Growing Up Sexually



South America



(2, -,2+,-,-,-;-,-)

GUARANÍ / CAYUA (Paraguay)


IndexAmericasSouth AmericaParaguay Guaraní/Cayua




Girls enter marriage at 11 or 12, boys seldom before age 17 or 18 (Müller, 1935:p381)[1].


“Knowledge of sexuality among the Tupí- Guaraní  is extremely limited because missionaries, by convention, were rather prudish in writing about this subject” . Child betrothal is reported among the Guaraní of the Paraná River. “In some cases little girls were given to grown men, who lived with their child wives, probably in the house of their future parents-in-law” (Métraux, 1948)[2]. Ganson (p214-5), however, noted that mission Indians married at the age of 14-15 for girls, and 16-17 for men, while native customs indicated the “age of sexual maturity”.[?]A number of taboos accompanies the healing process, including “rigorous” sexual abstinence. All this until the boys are healed, because “otherwise the hole is ruined” (Schaden, 1962)[3].


A subtribe: Guayaki







Additional refs.:

Pantelides, E. A. & Binstock, G. (1993) Factores de riesgo de embarazo adolescente en el Paraguay [Risk Factors of Pregnancy among Adolescents in Paraguay], Rev Paraguaya Sociol 30/87:171-86




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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Müller, F. (1935) Beiträge zur Ethnographie der Guarani-Indianer im Ostlichen Waldgebiet von Parguay, Anthropos 30

[2] Métraux, A. (1948) The Guarani. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office [op.cit.]

[3] Schaden, E. (1962) Fundamental Aspects of Guaraní Culture.Sao Paulo: Difusao Européia do Livro. Ms thesis