Caroline Islands (Micronesia)

IndexPacificsMicronesiaCaroline Islands



Carolinians, Saipanese  (Micronesia)


“Carolinian marriages were formerly arranged by the parents of the girl, and girls were married off very young, sometimes even before the onset of menstruation. This is unusual now” (Joseph and Murry, 1951:p75)[1]. “We were unable to get much information regarding the prevalence of masturbation and other sex play among children. All our informants were more or less evasive on the subject, which they evidently did not consider a proper topic for discussion. They generally appeared not to understand the question at first, then either flatly denied the existence of such practices or said that if there were children who did such things, they had never heard of them. This was, at least, revealing as to the attitude of the adults” (p64). “Pre-adolescent masturbation and sex interests were denied by our Carolinian informants as by the Chamorros, but their attitude toward these topics was strikingly different. While the Chamorros were embarrased and evasive, the Carolines could and did describe sexual practices in full detail and with entire freedom” (p77). “A Carolinian informant stated homosexual relations between older men and young boys occurred among Chamorros, but not among Carolinians. We heard no reports of homosexuality among girls or women” (p274).


Damm (1938:p189)[2] noted that on Faraulip coitus should not be practised before marriage, “doch wird es jetzt zumindest nicht sehr genau damit genommen. Das Coitieren […] wird beiden Geschlechtern von den alten Leuten systematisch gelehrt”. On Sorol, a beard signified boy’s mariageability; in girls, it was menarche (p267).



Western Carolines (Micronesia)


Sex is never discussed before children, especially girls (Ford and Beach, 1951:p180)[3].












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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Joseph, A. & Murry, V. (1951) Chamorros and Carolines of Saipan. Cambridge: HarvardUniversity Press

[2] Damm, H. (1938) Zentralkarolinen. 2nd halfvol. Hamburg: Friederichsen, De Gruyter & Co.

[3] Op.cit.