Hanry (1970)[1] found that Guinea sexarche generally took place between ages 12 and 17. “On note cependant un assez grand nombre d’expériences enfantines: 12% de jeunes gens avaient, à leur première expérience, moins de 12 ans [[2]] et 11% de leurs partenaires” (p88). Three in 24 had coitus between ages eight and ten. Masturbation was said to be followed by threats to psychic and physical health (p84), and nearly half of boys did not answer the question.

Reporting on a 1995 survey (Gorgen et al., 1998)[3], the average age of first sexual intercourse was 16.3 for young women and 15.6 for males. The sexual partner is typically a peer.

For another report on adolescent sexuality, see [[4]].

Social status is established through an informally consensus relative to life phases (kare)[5]:


“Although the kare can be defined relatively easily using biological markers such as puberty and fertility, in practice the definitions become more difficult and less precise. Identifying the moment of puberty, for example, is complicated, because it can be at the time of menarche, or when a girl’s breasts begin to develop. Although some families marry off their daughters at the first sign of maturation, others prefer to wait until several years after menarche, when a pregnancy is more likely to be successful”.




Further reading:


§         Hanry, P. (1965) La Clitoridectomie Rituelle en Guinée. Motivations – Consequences, Psychopathol Africaine 1/2:261-7





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] Hanry, P. (1970) Érotisme Africain. Paris: Payot

[2] Divided by religion, Muslims had coitarche before 12 in 15%, Christians in 7%, and atheists in 19% (p100). Urban adolescents indicated that coitarche began before 12 in 14.5%, while in rural areas, the figure was 9.5% (p102)

[3] Gorgen, R., Yansane, M. L., Marx, M. & Millimounou, D. (1998) Sexual Behavior and Attitudes Among Unmarried Urban Youths in Guinea, Int Fam Plann Perspect 24,2:65-71

[4] Guinée: La Sexualité des Adolescents dans les Régions Administratives de Faranah, Kankan et N’Zérékoré. Résultats d’une Recherche Narrative. JohnsHopkinsUniversityCenter for Communication Programs, Management Sciences for Health, PRISM. Nov. 2000

[5] Levin, E. C. (2000) Women’s Childbearing Decisions in Guinea: Life Course Perspectives and Historical Change, Africa Today 47,3-4:63-81, at p68