According to Paulme (1940:p439-40), the Sudanese Dogon
“child will be present at long conversations between men, some seated on the ground against the posts of the toguna, others stretched out in the shade of the thick layers of millet stalks which form the roof of the shelter. The children remain very quiet there; some of them as early as the age of four or five even seem to follow the conversation with interest and sometimes ask their elders questions which the latter gravely answer. There is no subject of conversation among adults which the presence of children puts a stop to approaching freely; no one would dream of controlling his language upon seeing at his side a little boy or little girl whom he might regard as too young to listen to certain information. Thus the children very early acquire precise sexual knowledge -- boys and girls of six or eight seem perfectly familiar with these questions -- without their ever having been given any enlightenment in this matter. The children asked about this subject all replied “that they have always known this”.
D. F., Growing Up Sexually.
Last revised: Sept 2004