Featured: Pukapukans, Ra’Ivavae, French
Polynesia [Marquesans, Cook
Islands [Tahiti, Aitutaki, Mangaia], Samoa, Tonga Isl.]; Santa Cruz Isl., Santa Cruz Isl.
Danielsson (1954 [1956:p81-105]) gives an
informed account of sexual development in Polynesia. The Polynesians “made no attempt
to suppress sexuality in the younger generation; parents indeed, encouraged
their children in free experimentalizing and realistic play. For the
Polynesians childhood and youth were a time of preparation in this respect as
in others, and they considered, without doubt rightly, that it was of the
greatest importance for everyone to acquire as much sexual knowledge and
skill as possible before marriage”. Children often witnessed the sexual act
of their parents, and overheard their conversations. Parents “often urged
their children to masturbate when they wanted peace and quiet, more or less
as we give our children rubber teats. When the children grew rather older,
they had to learn various sexual games. “Daddy, Mummy and children”, for
example, was played much more realistically than our children play it, and,
in concordance with adult customs, often with two or three daddies and mummies
at once. […] Small children imitating sexual intercourse were a common sight
on all the islands. Only children of the same age, however, took place in
these sexual games, and it was considered in the highest degree improper and
abnormal for an adult person to show any interest in them. Any such offence
was punished with extreme severity, sometimes even with death. […] Sexual
experimentalizing became bolder and bolder during [the] free association in
play groups consisting of both boys and girls, and many of them had
intercourse, though naturally [?] they could seldom attain orgasm”. Puberty
was not a social secure in this respect. Boys and girls had their “first real
intercourse” with “an older, experienced person” belonging to the same set,
but often also from the parental generation (aunts, uncles). In the AustralIslands, it is stated that “young males
received sexual instructions from the Kariois, young females from
priestesses. Courses in sexual refinements were given in the karioi-society”.
On Tongareva (Penrhyn), a “woman of mature age”,
appointed by the father, practically instructed the pubarchic boy in
intercourse after conditioning his preputium.
In Hawai’i, a boy of noble family was equally instructed
by a mature chiefess.
Polynesian adolescence may be characterized
as a period in which boys form cohorts, the primary focus of interest of
which is sex (Ortner, 1981 [1986:p380]). This may commonly be organized
around a dormitory system (Suggs, 1966:p175; Firth, 1963:p82).
Featured: Pukapukans, Ra’Ivavae, French Polynesia [Marquesans, Cook Islands [Tahiti, Aitutaki, Mangaia], Samoa, Tonga Isl.]; Santa Cruz Isl., Santa Cruz Isl.
D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin:
Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology, Berlin
revised: Sept 2004