COSTA RICA (República de Costa Rica)



IndexAmericasCaribbean, Middle / Central AmericaCosta Rica



Among the Talamancan tribes of former days, a man went up to a child-girl’s mother to arrange for their wedding at age twelve “or puberty” (menarche at age 12-14). During this period “the girl would become accustomed to the man and would run to meet him on his visits to receive some little gift” (Stone, 1962:p28)[1]. The custom had “almost entirely disappeared”. Today, “[t]en-year-old girls may talk about novios and exchange love notes with boys, but usually only at fifteen or sixteen do they begin going out alone with boys […]” (Biesanz et al., 1999:p181)[2].




Additional references:


§         Tamar Hahn, "Costa Rica: Innocence for Sale”, Mother Jones, 10 Nov 2000 []

§         Treguear L., Tatiana, & Carro B., Carmen (1994) Niñas y adolescentes prostituidas, San José de Costa Rica, UNICEF, Childhope, PRONICE





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

Last revised: Dec 2004


[1] Stone, D. (1962) The Talamancan Tribes of Costa Rica. Cambridge, Mass.: PeabodyMuseum

[2] Biesanz, M. H., Biesanz, R. & Biesanz, K. Z. (1999) The Ticos. Boulder [etc.]: Lynne Rienner