they were mature. The Masai practiced fetal and infant betrothal. Infant betrothal was further said to be practiced by the Azande, and Mbuti. Childhood betrothal was practised among the Dogon. Yao girls would be betrothed as infants or small children. Betrothal before birth or in early infancy was usual among the Kuranko. Among the Ewe, children would be betrothed in childhood or before birth. Among the Tshi-speaking people, a girl was publicly advertised for marriage at puberty (age 11-12) by being paraded through the streets decked out in ornaments. Lateral betrothals frequently took place before puberty and sometimes before birth. Among the Yoruba-speaking peoples, girls of better class were almost always betrothed when children, frequently when infants, the husband in futuro being sometimes an adult, sometimes a boy. Among the Konkomba, a girl was betrothed to a man of more than twenty years of age, sometimes to an elder who may give her away for marriage. Among the Ethiopean Galla, marriages were often arranged by betrothal at a very young age. In the Uganda protectorate, “[a]t any stage of its infant life a child may be betrothed to some other infant or to one many years older than itself”. Among the Somali, infant betrothal may have been common in the past. Among the Mambwe / Amambwe (Zambia), betrothal was common in childhood. Among the Yahgan, little girls were betrothed to adult men; sometimes parents agree to unions between little boys and girls. The Ila child was sometimes betrothed at age four, or even earlier. Among the Mouktélé (Northern Cameroon), children were betrothed in infancy, somewhere around age six. Among the Bangwa (Western Cameroon), a baby was betrothed at birth, or in infancy. Among the Bali (Western Cameroon), betrothal, but not marriage, of children could take place before menarche or puberty. The Fang were sometimes married before birth. Koalib girls were betrothed at eight or nine years of age, and at twelve or thirteen the marriage was consummated. Nuba men begin courting at age twenty and generally get betrothed to a girl child. Among the Azande, infant betrothal was the rule. As for the Tshidi Barolong (South Africa), infant betrothal is practiced. Among the nomadic Fulani children were betrothed at ages seven to ten in the case of girls, and from three to ten in the case of boys. The Shuwalbe Fulani practiced infant betrothal between boy and girl. Infant betrothal and adoption marriage among the Mbaise Igbo. Traditionally, betrothal in infancy or childhood was customary in Benin Kingdom and among the Northern Edo. In case of the Igbira of Northern Nigeria, betrothal often took place in childhood. Among the Igala, betrothal could occur at age four to five. Among the Utonkon-Effium Orri, betrothal of girls occurred at birth. Among the Luo, child betrothal or marriage could take place. Childhood betrothal was noted for the Shambala. The Nkundo girl could be betrothed in infancy. In Tanzania, immature girls could also be betrothed, but infant betrothal occurred only in mock fashion.




Early and Age-Stratified Marriage 


For a convenient overview of recent Minimum Marriage age, consider Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls Mission Statement, Appendix Two, as based on 1995 International Planned Parenthood Foundation and International Women’s Rights Action Watch data[160]. See also Median and Minimum Legal Age at Marriage, Age at First Sexual Intercourse, Premarital Sexual Experience, tables (Population Reports, Volume XXIII, Number 3; October, 1995).


“Child marriage” in Africa has been widespread in pre-colonial Africa. As Westermarck ([1901:p213-4)[161] surveyed (orig. footnotes):


“Among the African Marutze, the children “are often affianced at an early age, and the marriage is consummated as soon as the girl arrives at maturity[162]. The Negroes of the Gold Coast, according to Bosman, often arranged for the marriage of infants directly after birth[163]; whilst among the Bushmans, Bechuanas, and Ashantees, children are engaged when they are still in the womb, in the event of their proving to be girls[164]”.


In the Sahel, where the Islamic pattern of marriage shortly after menarche is traditional, the custom of early marriage is still observed (Zabin and Kiragu, 1998:p213)[165]. In Oman, marriage at age 11 ranged from 9% (Soher community) to 27% (Nizwa community)[166].


In Ethiopia, marriage occurs between age 12 and 15. Hausa women were married just before puberty (villages) or after (rural dwellers), to adolescents some seven years older. A Tuareg girl may have been married by age seven or eight. Fang children were sometimes married before birth. In pre-1900 Nubia, girls were married at the age of from eight to ten years. G/wi girls were married at age 7-9, boys at about 14-15. Among the !Kung, eight and nine-year-old brides would be married to teenaged husbands. Bela would have been married before puberty. Among the Kabyles, a father could marry his daughter before she has reached puberty. Among the Igala (Northern Nigeria), the marriageable age was eight to ten for girls, and sixteen to eighteen for boys. A very rare custom, the marriage of an immature boy (barely ten) to a grown woman was considered as a sign of prosperity, and occurred not seldom- especially in former days.


Today[167], “very little country data exist about marriages under the age of 14, even less about those below age 10”. In Ethiopia and in parts of West Africa, marriage at age seven or eight is not uncommon. In Kebbi State, Northern Nigeria, the average age of marriage for girls is just over 11 years, against a national average of 17[168]. A 1991 UN Population Cart indicates legal ages of marriage of 9 in Morocco (males, with parental consent, compared to 21 for females) and 6 for Ghana (both sexes, with or without consent)[169].


[Additional refs.: Neyn, P. de (1697) Lusthof der Huwelyken […]. Amsterdam: Lamsveldt. Fasc.repr. 1966. Leiden [Holland]: A. W. Sijthoff, p171-230]




Girl Meets Boy: Chronological Aspects  


A reflection on the variety of courtship scenes may be appreciated by a selection of examples:


“Play courtship” in childhood (Bantu, Zulu); “Courtship often commences long before a marriageable age is reached. Headmen of quite advanced age frequently train young girls, generally maidens in their employ, in their habits and ways with a view to ultimately marrying them” (Ambo, Rhodesia); In later childhood girls “will probably have a lover or two, as erotic play and courtship behaviour begins at a relatively early age, often prior to puberty / After the menarchal rites are “eligible for serious courtship or marriage” (Nharo, Botswana); Courtship seems to begin in “youth” (Dinga, Sudan); A specific courting hut (lomore) allows a free atmosphere for adolescent [the exact age at which it is entered is not given] girls to meet boys (Mandari, Sudan); Courtship and marriage takes place “at an early age”, allegedly because no payment or gifts are given or expected (Udhuk, Ethiopia); “Girls are courted beginning at ages twelve to thirteen, and will have a series of lovers by age fifteen to sixteen” (Nuer, Ethiopia); Around puberty (Somali); Adolescents are permitted to play husband and wife (suka-sehil) which is regarded as immature courtship or flirtation and does not lead to consummation or marriage (Toucouleur,Senegal); More or less formal courtship starts after puberty (Fali, North-Cameroon);Boys of thirteen to fifteen looked around for a bride among the eight to twelve years old girls / Men begin courting at age twenty and generally get betrothed to a girl child, in which case sexual intercourse awaits puberty (Otoro Nuba); Washing in cold water once on an early morning without shivering is the only test a young man is given by his father or guardian to ascertain whether he is now grown up and fit to court girls and eventually marry (Thonga); Boys of about 15 (after initiation)  and girls of 12 will be preoccupied with seeking a mate (Kipsigis, Kenya). “Children start having “sweethearts”, “boy-friends” or “girl-friends”, “cherries” (girls), or iintokazi (lit., female things) from 10 or 11 years onwards” (urbanised Xhosa).





Animal Contacts (®Vol. II, §8.2.3) 


In a few societies, copulation with animals is reported for African boys, among the Tswana, Riffian, and Masai (Ford and Beach, 1951:p147, 148). Particularly herding boys may be more intimate with cattle than with the opposite sex. Nomad and Nuer herdboys are seen to drink milk straight from camel’s udders (e.g., Pavitt, 1997:p147, ill.; Akalu, 1985:p46, ill.)[170]. Young boys are seen performing cunnilingus on cattle to stimulate the motivation to mate (e.g., Nomachi, 1989 [1990:p45, ill.])[171]. “The shepherd-boys of the Tswana frequently have intercourse with their flocks, but are punished if caught in the act” (De Rachewiltz (1963 [1964:p283]). “Riffian youths who have not yet attained the age of puberty have intercourse with she-asses in order to get sexual capacity and to make the penis grow (Ford, 1945 [1964:p20]).




“Sexual” Initiation: Ceremonial and Pubertal License 


Reviews of circumcision and initiation rites are provided in three German works: Jensen[172], Zeller[173] and Ploß[174]. Most pre-industrial African societies were clearly age graded, usually into three distinct phases[175]. It is commonly known that African sexual license is organised by ceremonial grant, which in turn is, although often loosely, connected to pubertal stigmata. It is also commonly known that Christian morality ended sex teachings essential in traditional initiation trajectories (e.g., Read, 1955 [1970:p275])[176]. “Obscenity” would be a part of initiation activities among many tribes, including the Ila, Thonga, Kamba, Lango, Didinga, Lugbwara, and Inggassana (Bertling, 1934:p97-8)[177]. Crawley (1929:p17-8) relates: “In certain central African tribes both boys and girls after initiation must as soon as possible have intercourse, the belief being that, if they do not, they will die[178]. […] After the seclusion of a Kafir girl at puberty she is allowed to cohabit with anyone during the festivals which follow[179]; Kafir boys after being circumcised may have connexion with any unmarried females they can persuade[180]. Similar practices are found on the Senegal[181] and Congo[182]”. Seligman and Seligman (1928:p447)[183] mentioned a pubertal requirement for intercourse among the Bari. Ford and Beach (1951:p182)[184] stated that intercourse before puberty ceremonies are strictly forbidden in “most of the African societies” in their sample (Chagga, Masai, Pedi, Swazi, Thonga [inferred] and Wolof). “African Chagga, Thonga, Kikui, Wolof are strictly forbidden copulation before circumcision”[185].


Sexual license of circumcision is also noted for many tribes, for instance the Amwimbe (Browne, 1913:p140)[186] and Tiriki (Sangree, 1966; Kertzer, 1978:p1092)[187]. The male Mochuana (Becwana tribes) “is warned that sexual intercourse among the uncircumcised has the same connecting effect as when dogs indulge in it- that the internal organs of the woman are drawn out of her and many similar things too disgusting to mention” (Brown, 1921:p421)[188]. Among the Tiv (Bohannan, 1954:p2)[189], women “say that the idea of sexual relations with an uncircumcised man is repugnant”, expressing their distaste in terms of cleanliness and, mostly, fastidiousness” (Circumcision was said to take place at age 7 to pubescence). The Bakuria, who practice a form of preteen-preteen going-steady [Kisassi], also shy for the precircumcision taboo. “Kisassi companions do not indulge in intercourse which is forbidden to both sexes before circumcision. This rule is seldom broken, for it is believed that were a girl to indulge in sexual intercourse before she was circumcised, or were she to receive an uncircumcised man after she was circumcised, she would become sterile” (Baker, 1927:p223)[190]. The puberty rite may take on itself overt references to sexual practices. Among the Basala (Bantu, Northern Rhodesia), the Chingande represents a dance performed by youths and young girls at the beginning and end of the ceremony. “Lewd sexual actions are performed, the youth usually clasping the girl from behind” (Brelsford, 1935:p215)[191].


African woman-pubescenta initiation systems, known for their “practical and theoretical instruction in sexual life” (Róheim, 1929:p189[192])[193], are often characterised by secrecy, resulting in the ethnologists’ apology of his/her ignorance on the practice.

The custom of Kyiribra[194], the nonperformance of puberty rites on a girl who is already pregnant, is a traditional means of negative, but definite social control in some communities of West Africa. Kyiribra is indicative not merely of a crime but also a sacrilege[195].




Contemporary Coitarche 


The norms regarding premarital sexual activity in African societies very strongly in different societies[196]. Contrary to the belief that teenage premarital sexual activity is a new phenomenon caused by socio-economic development in Africa, particularly Western education, data[197] show that sexual activity among unmarried adolescents was also common in the past, and that increases across cohorts have occurred mostly in countries where the prevalence was already high. Surveys[198] further suggest that median female coitarche ages in Africa of the late 1980s/begin 1990s lie between 14.9 (Niger, 1992, women 45-49y) and 20.1 (Namibia, 1992, women 45-49y).


In an adolescent clinic population in Ethiopia, premenarche sexual initiation [coitarche] was noted to occur in 40% of the girls (Duncan et al., 1994)[199]. In rural Tanzania, coitarche occurs at 13.8 among 15-19-year-olds (Stewart, 1995)[200]. [Varkevisser (1969:p74-5)[201] noted that the freedom associated with the traditional rural house-keeping game mbuliya, wherein “[e]ven the more intimate aspects of married life were not forgotten”[202] was almost vanished, an influence attributable at least in part to Christianity.]




Age-Stratified Love of Boys; Prostitution[203] 


Describing explicitly a sexual encounter between a young boy and his significantly older choirmaster, Behr[204] said to have “juxtaposed homosexual pedophilia with brutalities in the text, which, I hope, raised the question of our society’s obsession with childhood sexuality”. While such claims have been posed for other continents, boy prostitution was said to have been very common (Drew and Drake, 1969:p54-69). In Northern Africa, this seemed to be influenced by Arab and Turkish rule, and pederasty would have been “virtually pandemic”[205]. In Algeria, the youngest boys cost 10 cents an hour, the price declining with age. In Morocco, a boy might be had right on the sidewalk but more frequently a cafe was visited. “Nearly every traveller and writer on Morocco in the last century reported on the near universal practice of Greek Love and boy prostitution”. For sub-Saharan Africa, they are less precise: “[a]ll sorts of sex play among children and adults seem perfectly natural in many situations”. A scene of boy prostitution seemed to have existed in early 20th century Johannesburg, including (a few) little boys up to men in their twenties (Junod, I, p492-5); the natives “speak of it with laughter”.


A boy–wife system seems to have been customary among the Azande (®Azande). Another report of boy-wife system comes from Moodie et al. (1988, 1989; 1994; etc.)[206], and apparently independently, from Harries (1990)[207].  Among South African male immigrant miners there was a well-established system known as “wives of the mines”, (or bukhontxana, mariage entre mineurs), young boys providing domestic and sexual services (intercrural intercourse, alike Xhosa ukumetsha), one to each man, in return for remuneration.


Among the Muslim Mombasa Swahili, boys beginning at the age of twelve as they start to move into all-male social contexts have age-stratified sexual relationships with older men (Shepherd, 1987)[208]. The junior is called shoga, the senior is known as pasha. Anal intercourse appears to be the accepted practice (Standing and Kisekka, 1989:p107-8).


Age-stratified homosexuality would be common among the Herero and Hottentots. Among the Wawihé (Angola), boys are loved from age 12 to 18. Falk (1925/6 [1998:p188])[209] noted that among the Ovambos, “kitchen boys” aged 10-12 were given by their wives or their betrothed for pederastic purposes “to keep the men faithful” during their service at the minefields. Among the Hereros, apparently prepubertal boys form an oupanga (mutual bond?) in a homosexual relation until after marriage “at quite an early age” ([1998:p191-2]), yet it may continue after circumcision. The boys might also be used by men, as is indicated by the term okutunduka vanena (“mounts boys”). The adults regard it as child’s play, and deny its later continuation. The practice is allowed but not to be spoken of. Among the Hottentots, also, two boys “often unite themselves and watch each other jealously” (p193).

Among the Mossi (Moose) royal court in what is now Bukina Faso, pages of ages 7-15 were selected for their beauty in the early 20th century. These soronés were to play female roles and serve men on Fridays when sexual intercourse with women was prohibited (Tauxier, 1912:p569-70)[210]. The boys were given a wife when reaching sexual maturity; their sons would become soronés. Annual tests were to certify their heterosexual virginity. Further age stratified homosexual patterns are noted for the Nkundo (Hulstaert, 1938:p86-7), Bangala / Mbangala (Soyaux, 1879, II:p59)[211], and Zulu (Krige, 1965:p276-7; Morris, 1965:p36, 52; Van Onselen, 1984:p15)[212].


Some case material points to incidental “paedosexual” practices. Anyi informants in the Ivory Coast (Akan), told Parin that “in every village there are some men who, for neurotic reasons, do not have sexual relations with women. A number of them are known to practice occasional reciprocal masturbation with boys” (Parin et al., 1980:p204)[213]. Among the Pangwe, Tessmann (1904 [I]:p131)[214] noted that boys “who as is well known “have neither understanding nor shame” ” have sexual acquintesses with older men, who “are excused with the [...] assertion: a bele nnem e bango= “he has the heart (that is, the aspirations) of boys”.


Falk (1923 [1998:p168])[215] states that “[s]ame-sex activity today is today practiced mostly by the younger generation: by boys from seven until eighteen years and by girls of the same age”. Boys deny their share. An eighteen-year-old youth may sleep alternately with a twelve-year-old boy katakuma (lover, girl) and with his wife.


African female boarding school life was typified by an age-stratified homoeroticism (see Vol. II, §III.3.1 for refs). Omari (1963:p152-3)[216] relates the following:


“In some of the more established girls’ secondary schools in Ghana, as even in Nigeria and in other West African countries, it is an internally accepted practice for a senior girl to have a “my dear”. The junior “my dear” is supposed to (and generally does) provide the senior one with the services of a lover short of the sex act itself. These include washing of clothing, making of the bed, running errands, making “love” to and sharing beds with her when the senior partner wants the junior one to do so. If this practice is not to be called homosexualism it is only because this is essentially an adolescent subculture of the boarding school which is most often done in fun. Affection for the girl “lover” is easily and readily transferred to men when school is in recess and at the end of boarding school days”.


The comprehensive overview offered by Murray and Roscoe[217] was criticised by Brockman[218] who argues for an interpretation within the context of African age classifications.




Sugar Daddies (=Vol. II, § 


Typical of Sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania[219], South Africa) and the Caribbean (Jamaica), the “sugar daddy”[220] syndrome, refers to older, relatively wealthy men who engage adolescents in sexual relationships. Schoolgirls find sugar daddies to pay school fees, etc. (Van Haren, 1999[221]; Sellix, 1996[222]; Bledsoe 1990[223]; Meekers and Calvès, 1997[224] and refs.; Kuate-Defo, 2004[225]).


Authors[226] have argued against an essentialist concept of “sugared” relationships as unilateral and coercive. Silberschmidt and Rasch (2001)[227] observed that older adolescent girls are normally seen as victims and easy preys of older and married men’s sexual exploitation. However, the article was to suggest that these girls are “not only victims but also willing preys and active social agents engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour” with old males (relationships called mpenzi). Discussing these abusive patterns within the “more diffuse forms of sexual economic exchange”, Johnson[228] recently argued that


“[t]here are thus many situations in which both adults and children are legally and socially considered capable of giving meaningful sexual consent despite being massively disadvantaged in relation to their sexual partner in terms of socio-economic power. It follows, then, that the Sugar Daddy does not usually need to distort social agreed ideas about childhood or sexual consent in order to rationalise a sexual relationship with a teenage girl. Nor can his motivations necessarily be described as aberrant. In many cultures, youthful female bodies are considered sexually desirable, and men are expected to demonstrate their masculinity through their capacity to command sexual access to ‘desirable’ female bodies”.


Ba (1981)[229] suggests that early sexual experience is common among urbanised youth, using data from French West Africa. Sexual games played in childhood rapidly change into monetarised relationships, which would be tacitly accepted by society.


A series of articles about sugar-daddies by Nancy Luke:


Luke, N. & Kurz, K. (2002) Cross-generational and Transactional Sexual

Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa: Prevalence of Behavior and Implications

for Negotiating Safer Sexual Practices. Washington, DC: International

Center for Research on Women, Research Paper Series [48p]


Luke, N. (nd?) Age Mixing and Transaction in Adolescent Girls’ Sexual

Relationships in Sub-Saharan Africa. Works in Progress [43p]


Luke, N. (nd?) Confronting the Myth of 'Sugar Daddies': Linking Age and

Economic Asymmetries and Risky Sexual Behavior in Urban Kenya. Paper

presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meetings, May

8-11, Atlanta, GA. [Works in Progress; 22p]


Luke, Nancy. Confronting the “Sugar Daddy” Stereotype: Age and Economic

Asymmetries and Risky Sexual Behavior in Urban Kenya

January 2004 [22p]


Luke, Nancy. “Are Adolescent Girls Vulnerable to Transaction in Sexual

Relationships? A Quantitative Investigation.”

[Sept 2003] [22p]


Luke, Nancy. 2003. “Age and Economic Asymmetries in the Sexual

Relationships of Adolescent Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Studies in

Family Planning 34(2):67-86


“This literature review assesses the extent of age mixing and economic

transactions in the sexual relationships of adolescent girls in

sub-Saharan Africa and the behavioral dynamics of girls and men involved

in these partnerships. The examination of more than 45 quantitative and

qualitative studies finds that relationships with older partners and

those that involve economic transactions are common and that these

asymmetries are associated with unsafe sexual behaviors and increased

risk of HIV infection. Although the reasons that adolescent girls engage

in sexual relationships with older men are varied, receipt of financial

benefits is a major motivation. The literature presents evidence that

girls have considerable negotiating power over certain aspects of sexual

relationships with older men, including partnership formation and

continuation; however, they have little control over sexual practices

within partnerships, including condom use and violence. The review

discusses directions for further research and the implications of

current knowledge for future interventions.”


Confronting the 'Sugar Daddy' Stereotype: Age and Economic Asymmetries and Risky Sexual Behavior in Urban Kenya

By Nancy Luke

International Family Planning Perspectives

Volume 31, Number 1, March 2005, p6-14


Exchange and Risky Behavior in Sexual Relationships in Urban Kenya

To be presented at the Population Studies Center, University of

Pennsylvania, March15, 2004

Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Boston, April

1-3, 2004

Department of Sociology, Brown University, April 6, 2004


Virgin Cleasing Myth


This myth would be encountered in Zimbabwe and South Africa; unconfirmed sources suggest the virgin myth exists in Botswana, Swaziland and other countries. The South African case (e.g., Hinfelaar, 1994), tipped to be the place of origin[230] was recently denied by Jewkes et al.[231] who could cite only one possible case.


Additional refs.:

·          Dickson, Peter "Myth of `Virgin Cure' May Be Linked to Rape," Sunday Times, September 27, 1998

·          Epprecht, M. (1998) The “Unsaying” of Indigenous Homosexualities in Zimbabwe: Mapping a Blindspot in an African Masculinity, J Southern Afr Stud 24,4:631-51, at p64

·          Govender, Prega "Child Rape: A Taboo Within the AIDS Taboo," Sunday Times, April 4, 1999

·          Groenink, E. (1995) Seks met kinderen als medicijn tegen AIDS, Opzij [Dutch] 23,9:41

·          Jewkes, R. (2004) Child Sexual Abuse and HIV in South Africa: Beyond Virgin Cleansing. International Research & Action Conference Innovations in Understanding Violence Against Women, April 25-28

·          Jewkes, R., Matubatuba, C., Metsing, D. et al. (Jan., 2000) Stepping Stones: Feedback from the Field. Online article,

·          Keeton, C. (2001) Infant’s gang rape spurs outrage across South Africa, Nando Times, Nov. 10th

·          In South Africa: Girl Babies Raped, Women’s Int Network News, Winter 2002; 28,1:56

·          Leclerc-Madlala, S. (2002) On the virgin cleansing myth: gendered bodies, AIDS and ethnomedicine, African J Aids Research 1,2:87-95

·          Maxwell, J. (2000) Africa’s lost generation,

·          Meel, B. L. (2003) The myth of child rape as a cure for HIV/AIDS in Transkei: a case report, Med Sci Law 43,1:85-8

·          Millner, C. (2002) South Africa’s Shame, Essence 33,4:114-7

·          Smith, Ch. (2003) The virgin rape myth - a media creation or a clash between myth and a lack of HIV treatment?4th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS) ‘Sex and Secrecy’




Initiation and Instruction 


Burton[232] remarks:


“All now known barbarous tribes in Inner Africa, America and Australia, whose instincts have not been overlaid by reason, have a ceremony which they call "making men." As soon as the boy shows proofs of puberty, he and his coevals are taken in hand by the mediciner and the Fetisheer; and, under priestly tuition, they spend months in the "bush," enduring hardships and tortures which impress the memory till they have mastered the "theorick and practick" of  social and sexual relations”.


As Beidelman (1997:p265n1) points out, beside Ottenberg (1989), who adopts a psychodynamic narrative, few authors have considered the transmission of sexual information before initiation. This leaves the impression that, with the ritualisation of sex instructions, a tight social and legal stratification could be effected. This fits well the observation that tribal education measures were generally prosexual in a narrow sense of promarital[233]. It is the decay of this system that most critically announces Westernisation curricula, leaving matters to the (incompetent, it is said) authority of schooling environments. As can be further anticipated, the sexological implications of initiations (®Table, column “I”) could be detailed only in selected cases.




The Instructrix/-Tor (cf. GUS Vol. II, §7.2.5) 


African woman-pubescenta initiation systems, known for their “practical and theoretical instruction in sexual life” (Róheim, 1929:p189[234]), are often characterised by secrecy, resulting in the ethnologists’ apology of his/her ignorance on the practice. Outside of Africa, this pattern is less stereotypical. African girlhood sex instruction may be provided by mothers[235], older sisters[236], an instructress[237] or “some older woman”[238], grandmothers[239], and aunts[240]. Sexual instruction may also be a part of quasi-formal pubescenta-prepubescenta alliances as seen in Lesotho, Ghana and Nigeria and among the Venda/Bemba.

The aunt variety is especially recognised in East and southern Africa, as summarised by Muyinda et al. (2003): “…senga (Baganda) … masenge (Tutsi) … kungwi (Zaromo) … namkungwi (Chewa) … wanachimbusa (Bemba) … tete (Shona) … mangwane (Sotho)…”.


The detail of African sex education is unparalleled in other continents, except perhaps in parts of Oceania. The technique of coitus is covered in detail in the sexual education curricula of a number of African societies[241]. Sometimes, coitus is graphically demonstrated, using models or animals[242]. That most traditional African instruction has been technically explicit needs no reserve. In many cases, details of coital techniques are part of the agenda[243]. Girls, particularly, are instructed with songs of an explicit character[244], the transmission of data being regarded as a most central part of the rite, both the identity of the teacher and the curriculum being formalised. It includes such techniques as cunnilingus, orgasm timing, culturally prescribed coital positions, etc.


Although perhaps unnecessary, Northern ZambiaBemba matrilinear instructions on how to please a future husband were said to be given “in such detail that many men who intend to marry a lady from another tribe set great store in her being taught by the Bemba grannies in the rural areas”. As Richards notes, running counter Christian teachings, the Bemba socialise sex and prepare the young of both sexes for the satisfaction of the sex impulse “as soon as possible” and “to an extend unknown in modern society”. A female journalist was quoted by Hinfelaar as complaining:


“The rise in promiscuity which the nation is experiencing can be squarely attributed to the initiation ceremonies on which women spend much of their time teaching small girls how to become professional love-makers. Is this what initiation is all about, a tradition that turns daughters of the soil into prostitutes who later bring unnecessary problems like unplanned babies and diseases?[245]”.


This type of education is largely abandoned today[246].




The User of this Atlas will note that the author has not specifically focussed on medical issues per se, although much of contemporary material on Africa surfaced in the context of HIV/AIDS discussions. For USAID HIV/AIDS profiles outline country- and region-specific information on epidemiology, factors contributing to the disease's spread, challenges faced in mitigating the epidemic, national- and regional-level responses to date, and a summary of USAID-funded HIV/AIDS activities, go, Africa section. Also consider




Ethnographic Atlas


Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo. See also entries under Zaire; Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rhodesia. See Zambia, Zimbabwe; Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Chad, Togo, Uganda, Upper Volta. See Burkina Faso, Zaire. See also entries under Congo; Zambia, Zimbabwe; uncovered SCCS; unspecified




Additional Reading: Africa 


·        Adegoke, A. A (2001) Pubertal Development and Traditional Support Systems in Africa: An Overview, African J Reproductive Health 5,1:20-30      

·        Caldwell, J. C., Caldwell, P. & Orubuloye, I. O. (1992) The Family and Sexual Networking in Sub-Saharan Africa: Historical Regional Differences and Present-Day Implications, Popul Stud 46,3:385-410

·        Caldwell, J. C., Caldwell, P. & Quiggin, P. (1989) The Social Context of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, Populat & Developm Rev 15,2:185-234

·        Eilers, A. (1927) Die Sozialen Beziehungen des Kindes bei den Bantunegern. Hamburg

  • Ennew, J. Gopal, K., Heeran, J. & Montgomery, H. (1996) Children and Prostitution: How Can We Measure and Monitor the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children? Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography. 2nd ed., with additional material prepared for the Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Stockholm, August 26-31 []
  • Gupta, N. & Mahy, M. (2003) Sexual Initiation Among Adolescent Girls and Boys: Trends and Differentials in Sub-Saharan Africa, Arch Sex Behav 32,1:41–53
  • Gupta, N. & Mahy, M. (2001) Sexual Initiation among Adolescent Women and Men: Trends and Differentials in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paper presented on the XXIV General Population Conference, Salvador (Brazil), 18-24 August 2001

·        Hoernle, A. W. (1931) An outline of the native conception of education in Africa Africa 4,2:145-63

·        Jansen, C. J.(1988) Homosexuele Handelingen in Noord Afrika. Onderzoek naar het Voorkomen en de Vorm van Homosexuele Handelingen in Noord Afrika.Dissertation, Amsterdam [Dutch]

·        Klepp, K., Ndeki, S. et al. (1996) Predictors of intention to be sexually active among Tanzanian school children, East Afr Med J 73,4:218-24

·        Lalor, K. (April 2004) Child sexual abuse in sub-Saharan Africa: a literature review, Child Abuse & Neglect 28,4:439-60

·        Olenick, I. (1998)Female Circumcision is Nearly Universal in Egypt, Eritrea, Mali and Sudan (in Digests), Int Fam Plann Perspect 24,1:47-9

·        Pattman, R. & Chege, F. (2003) ‘Dear diary I saw an angel, she looked like heaven on earth’: Sex talk and sex education, African J AIDS Res 2, 2:103-12

·        Ravenhill, Ph. L. (1978) The Interpretation of Symbolism in Wan Female Initiation, Africa 48,1:66-78

·        Rooth, G. (1973) Exhibitionism outside Europe and America, Arch Sex Behav 2,4:351-63

·        Smith, T. L. (2001) Pre-teen and early adolescent African American girls’ attitudes toward teen sexual behavior and pregnancy, DAI-B 61(8-B): 4429

·        Stavrou, S. E. & Kaufman, C. E. (2000) “Bus Fare Please”: The Economics of Sex, Gifts and Violence among Adolescents in Urban South Africa. To be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, March 23-25, Los Angeles, California, United States []

·        Stevens, W. E. & Vrzal, R. D. (1974) Male false pride syndrome: Cause and cure, J Am Instit Hypnosis 15,4:157-60

·        Task Force to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism, Africa, in French and English (full document pdf - 2.832 KB) Dakar, Senegal, 30 September - 1 October 2003. Final Reports for the Regional Consultations for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism []

·        Varga, Ch. A. (1999) South African young people’s sexual dynamics: implications for behavioural responses to HIV/AIDS, Resistances to Behavioural Change to Reduce HIV/AIDS Infection, p13-34





Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: May 2005


[1] Rasing (2001:p282), cit. infra, song 194: “Please mother, come out and ulululate for me, I have brought my maturity”.

[2] Minor adjustments having been made, the present monograph has been digitally available at as of January 30th, 2003. The Sub-Saharan Africa part of GUS Volume 1 was released as a monograph: Occasional delivery of paper excerpt monograph, “Growing Up Sexually in Sub-Saharan Africa” for African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

[3] Barton, Th. G. (1991) Sexuality and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Annotated Bibliography. Nairobi, Kenya: African Medical and Research Foundation

[4] Standing, H. & Kisekka, M. N. (1989) Sexual Behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review and Annotated Bibliography. London: Overseas Development Administration

[5] Beck, R. B. (1979) A Bibliography of Africana in the Institute for Sex Research, Indiana University. African Studies Program, Indiana University

[6] Molnos, A. (Ed., 1973) Cultural Source Materials for Population Planning in East Africa. University of Nairobi, Institute of African Studies. Esp. Vol. 3

[7] Ayisi, E. O. (1979) An Introduction to the Study of African Culture. 2nd ed. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, see p6-12

[8] Cudjoe, S. D. (1965) Sex and human relations: African pattern, in Sex and Human Relations. Proeccedings of the 4th Conference of the Region Earope, Near East and Africa of the International Parenthood Federation, London, 8-11th June, 1964. Amsterdam [etc.]: Excerpta Medica, p31-3

[9] Caldwell, J. C., Caldwell, P. & Quiggin, P. (1989) The Social Context of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, Populat & Developm Rev 15,2:185-234; Caldwell, J. C., Caldwell, P. & Quiggin, P. (1991) The African Sexual System: A Reply to Le Blanc et al., Populat & Developm Rev 17,3:506-15

[10] Le Blanc, M. N., Meintel, D. & Piche, V. (1991) The African Sexual System: Comment on Caldwell et al., Populat & Developm Rev 17,3:497-505. See further Heald, S. (1995) The power of sex: some reflections on the Caldwell's “African sexuality” thesis, Africa 65,4:489-505

[11] Ahlberg, B. M. (1994) Is there a distinct African sexuality? A critical response to Caldwell, Africa 64,2:220-42

[12] Savage, O. M. & Tchombe, T. M. (1994) Anthropological perspectives on sexual behaviour in Africa, Ann Rev Sex Res 5:50-72. the authors point to problems including 1) an inability to reflect differences between and within regions, 2) the potential trap for researchers of moralizing and applying pejorative stereotypes, and 3) the contradictory nature of the results of modeling attempts that call the very research methodologies used into question.

[13] Taylor, T. N. (nd) African Sexual Culture, AIDS and Anthropology. Online paper at

[14] Cit. infra

[15] Delius, P. & Glaser, C. (2001) Sexual Socialisation in Historical Perspective. Paper presented at the conference Aids in Context, University of the Witwatersrand. From online draft abstract. Cf. Delius, P. & Glaser, C. (2002) Sexual Socialisation in South Africa: a Historical Perspective, African Studies 61,1:27-54

[16] Mcfadden, P. (1994) African female sexuality and the heterosexual form, South Afr Polit Econ Mon 7,6:56-8

[17] Feyisetan, B. & Pebley, A. R. (1989) Premarital sexuality in urban Nigeria, Stud Fam Plann 20,6 Pt 1:343-54

[18] Adedoyin, M. & Adegoke, A. A. (1995) Teenage prostitution--child abuse: a survey of the Ilorin situation, Afr J Med & Med Sci 24,1:27-31

[19] Dossou-yovo, N. (1980) Sex and family-life education in Francophone West Africa, Afr Link, Dec.:6-10

[20] Barker, G. K. & Rich, S. (1992) Influences on adolescent sexuality in Nigeria and Kenya: findings from recent focus-group discussions, Stud Fam Plann 23,3:199-210

[21] Renne, E. P. (2000) Introduction to Special Issue: Sexuality and Generational Identities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa Today 47,3-4:vii-xii

[22] These references were identified as Mersuing, K. (1993) Child Sexual Abuse in Matabeleland. Matabeleland AIDS Council; and Chikamba & Loewenson, R. (1994) Sexual Abuse of Children in Zimbabwe. Report on an Action Research Project, Redd Barna-Zimbabwe, Harare

[23] Chinyangara, I., Chokuwenga, I., Dete, R. G., Dube, L., Kembo, J., Moyo, P. & Nkomo, R. Sh. (1997) Indicators For Children’s Rights: Zimbabwe Country Case Study. []

[24] Bledsoe, C. H. & Cohen, B. (Eds. 1993) Social Dynamics of Adolescent Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, p77

[25] Guyon, R. (1929) La Légitimé des Actes Sexuels. Saint-Denis: Dardaillon

[26] Edwardes, A. & Masters, R. E. L. (1962/3) The Cradle of Erotica. New York: The Julian Press. See also p136, 290

[27] De Rachewiltz, B. (1963) Eros Nero. Milan: Longanesi & Co. Translated by P. Whigham, (1964) Black Eros. Milan: Allen & Unwin

[28] Mungazi, D. A. (1996) Gathering under the Mango Tree. New York: P. Lang

[29] E.g., Adler, B. & Harrington, H. (Eds., 1971) Growing Up African.New York: Morrow; Erny, P. (1991) L’Enfant dans la Pensée Traditionelle de l'Afrique Noire. Éditions l’Harmattan

[30] Knapen, M. Th. (1958) Some results of an enquiry into the influence of child-training practices on the development of personality in a Bacongo society (Belgian Congo), J Soc Psychol 47,2:223-9

[31] Welch, M. R., (1978) Childhood socialization differences in African and non-African societies, J Social Psychol 106,1:11-5

[32] Illustrated in Castiglioni, A. & Castiglioni, A. ([1977]) Adams Schwartze Kinder. Zürich: Schweizer Verlagshaus. Translated from Italian

[33] Lallemand, S. (1985) L’Apprentissage de la Sexualité dans les Contes d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Paris: Editions L’Harmattan

[34] Raymaekers, R. (1960) Materiaux pour une Étude Sociologique de la Jeunesse Africaine du Milieu Coutumier de Leopoldville. Leopoldville: Université Lovanium

[35] Barry, H. III, Josephson, E. et al. (1976) Traits inculcated in childhood: cross-cultural codes 5, Ethnology 15:83-114

[36] Barry, H. III & Schlegel, A. (1984) Measurements of adolescent sexual behavior in the standard sample of societies, Ethnology 23,4:315-29

[37] Schlegel, A. & Barry III, H. (1979) Adolescent initiation ceremonies: a cross-cultural code, Ethnology 18,2:199-210, column I

[38] De Leeuwe, J. (1970) Society system and sexual life, Bijdr Taal- Land- & Volkenk 126:1-36, see p28-32; Ford, C. S. & Beach, F. A. (1951) Patterns of Sexual Behavior. New York: Harper & Row

[39] (Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offences against children)

[40], Nov. 2001. Also, idem;

[41] Graupner, H. (2000) Sexual consent: The criminal law in Europe and overseas, Arch Sex Behav 29,5:415-61

[42] CRLP (2001) Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: Anglophone Africa. Progress Report [Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe]; CRLP (2000) Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: Francophone Africa. Progress Report [Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal]

[43], under “protection” subchapters

[44] Smyth, B. (nd) The [Commercial] Sexual Exploitation  of [Children] in Southern Africa. ECPAT International

[45] International Lesbian and Gay Association, online data updated 2000

[46]It was not until 1988 in South Africa that the age limit for sexual relations between women and boys has been raised from 7 (!) to 16 (and the one for lesbians from 12 to 19)” (Graupner).

[47]®vol.II, chapter 12,13.

[48] Dinslage, Sabine (1981) Mädchenbeschneidung in Westafrika. Munich: Klaus Renner

[49] Ombolo, J. P. (1981) Les Mutilations Sexuelles en Afrique Noire. Yaoundé: J-P Ombolo

[50] Wiggins, D. (2001) Male and Female Circumcision in Africa: Pharaonic Egyptian and Religious Origins, Africa Update Vol VIII, Issue 3 (Summer 2001): Female Circumcision Revisited [ and Female Circumcision in Africa:]

[51] ‘Estimate: Total number of girls and women mutilated in Africa’. Women's International Network News, Autumn 1992, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p29; ‘More than 149 million girls/women mutilated in Africa’. Women's International Network News, Summer 1997, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p28-9, and: Hosken, Fran P. ‘110 million girls and women mutilated in Africa-Middle East’, Women's International Network News, Summer 1994, Vol. 20 Issue 3, following p29

[52] Most medical and legal activity is geared toward various bloody practices, with little comment on nonbloody practices. For a recent note on legal policies, the reader is referred to Toubia, N. & Rahman, A. (2000) Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Laws and Policies Worldwide. London [etc.]: Zed Books

[53] Olamijulo, S. K. et al. (1983) Female circumcision in Ilesha, Nigeria, Clin Pediatr 22,8:580-1

[54] See also Onadeko, M. O. (1985) Female circumcision in Nigeria: a fact or a farce? J Trop Pediatr 31:180-4

[55] Abdalla, R. H. D. (1982) Sisters in Affliction. Circumcision and Infibulation of Women in Africa, London: Zed Press; Hosken, F. P. (1982) The Hosken Report: Genital and Sexual Mutilation of Females. Women’s International Network News;Koso-Thomas, O. (1987) The Circumcision of Women: A Strategy for Eradication. London: Dotesios Ltd. It was also practised in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.

[56] Odoi, A., Brody, S. P. & Elkins, T. E. (1997) Female genital mutilation in rural Ghana, West Africa, Int J Gynaecol & Obstet 56,2:179-80

[57] Op.cit

[58] Op.cit.; Gallo Grassivaro, P. (1985) Female Circumcision in Somalia: Some Psycological Aspecls, Genus41,1-2:133-47

[59] Ntiri, D. W. (1993) Circumcision and health among rural women of southern Somalia as part of a family life survey, Health Care Women Int 14,3:215-26

[60] For more information see Seligmann, C. G. (1913) Some Aspects of the Hamitic Problem in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 43:593-705, see p639-46;

[61] De Cardi, C. N. (1899) Ju-Ju Laws and Customs in the Niger Delta, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 29,1/2:51-64

[62] Buschan, S. (1912), in Moll, A. (Ed.) Handbuch Der Sexualwissenschaften. Berlin. Quoted by Bryk (1931:p244-5)

[63] Widstrand, C. G. (1964) Female infibulation, Studia Ethnogr Upsal 20,Varia 1:95-124

[64] Worseley, A. (1938) Infibulation and Female Circumcision: A Study of a Little-known Custom,J Obstet & Gynecol 45:686-91

[65] Montagu (1945) noted the age of 7-8. See Montagu, M. F. A. (1945) Infibulation and defibulation in the Old and New Worlds, Am Anthropol 47,3:464-7. Mustafa (1966) states 3-10 as the timing of genital operations. See Mustafa, A. Z. (1966) Female circumcision and infibulation in the Sudan, J Obstet & Gynaecol Brit Commonw 73:302-6

[66] El-Gibaly, O., Ibrahim, B., Mensch, B. S. & Clark, W. H. (2002) The decline of female circumcision in Egypt: evidence and interpretation, Soc Sci & Med 54,2:205-220

[67] Gray, L.H. ([1958]) Circumcision, in Hastings, J. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. New York: International Universities Press

[68] Hicks, E. K.(1986) Infibulation: Status through Mutilation. Dissertation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Alblasserdam: Kanters; Hicks, E. K. (1993) Infibulation: Female Mutilation in Islamic Northeastern Africa. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publication; Lightfoot-Klein, H. (Ed.) (1989) Prisoners of Ritual: An Odyssey into Female Genital Circumcision in Africa. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press; Van der Kwaak, A. (1992) Female circumcision and gender identity: A questionable alliance? Soc Sci & Med 35:777-87

[69] Lowenfels, A. B. & Pieters, G. (1977) Infibulation in the Horn of Africa, New York State J Med 77,6:729-31

[70] Gallo, P. G. & Abdisamed, M. (1985) Female Circumcision in Somalia: Anthropological Traits, Anthropoligisher Anzeiger, 43,4:311-26

[71] Melly, J. M. (1935) Infibulation, Lancet ii:1272, Nov.30

[72] Preliminary shadow draft.

[73] Africa:  Nyakyusa, Mangaia, Ra’Ivavae, Nama Hottentot, Betchuans, Luba, Nkundo, Ngoni, Zimba, Baganda, Bagishu, Suaheli, Shona, Burundi, Zande, VaRemba, Bahemba, Venda, Lenda, Bapende, Bemba, M’wemba, Nkoya, Kgatla, Thonga, Tetela, Lamba, Beti, “Bamouns”, Tikars, Mangbetu, Fan (Dahomey), Ila, “Grand Lacs” tribes, Chewa, Chaga, Makonde, Lozi, Baushi

[74] The Azande “take a little girl and rub the paste on her vulva and then pinch the eleusine [a riverside shrub dug up and sun-dried in] with it, saying: “You are medicine of eleusine. Eleusine, you expand like a woman’s vulva which, be it ever so small, is sufficient for any man. Eleusine, you expand in the granary like a woman’s vulva. Eleusine, you expand like susu. May not eleusine lessen. Let it be sufficient” (Evans-Pritchard, 1937:p457).

[75] Hansson, G. (1996) Mnana Ndi Mai. Doctoral Dissertation, Uppsala University. More information is found in Mabuwa, C. (1993) The Komba Ritual of the VaRemba Tribe of Mberengwa. Dissertation, University of Zimbabwe, p25-6; and Afschwanden, H. (1982) Symbols of Life. Gweru: Mambo Press, p77-8

[76] Bourgeois, R. (1954) Banyarwanda et Barundi. Brussel: [s.n.]

[77] Stephens, W. N. (1971) A cross-cultural study of modesty and obscenity, in Technical report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Washington, US: Government printing office. Vol. 9, p405-51. Data originally published in Stephens, W. N. (1968) A Cross-Cultural Study of Modesty and Obscenity. Halifax: Dalhousie University Press

[78] Herskovits, M. (1938) Dahomey: An Ancient West-African Kingdom. Vol. 1. Locust Valley, New York: J.J. Augustin

[79] Junod, H. I. (1912, 1927 [1962]) The Life of a South African Tribe. Hyde Park, New York: University Books

[80] Wilson, M. (1957) Rituals of Kinship among the Nyakyusa. Oxford: Oxford University Press

[81] Schapera, I. (1930) The Khoisan Peoples of South Africa, Bushmen and Hottentots. London: Routledge

[82] Ploß, H. H. & Bartels, M. ([1905]) Das Weib in der Natur- und Völkerkunde, Vol. 1. Rev. ed. Leipzig: Th. Grieben

[83] Merensky, A. (1875) Die Hottentotten (Vortrag), Zeitschr Ethnol 7, Verhandlungen, [18-23]

[84] Stoll, O. (1908) Das Geschlechtsleben in die Völkerpsychologie. Leipzig: Veit

[85] Its masturbatory significance may be disputed. See Karsch-Haack, F. (1911) Das Gleichgeschlechtliche Leben der Naturvölker. München: E. Reinhardt, p474-5

[86] Cesara, M. (1982) Reflections of a Woman Anthropologist: No Hiding Place. London [etc.]: Academic Press

[87] Evans-Pritchard, E. E. (1937) Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande. Oxford: Clarendon Press

[88] Blacking, J. ([1998]) Venda Girls’ Initiation Schools. Unpublished field data edited by Michael Fischer and David Zeitlyn, Department of Social Anthropology, Queen’s University of Belfast. See also Blacking, J. (1967) Venda Children’s Songs. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, with interpretations of children’s songs. See esp. 83-4

[89] Johnston, H. H., Torday, E., Joyce, T. & Seligmann, C. G. (1913) A Survey of the Ethnography of Africa: And the Former Racial and Tribal Migrations in That Continent, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 43:375-421

[90]Cf. Janssen, D. F. (2003) Enculturation Curricula, Abuse Categorisation and the Globalist/Culturalist Project: The Genital Reference, Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 13 []

[91] Kosssodo, B. L. (1978) Die Frau in Afrika. München: List. Translated from the English

[92] Ashton (1952) The Basuto. London [etc.]: Oxford University Press. See also Erny (1980:p180)

[93] Schenkel, R. (1971)  Le vecu de la vie sexuelle chez les Africains accultures du Senegal, a partir des notions d’impuissance et de puissance sexualle, Psychopathol Afr 7,3:313-88

[94] Gibbs, J. L. (1965) The Kpelle of Liberia, in Gibbs, J.L. (Ed.) Peoples of Africa. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, p199-240, at p209; Duerr, H. P. (1988) Nacktheit und Scham. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp. Vol. 1 of Der Mythos vom Zivilizationprocess. 2nd ed., p201/416n25

[95] Kokonge, M. & Erny, P. (1976) Comportements sexuels chez les Baushi Kinama (Shaba, Zaire), Psychopathol Afr 12, 1:5-33

[96] Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1972) Die !Ko-Buschmann-Gesellschaft. München: Piper. Also cited by Duerr, H. P. (1988) Nacktheit und Scham. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp. Vol. 1 of Der Mythos vom Zivilizationprocess. 2nd ed., p201

[97] Sbrzesny, H. (1976) Die Spiele der !Ko-Buschleute. München: Piper

[98] Konner, M. J. (1972) Aspects of the developmental ethology of a foraging people, in Jones, N. B. (Ed.) Ethological Studies of Child Behaviour. London: Cambridge University Press, p285-304

[99] Wembah-Rashid (1994) Traditional fertility regulation and child-spacing practice: a Tanzanian matrilineal tradition of child spacing, Afr Anthropol 1,1/2:49-58

[100] Loewenson, R. et al. (1997) Sexual Abuse of Children in Zimbabwe. Harare: Training and Research Support Centre

[101] Kaye, B. (1960) Child Training in Ghana. Institute of Education, Child Development Monographs 1; Kaye, B. (1962) Bringing Up Children in Ghana. London

[102] Among 21 sites studied, in 2 it was said that a majority did it, a few do not; in 7 some do, some don’t, in 4 nobody did, and in one there is insufficient data. In Banko, “some mothers stroke little babies’ penises and make them stiff and laugh at the boys”. At the same time, they did not allow masturbation. In sixteen sites, it was said that everyone gives special attention to genitals when bathing.

[103] Vincent, M. (1954) L’Enfant au Ruanda-Uruundi. Brussels: IRCB. Also cited by Erny (1972 [1981:p60]). See Erny, P. (1972) L’Enfant et son Milieu en Afrique Noire. Paris: Bibliotheque Scientifique. Abridged and adapted by Wanjohi, G. J. (1981) as The Child and his Environment in Black Africa.

[104] Leblanc, M. (1960) Personnalité de la Femme Katangaise. Paris, Louvain, Publ. Universitaires

[105] Ackerman, D. A. (1990) Natural History of the Senses. New York: Random House, p111-2; Mtoro, Bin M. Bakari (tr. J.W.T. Allen) Desturi Za Waswahili: The Customs of the Swahili People. California, USA: University of California Press, 1981 [1903]

[106] Van der Burgt, J. M. M. (1903) Dictionnaire Français-Kirundi [etc.]. Bois-le-Duc : Societé L’Illustration Catholique ; Van der Burgt, J. M. M. (1904) Un Grand Peuple de l’Afrique Equatoriale. Bois-le-Duc : Societé L’Illustration Catholique

[107] Remarkably, the male practice, which is typical for its kneeling position, is illustrated photographically (p118).

[108] Cf. De Leeuwe (1970)

[109] Bryk, F. (1928) Neger-Eros: Ethnologische Studien über das Sexualleben bei Negern. Berlin & Köln: A. Marcus & E. Weber’s Verlag. Translated as Voodoo-Eros. New York: United Book Guild (1964)

[110] Bryk, F. (1931) Die Beschneidung bei Mann und Weib. New Brandenburg: Gustav Feller. English translation by David Berger, MA (1934) Circumcision in Man and Woman. New York: American Ethnological Press, and AMS Press (1974)

[111] Merker (1910:p65n) remarks that “[b]oys and girls already begin to practice cohabitation at the age of eight to ten”.

[112] Hargraves, B. J. (1978) Killing and curing: succulent use in Chipita, Soc Malawi J 31,2:21-30

[113] Thomas, Th. I. (1899) The Psychology of Modesty and Clothing, Am J Sociol 5,2:246-62

[114] Ploß, H. H. / Renz, B. (1912) Das Kind in Brauch und Sitte der Völker. 3rd enl. & rev. ed. Leipzig: Th. Grieben. Vol. II. See p535-44

[115] Examples are found for the Kanuri, Baifa, Pangwe / Fan, Santal, Pedi, Xhosa, Ila, Baushi, Batetela, Alur, northern Basukuma, Shona, Thonga, Venda, Bemba, and in Tanzania; also Sharanahua

[116] Mantlewane (Seligman), or mandwane (Krige and Krige) or mantlantlwane (Pitje), or mantloana, or housie-housie (Gevisser and Cameron), and masanje (Stannus) or mansansa (Kokonge and Erny), masansa (Maxwell) or perhaps mahundwani (“miniature village”) (Stayt).

[117]Zaire (Baushi, Batetela, Mongo), Zambia (Luvale), Botswana (Kgatla), Zimbabwe (Shona), Uganda (Acholi).

[118] Bozon, M. (2003) At what age do women and men have their first sexual intercourse? World comparisons and recent trends, Population & Sociétés, 391, June:1-4


[119] “The Babwa, Fan, Kuku and Rega practise intercourse as soon as they are capable of it” (p229).

[120] Mair, L. P. (1953) African marriage and social change, in Phillips, A. (Ed.) Survey of African Marriage and Family Life. Londond [etc.]: Oxford University Press, p1-171

[121] Pedrals, D. (1950) La Vie Sexuelle en Afrique Noire. Paris: Payot

[122] Margold, Ch. W. (1926) The Need of a Sociological Approach to Problems of Sex Conduct: III. The Invariable Presence of Social Control in Man's Sexual Conduct, Am J Sociol 31,5:634-56

[123] Angus, H. C., [The initiation ceremonies of girls as performed in Azimba Land, Central Africa], Zeitschr Ethnol 30:[480]; Stannus, H. S. (1910) Notes on some tribes of British Central Africa, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 40, Jul-Dec.:285-335, see p309, Murdock, J. (1892) Ethnological results of the Point Barrow expedition, in the Ninth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1887-88. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, p418; Malinowski, “Psychoanalysis and Anthropology”, in Psyche 4:[318]; Jochelson, W. (1926) The Yukaghir and the Yukaghirized Tungas, in Boas, F. (Ed.) The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Leiden & New York: Brill / Stechart. Vol. 9, part I:[p68]; Smith, E. W. & Dale, A. M. (1920) The Ila-Speaking Peoples of Northern Rhodesia. London: Macmillan. 2 vols. See Vol. I, p38; Johnston, H. (1902) The Uganda Protectorate. London: Hutchinson. Vol. II, p824

[124] Malinowski, loc.cit.

[125] Tessmann, [1913, II], p252

[126] Weeks, J. H. (1911) Among Congo Cannibals. London: Seeley, Service & Co, p127. Weeks stated: “Above the age of five years it is impossible to find a girl who is a virgin, and it has been difficult to find a word for virgin in the Congo languages”. Also note Weeks (1910:p416) in Upper Congo: “Boys and girls from an early age until puberty have free intercourse with each other, and I believe that later there is no public condemnation if the girls are not betrothed. […] Premenstrual connection is desired by men because they like it, and also because they can indulge freely and there is no palaver, and it is not until the beginning of the periods that girls are guarded from promiscuous intercourse”. See Weeks, J. H. (1910) Anthropological Notes on the Bangala of the Upper Congo River. (Part III), J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 40:360-427]. Among the Congo Ba-huana, sexual indulgence is not checked (Torday, E. & Joyce, T. A. (1906) Notes on the ethnography of the Ba-huana, J Anthropol Institut 36:[235 et seq.]).

[127] Angus, op.cit., p480

[128] Stannus, loc.cit.

[129] Weeks, J. H. (1914) Among the Primitive Bakongo. London: Secley [etc.], p172. Weeks stated: “The unbetrothed girls from an early age up to puberty had free ingress to these houses [adolescent bachelors’ clubs] at night, and their parents encouraged them to go, as it “showed they had proper desires, and later in life they would bear children” ”. Access to the bachelor’s huts is customary for boys aged 12.

[130] Op.cit., Smith & Dale, II, p38

[131] Hustaert, R. P. G. (1938) Le Marriage chez les Nkoundo. Bruxelles, as cited by Pedrals (1950:p17), op.cit.

[132] Hyades & Deniker (1891) Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn, 1882-1883. Paris. Vol. 7, p171; Parsons, E. C. (1906) The Family. New York & London: Putman, p69

[133] Hyades & Deniker (1891:p188); Parsons (1906:p122), op.cit.

[134] Culwick, G. M. (1939) New ways for old in the treatment of adolescent African girls, Africa 12:425-32, as cited by Pedrals (1950:p17), op.cit., and by Reuter, A. (1963) Native Marriages in South Africa According to Law and Custom. Münster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, p111. See also Schapera, I. (1933) Premarital pregnancy and native opinions, Africa 6:59-89[68-70]

[135] Trézenem, E. (1936) Notes ethnographiques sur les tribus Fan du Moyen-Ogooué, J Soc Afric 6, as cited by Pedrals (1950:p17), op.cit.

[136] Halkin, J. & Viaene, E. (1911) Les Ababua. Bruxelles: Dewit, p265, as cited by Pedrals (1950:p17), op.cit.

[137] Bösch, R. P. (1930) Les Banyamwezi, Anthropos 3,2:[p538], as cited by Pedrals (1950:p17), op.cit.

[138] Metschnikof, E. ([1910]) Studien über die Natur des Menschen. Leipzig: Von Veit & Co., p117

[139] Welch as cited by Bradbury, R. E. (1957) The Benin Kingdom and the Edo-Speaking Peoples of Southwestern Nigeria. International African Institution, p154

[140] Colle, R. P. (1913) Les Baluba (Congo Belge). Bruxelles: A de Wit, Vol.1

[141] Vanden Plas, J. (1910) Les Kuku. Bruxelles: A de Wit

[142] Van Overbergh, C., Les Manbetu. Bruxelles: A. de Wit

[143] In Van Overbergh, C. (1908) Les Basonge. Bruxelles: A. de Wit

[144] Delhaise (1909) Les Warega. Bruxelles: A. de Wit

[145] Schultze, L. (1907) Aus Namaland und Kalahari. Jena: Fischer

[146]Freimark (1911), op.cit.

[147] See also Ames, D. W. (1953) Plural Marriage among the Wolof in the Gambia. PhD Thesis, Northwestern University, p140: “Young people, including the boys who attend the bush circumcision school, are given no instruction in sexual techniques. They learn by experimentation beginning in childhood”.

[148] Meekers, D. (1995) Immaculate conceptions in sub-Saharan Africa: exploratory analysis of inconsistencies in the timing of first sexual intercourse and first birth, Soc Biol 42,3-4:151-61

[149] Valentine, C. H. & Revson, J. E. (1979) Cultural Traditions, Social Change, and Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa, J Modern Afr Studies 17,3:453-72, at p460

[150] Ericksen, K. P. (1989) Female genital mutilations in Africa, Behav Sci Res 23,1:182-204

[151] 32 are identified: Amhara, Arusi, Ashanti, Bambara, Barabra, Buduma, Diula, Egypt, Fon, Futajalonke, Ganda, Ibo, Kabyle, Kafa, Kanembu, Kikuyu, Luguru, Mao, Mbum, Mbundu, Mossi, Nyakyusa, Riffains, Sandawe, Siwa, Somali, Songhai, Swazi, Teda, Venda, Wolof, Zazzagawa

[152] Reuters, J. (2001) Virginity Tests on Comeback Trail in South Africa, Jenda 1,1:1-3

[153] See Chaga, Kikuyu, Hausa, Dakarkaki, Nyakyusa, Xhosa, Tebu, Swazi, N’Jemp, Amazulu, Kipsigis, Venda, Pedi (debated), Bemba

[154] Hlobonga or ukusoma (Amazulu), ngwiko (Kikuyu) or ombani na ngweko (N’Jemp), tsarance (Hausa), metsha (Xhosa, Tebu) along with unkuncokolisa and uku-phathaphatha, kujuma (Swasi), kuchompa (Ila), lukh (Wa-Sania). Other expressions include “petting of the pubic apron” (Otoro) and “placing of arms” (Lugbara). Formerly, South African boys and girls had to be instructed “not to play inside”, and only to have “ “panty” or “thigh” sex” (Ntlabati, Kelly and Mankayi, 2001:p9, 11, 18).

[155] Watts, R. (1999) The challenge of the virginity campaigns, AIDS Anal Afr 9,4:9-10

[156] Sumner, W. G. (1906) Folkways. Boston [etc.]: Ginn & Co. Citing Peterm Mittlgen Erg 25:9

[157] “Although now rare, child bethrothal [sic] (yere akoda, asiwa) was once very common, especially for cross-cousins. Marriage is considered more a group union, rather than an individual bond”. Warren, D. M. (1986) The Akan of Ghana: An Overview of the Ethnographic Literature. Accra: Pointer Ltd.

[158] Danquah, J. B. (1928) Gold Coast: Akan Laws and Customs and the Akim Abuakwa Constitution. London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd. Cf. Rattray (1927:p76-7)

[159] Warren, D. M. (1975) The Techiman-Bobo of Ghana: An Ethnography of an Akan Society. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co.

[160] Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls (May 2000) Early Marriage: Whose Right to Choose? Mission Statement [ / /]

[161] Westermarck, E. ([1901]) The History of Human Marriage. Third Edition. London: MacMillan

[162] Holub (II, 314)

[163] Bosman, p424

[164] Burchell, (II, p58, 564); Beecham, Ashantee and the Gold Coast, p126

[165] Zabin, L. S. & Kiragu, K. (1998) The Health Consequences of Adolescent Sexual and Fertility Behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa, Stud Fam Plann 29,2:210-32

[166] Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. WHO/ EMRO Technical Publication No. 2. Alexandria. Report of a Seminar, Khartoum, 10-15 Febr., 1979. Vol. 1:p132-47; Vol. 2

[167] Early Marriage, Child Spouses, Innocenti Digest 7, March 2001

[168] Final Report on National Baseline Survey of Positive and Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting Women and Girls in Nigeria (1998) Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

[169] As reprinted in Ocholla-Ayayo, A. B. C. (1994) Sociocultural influence on family-planning acceptance in Africa: special reference to Kenya, Afr Anthropol 31-48, see p42-3

[170] Pavitt, N. (1997) Turkana: Kenya’s Nomads of the Jade Sea. London: Harvill; Akalu, A. (1985) Beyond Morals? Lund: Gleerup

[171] Nomachi, A. K. (phot., 1989) The Nile. Hong Kong: Odyssey. 1990 Dutch translation, Langs de Oevers van de Nijl

[172] Jensen, A. E. (1933) Beschneidung und Reifezeremonien bei Naturvölkern. Frankfurt am Main: Strecker & Schröder, p20-73

[173] Zeller, M. (1923) Die Knabenweihen. Bern: Paul Haupt, p2-40

[174] Op.cit., Vol. II, p169-89

[175]E.g., Glaser, C. (1998) Swines, Hazels and the Dirty Dozen: Masculinity, Territoriality and the Youth Gangs of Soweto, 1960-1976, J Southern Afr Stud 24,4:719-36, p722

[176] Read, M. (1955) Education in Africa: its pattern and role in social change, Ann Am Acad Polit & Soc Sci 298:170-9. Reprinted in Middleton, J. (Ed., 1970) From Child to Adult. New York: Natural History Press, p272-86

[177] Bertling, C. T. (1934) Magie en Phallisme. Amsterdam: H. J. Paris [Dutch]

[178] Macdonald, D. (1882) Africana. London. Vol.1, p126 [orig. footnote]

[179] MacDonald, J. (189[1]) Manners, Customs, Superstitions, and Religions of South African Tribes, J Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 20:113-40. [Macdonald, however, writes that actual sexual intercourse is prohibited]

[180] Maclean, J. (1858) A Compendium of Kafir Laws and Customs. Mount Coke, p98, 101[orig. footnote]

[181] Reade, W. W. (1863) Savage Africa. London, p451[orig. footnote]

[182] MacDonald, J. (1893) East Central African Customs, J Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 22:99-122 [orig. footnote]. This reference also proved incorrect.

[183] Seligman, C. G. & Seligman, B. Z. (1928) The Bari, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 58,Jul-Dec:409-79

[184] Op.cit.

[185] Cakravarti, C. (1963) Sex Life in Ancient India. Calcutta, p144

[186] Browne, G. (1913) Circumcision Ceremonies Among the Amwimbe, Man 13:137-40

[187] Sangree, W. H. (1966) Age, Prayer, and Politics in Tiriki, Kenya. New York: Oxford University Press; Kertzer, A. F. (1978) Transitions Over the Life Course: Lessons from Age-Set Societies, Am J Sociol 83,5:1081-104

[188] Brown, J. T. (1921) Circumcision Rites of the Becwana Tribes, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 51:419-27

[189] Bohannan, P. (1954) Circumcision Among the Tiv, Man 54:2-6

[190] Baker, E. C. (1927) Age-Grades in Musoma District, Tanganyika Territory, Man 27:221-4

[191] Brelsford, V. (1935) History and Customs of the Basala, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 65:205-15

[192] Róheim lists the following works: Smith, E. W. & Dale, A. M. (1920) The Ila-Speaking Peoples of Northern Rhodesia. Vol. II, p25; Kidd, D. (1904) The Essential Kaffir, p200; Roscoe (1911) The Baganda, p80; Werner, A. (1906) Natives of Central Africa. London, p126; Weiß, M. (1910) Die Völkerstamme im Norden Deutsch Ost-Afrikas. Berlin: Marschner, p299, 300

[193] Róheim, G. (1929) Dying Gods and Puberty Ceremonies, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 59:181-97

[194] Banuaku, A. F. (1976) “Kyiribra”: Tradition, Change and Anomie in Puberty Rites, West-African J Sociol & Polit Sci 1,2:169-76

[195] The introduction of the Christian rite of confirmation as an alternative to puberty rites produced an anomaly, since confirmation was not always delayed until puberty was reached. This was said to relax sexual standards, producing a high incidence of young unmarried mothers.

[196] Meekers, D. (1994) Sexual initiation and premarital childbearing in sub-Saharan Africa, Population Studies 48,1:47-64

[197] Gage, A. J. & Meekers, D. (1994) Sexual activity before marriage in sub-Saharan Africa, Social Biol 41,1-2: 44-60

[198] Cauley, A. P. et al. (October, 1995) Meeting the Needs of Young Adults. Population Reports 23,3. Population Information Program, Center for Communication Programs, The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, table 2

[199] Duncan, M.E., Tibaux, G. et al. (1994) Teenage obstetric and gynaecological problems in an African city, Centr African J Med 49,9:234-44

[200] Stewart, M. (1995) Rural Tanzanian Youths’ First Intercourse Is Early, Number of Partners High (in Digests), Int Fam Plann Perspect 21,1:42-3

[201] Varkevisser, C. M. (1969) Growing up in Sukumaland, in Primary Eduation in Sukumaland (Tanzania). Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff, p42-82

[202] “For this reason girls were generally forbidden to play this game when they had become physically mature”.

[203] See also author’s separate paper entitled “Age Disparate Homoeroticism: Annotated Ethnohistorical Bibliography”.

[204] Mobayen, L. (2001) ‘Embrace’ explores sexuality, identity in apartheid society, Daily Bruin Online, February 15; Behr, M. (2000) Embrace. London: Little, Brown

[205] Puterbaugh, G. (1990) Africa, North, in Dynes, W. R. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. New York & London: Garland Publ. Inc. Vol. I, p19-22. See also Murray, S. O. (1990) Africa, Sub-Saharan, in Dynes, W. R. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. New York & London: Garland Publ. Inc. Vol. I, p22-4

[206] Moodie, T. D. et al. (1988) Migrancy and male sexuality on the South Africa Gold mines, J Southern Afr Stud 14,2:228-56; Moodie, T. D. et al. (1989) Migrancy and male sexuality on the South Africa Gold mines, in Duberman, M. et al. (Eds.) Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past. New York: New American Library, p411-25; Moodie, T. D.  with Ndatshe, V. (1994) Going for Gold. Berkeley [etc.]: University of California Press, chapter 4: Sexualities. See Murray and  Roscoe (1998:p178-82) for a detailed account. Another reference is given by Breckenridge, K. (1998) The Allure of Violence: Men, Race and Masculinity on the South African Goldmines, 1900-1950, J Southern Afr Stud 24,4:669-93, at p676. Also Levine, S. (1996) “Picannin” Wages and Child Labor in the South African Agriculture, Mining, and Domestic Service Industries: 1658 to the Present, Anthropol Work Rev 17,1-2:42-50. The practice would have diminished: Campbell, C. (1997) Migrancy, masculine identities and aids: the psychosocial context of HIV transmission on the South African gold mines, Soc Sci & Med 45, Issue 2:273-81, at p279n

[207] Harries, P. (1990) La symbolique du sexe: l’identité culturelle au début de l’exploitation des mines d’or du Witwatersrand, Cah d’Étud Afr 30, ch.120:451-74; Harries, P. (1994) Work, Culture, and Identity. London: Currey, p200-8, 219; Harries, P. (1990) Symbols and Sexuality: Culture and Identity on the Early Witwatersrand Gold Mines, Gender & History [Great Britain] 2,3:318-36. Cf. Grier, B. (1994) Invisible Hands: The Political Economy of Child Labour in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890-1930, J Southern Afr Stud 20,1:27-52, at p39, citing Van Onselen, C. (1976) Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia, 1900-1933. London: Pluto Press, p124. The “Piccanins” performed “[…] a type of surrogate female role […]. This, together with the socially designed shortage of women in the compounds, partly explains the high incidence of sodomy involving young boys […] vulnerable to the demands of adult men who were denied their normal sexual outlets by the compound system”.

[208] Shepherd, G. (1987) Rank, Gender, and Homosexuality: Mombasa as a key to understanding sexual options, in Caplan, P. (Ed.) The Cultural Construction of Sexuality. London: Tavistock Publ., p240-70

[209] Falk, K (1925/6) Homosexualität bei den Eingeborenen in Südwest-Afrika, Arch Menschk 1:202-14; Italiaander, R. (1969) Beobachtungen bei den Negern, in Italiaander, R. (Ed.) Weder Krankheit Noch Verbrechen. Hamburg: Gala, p100-27. Reprinted and translated in Murray, S. O. & Roscoe, W. (Eds.) Boy-Wives and Female Husbands. Studies on African Homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press, p187-96

[210] Tauxier, L. (1912) Les Noirs du Soudan: Pays Mossi et Gourounni. Paris: Émile LaRose. Cited in Murray, S. O. & Roscoe, W. (Eds.) Boy-Wives and Female Husbands. Studies on African Homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press, p92-3

[211] Soyeaux, H. (1879) Aus West-Afrika, 1873-1876. Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus. Vol. II

[212] Morris, D. R. (1965) The Washing of the Spears. New York: Simon & Schuster; Van Onselen, Ch. (1984) The Small Matter of a Horse. Johannesburg: Ravan Press; Murray and Roscoe (1998:p176, 177), op.cit.

[213] Parin, P., Morgenthaler, F. & Parin-Metthey, G. (1980) Fear thy Neighbour as Thyself. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

[214] Tessmann, G. (1904) Die Pangwe. Berlin: E Wasmuth. Vol. I; Murray and Roscoe (1998:p142), op.cit.

[215] Falk, K (1923) Gleichgeschlechtliches Leben bei einigen Negerstämme Angolas, Arch Anthropol 20:42-5. Reprinted and translated in Murray, S. O. & Roscoe, W. (Eds.) Boy-Wives and Female Husbands. Studies on African Homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press, p167-70

[216] Omari, T. P. (1963) Role Expectation in the Courtship Situation in Ghana, Social Forces 42,2:147-56

[217] Murray, S. O. & Roscoe, W. (Eds., 1998) Boy-Wives and Female Husbands. Studies on African Homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press

[218] “The absence of reflection […] on same-sex behavior in what Africans mean by “age sets”—initiation groups and circumcision classes—is particularly unfortunate, given their significance in African societies. Unlike the comparisons [with ancient Greece and Latino and Arab cultures], these are peer groups that are bound, not differentiated, by age. Extended periods of shared rites and experiences often permit same-sex exploration, and sometimes lead to longterm pair bonding”. Brockman, N. C., Africa Today 47(2000),1:153-5

[219] In Tanzania, young girls not infrequently report having older men or Mshefas (those who provide) as sexual partners (Fuglesang, M. (1997) Lessons for Life - Past and Present Modes of Sexuality Education in Tanzanian Society, Soc Sci & Med 44,8:1245-54).

[220] The literature is unclear about the existence of “sugar mommies”.

[221] Haren, J. van (1999) Mapenzi na Pesa: Girls in Search for Love, Sex and Money. A Study on Adolescent Sexuality in an Urban Tanzanian Neighbourhood. Occasional paper. Nijmegen [Holland]: Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen

[222] Sellix, T. (1996) An Investigation into the Relationship between Older Males and Adolescents Females in Africa: Deconstructing the “Sugar Daddy”. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Master of Arts in International Development. Washington, DC: American University

[223] Bledsoe, Caroline H. 1990 School fees and the marriage process for Mende girls in Sierra Leone, in Sanday, P. R. & Goodenough, R. G. (Eds.) New Directions in the Anthropology of Gender. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p283–309

[224] Meekers, D. & Calvès, A. (1997) ‘Main’ girlfriends, girlfriends, marriage, and money: The social context of HIV risk behaviour in sub-Saharan Africa, Health Transition Rev 7, Suppl.:361–75

[225] Kuate-Defo, B. (2004) Young people's relationships with sugar daddies and sugar mummies: what do we know and what do we need to know? Afr J Reprod Health 8,2:13-37 []

[226] Leshabari, M. T. & Kaaya, S. F. (1997) Bridging the information gap: sexual maturity and reproductive health problems among youth in Tanzania, Health Transition Rev, Suppl. 3 to 7:29-44: “ `Sugar daddies' have often been blamed for observed coital relationships between single girls and older men, where financial or material gain for the girls is implied (Lema and Kabeberi-Macharia 1992; Lwihula, Nyamuryekung'e and Hamelmann 1996). However, the `sugar daddy' phenomenon may be too simplistic an explanation for the dynamics of sexual relations in Africa, particularly with respect to the youth population. In a study conducted in Dar es Salaam for example, a large proportion of 200 teenagers with abortion complications, the majority of whom were single, reported their partners to be men above the age of 45 years (Mpangile, Leshabari and Kihwele 1993). Almost 40 per cent of these partners lived in the same poor neighbourhoods as the girls and were not perceived to be better-off financially. Thus financial and material benefit for the girls may not have been the only reason for their relationships with the older men. Often when the `sugar daddy' phenomenon is discussed, a shift from established cultural rules which governed sexual morality and sexual partnership in the African context is implied”.

[227] Silberschmidt, M. & Rasch, V. (2001) Adolescent girls, illegal abortions and “sugar-daddies” in Dar es Salaam: vulnerable victims and active social agents, Soc Sci Med 52,12:1815-26

[228] Davidson, J. O. (2001) The Sex Exploiter. Theme paper for the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

[229] Ba, Y. (1981) Some elements for a debate on juvenile “prostitution” and its suppression, African Environm 114-15-16, ENDA Dakar, Senegal

[230] McGreal, C. (2001) AIDs myth drives South african baby rape crisis “due to AIDS myth”, The Guardian, Nov 3; Pitcher, G. J. & Bowley, D. M. (2002) Infant rape in South Africa, Lancet Jan 26; 359(9303):274-5

[231]Jewkes, R., Martin, L. & Penn-Kekana, L. (2002) The virgin cleansing myth: cases of child rape are not exotic, Lancet Feb 23;359(9307):711. Reply by Bowley, D. M. & Pitcher, G. J. (2002) Motivation behind infant rape in South Africa, Lancet, 4/13/2002; 359,9314:1352

[232] Burton, R. F. (transl./annot.) The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1 [Gutenberg EBook]

[233] Lalla Diallo, S. (1980) Études pour un projet d’éducation sexuelle adaptée à la Republique du Mali, Rev Belge Psychol & Pedagog 42(170): 53-68

[234] Róheim lists the following works: Smith, E. W. & Dale, A. M. (1920) The Ila-Speaking Peoples of Nothern Rhodesia. Vol. II, p25; Kidd, D. (1904) The Essential Kaffir., p200; Roscoe (1911) The Baganda, p80; Werner, A. (1906) Natives of Central Africa, p126; Weiß, M. (1910) Die Völkerstamme im Norden Deutsch-Ostafrikas, p299, 300

[235] Luba, Nkundo, Kamba, Dogon, Ewe, Amhara, Valenge, Mbuti, Schwalbe Fulani, Ivory Coast, Sukuma, Tetela

[236] Xhosa

[237] Mbuti, Nkoya, Makonde, Ndembu, Zulu, Pedi, Tanzania

[238] Kuranko, Mambwe, Maka, Nambyans, Zulu, Mbuti, Yoruba, Chewa, Ovimbundu, Tiv

[239] Kamba, Bemba, Shona, Makonde, Hambukushu, Hehe, Nambyans, Gusii, Meru, Luguru and Zaramo. African boys may be instructed by grandfathers (Nambyans, Shona,  Kaguru, Mongo, Baluba, Bahungana). In the nonmaternal cases the generational gap (e.g., Xhosa, Hehe, Gusii, Zulu, Luguru, Bena, Gogo; provisionally for Mongo, Baluba and Bahungana; also Majuro [Marshall Islands]) is a moral obligation.

[240] Zimbabwe, Shona, Keffi Yegomawa Fulani, Alur, Baganda, Karanga

[241] E.g., Bemba, Chewa, Yao, Nambyans, Basoko, Tetela, Sukuma, Bantu (Tanzania), Karugu, Makonde, Tswana

[242] Bantu (clay or wood model), Makonde (clay figurines), Valenge (dolls), Luguru (chickens), Bena (sticks and stones)

[243] E.g., Yao, Nambyans, Basoko, Tetela, Sukuma, etc.

[244] Kikuyu, Zulu, Matabele, Makonde, Hehe, Kaguru, Bena, Subiya

[245] Ms Lilian Wamulume, “Some traditions corrupt” in Search News Magazine, Vol. 2(1), Jan. 1992

[246] E.g., Stewart, K. A. (2000) Toward a Historical Perspective on Sexuality in Uganda: The Reproductive Lifeline Technique for Grandmothers and their Daughters, Africa Today 47,3/4:124-48, at p136