Growing Up Sexually


GA  (Ghana



Index AfricaGhana Ga

(Thsi-Speakers, Tallensi, Akan / Ashanti, Fanti, Kokomba, (S)Isala, Ga, Ewe, Vagla, Krobo


Among the Ga in Accra, Jahoda (1956:p126)[1] “occasionally observed sex-play among small children; adults who discover it happening will discourage this, not without any obvious signs of disgust and moral indignation”. During the seclusion associated with female puberty rite, “some” families would take the opportunity to provide sex education (Otoo, 1973)[2]. In Tema, boy infant’s penises are fondled, allegedly to produce a smile (Kaye). In Teshie, “the attitude of parents towards young children who masturbate is one of indifference, though if the child is a boy he may be told that his penis will be cut off if he holds it again. Some parents may scold or slap their children for masturbating”. Also, “make-believe games of husband and wife often lead to attempts at sexual intercourse. “More often than not, parents take a serious view of such actions”. They are punished in many cases with red pepper on the genitals. While such organised games are not common, boys of eight, nine and above sometimes have sexual intercourse with the girls in the room during the night. When children sleep in the same room, boys on one side, girls on the other, “this usually leads to sexual activities during the night”. In Christiansborg, “children play sex games which are severely disapproved of by their parents. If they are caught doing so, red pepper is put in their genitals. “It usually happens that there is always a very old woman in every house whose official duty is to deal with such cases”.










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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Jahoda, G. (1956) Sex differences in preferences for shapes: a cross-cultural replication, Br J Psychol 47:126-32

[2] Otoo, S. N. (1973) The traditional management of puberty and childbirth among the Ga people, Ghana, Trop & Geogr Med 25:88-94