Growing Up Sexually

The Sexual Curriculum (Oct., 2002)

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Janssen, D. F. (Oct., 2002). Growing Up Sexually. Volume II: The Sexual Curriculum: The Manufacture and Performance of Pre-Adult Sexualities. Interim Report. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I [next Appendix]

Structural Determinants of Sexual Curricula. A Review and Critique of the "Cross-Cultural Method"



Abstract: The following appendix presents an overview of systematic cross-cultural studies investigating the structural determination of the human sexual behaviour curriculum, together with rough description of their conclusions as organised by a selected number of entries to the problem. [For a more detailed and complete analysis, the reader is referred to a preliminary overview[1] and a separate bibliography not included in GUS]. The reason for this section being "appendicised" reads that it covers "cultural" rather than individual experience, which falls outside the project's scope. The first three entries explore the control of sexual behaviour from within the macrocultural, sexological and pedagogical frameworks. The last entry more descriptively covers the cross-cultural patterns of (gender-specific) curriculum. A short summary and focal critique of the cross-cultural method is followed by a challenging of its fundamental operationalisation ("permissiveness" / "restraint").




Contents [up]


Structural Determinants of Sexual Curricula. A Review and Critique of the "Cross-Cultural Method". 1


I.0.a Preliminary Outline of Previous Systematisation Efforts 2

Table 1 Focussed Appraisal of Cross-Cultural Efforts in Developmental Sexology. Includes abbreviations used in the present article. 2

I.0.b Introduction: Structural Dimensions of the Early Sexual Experience 2

I.1 Culturalist Framework 3

I.1.1 Society: "Complexity" and Substructures 3

I.1.2 Female Status and Role 4

I.2 Sexological Framework 4

I.2.1 Confronting Essentialist Concepts of "Permissiveness" 4

I.2.2 Construing Sexual Systems 5

I.3 Pedagogical Framework 5

I.4 Curricular and Curricularisation Frameworks 6

I.4.1 Chronology and the Timing of Sexuality Processes 6

I.4.2 Continuity: Intracurricular Coherence 6

I.4.3 Gender Informed Standard: Curricular Consistency 7

I.5 Interim Conclusions 7

I.6 Major Limitations and Inaccuracies of the Cross-Cultural Method 8

I.7 Reconceptualising Sexual Control: Cross-Cultural Method vs Becker 8

I.8 Perspectives 9


Notes 9




I.0.a Preliminary Outline of Previous Systematisation Efforts [up] [Contents]


Before the current inventarisation (Table 1, #7), six major efforts (arranged chronologically) have provided more or less systematic insights in the cross-cultural patterning of sexual behaviour socialisation and development. Efforts 1-5 have provided original (semi-)numeric measures, and all offered a localisation of "sexuality" regulation practices within the larger culturalist scope. Beside these efforts, minor, incidental descriptive contributions and small collections of data have been offered. To anticipate on the review offered infra, a number of interesting studies can now, but have not been, reissued. A further discussion of the contribution of these resources is provided in the next Appendix (see here).



Table 1 Focussed Appraisal of Cross-Cultural Efforts in Developmental Sexology. Includes abbreviations used in the present article.


(1) World Ethnographic Sample and Ethnographic Atlas measures of Premarital Sexual Freedom (Murdock)[2]. Used by a number of authors[3] to test anthropological hypotheses.

(2) (e)HRAF OCM coding 864 (1937-…). HRAF provided a selected anthropological bibliography with page-specific references to selected number of topics including "sex training" for a selected number of societies. The HRAF selection of cultures was used by studies to gather specific data[4]. eHRAF allows online, including thematically (code) specific and fulltext, searches.

(3) Ford and Beach (F&B)[5]. Suggested a trichotomisation according to permissiveness illustrated by a selection of descriptive material. The Ford and Beach categorisation was used by Textor, Heise and DeLeeuwe to test anthropological hypotheses.

(4) Whiting and Child (W&Ch.)[6]. Provided diverse ratings and cross-correlations for a selected number of societies. The Whiting and Child ratings were used in a number of studies[7] examining mainly psychodynamic and anthropological hypotheses.

(5) SCCS rating studies (SCCS). Providing ratings and selected cross-correlations for a standardised selection of 186 societies as published in diverse studies[8]. Unpublished re-examinations have been performed by Frayser, who earlier (1985)[9] provided a major work on cross-culturalist sexology. SCCS ratings allow computerised statistical processing, facilitated by CD-ROM availability.

(6) Sections in Francoeur's International Encyclopedia of Sexuality[10]. Provided native sexologists' contemporary reviews and insights on childhood/adolescent auto-, homo-, and heterosexuality in a selected number of countries. Online available.

(7) Janssen[11]. Provided an extensive literature review using previous material (1-6) organised in (a) an ethno-/geographic atlas, and (b) a thematic volume. Also provided multi-entry bibliographic volume, and limited numeric interpretations on the basis of SCCS material. Online available.


I.0.b Introduction: Structural Dimensions of the Early Sexual Experience [up] [Contents]


Scott et al. (1998:p692)[12] suggested that


"[t]he construction of childhood needs to be understood at a number of different levels: the structural, the discursive and the situated. Childhood is institutionalised through family, education and the state, resulting in dependence on adults and exclusion from full participation in adult society. Indeed, it can be argued that many aspects of childhood today have been shaped through the structural and institutional changes of the last two hundred years […]".


Mostly explored in the 1960s through 1980s, the contribution of what is referred to as the "cross-cultural method" to the influx of hypothetical starting points for descriptive elaboration today is considerable, as is concerned the sexological study of the life span. The studies here identified embody what can be called a "cross-culturalist" tradition, which supports the process of generating explanatory curricula that identify the (macro-)structural "non-sexual" as conditional, and conceptualise "sexuality" as a set of potentially dependent variables or "functions". A subdivision of this tradition has operated from a cross-cuturalist position that accomodates psychodynamic interpretation, which broadly allows predictions that tend to relateralise early "psychosexual" variables as conditional, and the adult-generated "cultural" as resultant. From a conservative point of view, the legitimisation for this historical hybridisation remains arguable.

For historical reasons, the data are organised according to three approved lines of approach (culturalist, pedagogist, sexologist), and two approved lines of interest (life phase and gender). This choice, of course, is arbitrary, and several conclusions from one approach apply to others as well. Graphically, these approaches locate "sexual developments" within what are appreciated as "larger frameworks" of its effectuation or expression: the "cultural", the "pedagogical" and the "sexual". The –ism qualifications here used refer to the (variably obvious) tendency of essentialising these three peripheries or backgrounds within which the sexual is to be centralised.


Obviously, the issue of culturalisation, pedagogisation and sexualisation of "sexual development" processes, is as much an academic as a family-level pursuit. In contemporary U.S. discourse, the sexual factor is heavily negotiated, the pedagogical view is largely uncontestable, and the cultural entry is progressively politicised within a global spectre. This last development facilitates nationalist, regionalist and continentalist articulation of sexual politics, but it has not been obvious how this would address early erotics, beside female education, mobility, family planning, career building, AIDS pevention, abuse prevention, and the distribution of associated prestige factors.


The "cross-culturalist" approaches do not resist constructionist/performance based ones, but are nonetheless less practical given the eventual choice of entry in this volume, and were therefore relocated in this Appendix.



I.1 Culturalist Framework [up] [Contents]


These studies investigate sexual standards as the result of some cultural meta-organisation. It is probable that findings tested for monocultural validity explain a considerable proportion of the variance encountered cross-culturally, but generally these two fields have somewhat restricted themselves to their own set of variables, excepting bi- or oligocultural comparisons. There does not seem to be a general significant correlation between regionality and any of the "sexual restraint" measures, except a marginal one for late girlhood (SCCS 200x333, Pearson 2-tailed, 0.05 level).

Theoretically, cultural positions toward sexuality are controlled by their ways of organising the curricular interplay of three concepts: (a) virginity, (b) pregnancy and (c) institutional pairbonding. This places high levels of salience on both the position and contribution of females in reproductive matters as well as the wider social context. Also, it suggests an important role for religious "doctrines", though not immediately apparent for all matters premarital. Still:


"[…] whatever is said about childhood sexuality in religious doctrines is, invariably, subordinate to and derived from the broader context of adult beliefs and values which focus on the pivotal adult sexual relationship, marriage" (Francoeur)[13].


Marriage type indeed seems to be correlated with global cultural traits, but only indirectly to normative traits including sex taboos (premarital, post-partum)[14]. A backdraw of the cross-cultural codes, however, may be that they do not examine the diverse aspects of what is globally indicated by the phrase "premarital liberty"[15]. An overview of cross-cultural studies was provided by Broude (1981)[16].



I.1.1 Society: "Complexity" and Substructures [up] [Contents]


One might hypothesize that when the cultural structure of "fertility" (the level reproduction) roughly coincides with the cultural structure of sexual trajectory legitimisation (as far as postmarital fertility is concerned), such legitimacy will relate to what is known as the demographic transition model. This would predict a surplus of legitimacy (freedom of expression) in societies experiencing the first two demographic phases (characterised by high birth rate and high or dropping death rate) as compared with societies experiencing subsequent (fourth, fifth) stages being characterised by low birth rate (and low death rate). This obviously problematic entry is corrupted by a range of factors including triumphing reproduction technology, factually emancipating postpubertal sexual trajectories from reproductive trajectories, and the wider bureaucratic and discursive dissociation of these two human agendas, particularly governed by the institutionalisation of the "sexual" within the economic and reproductive unit of the household. More significantly, the age-old "freedom" and legitimacy question of human sexuality traditionally has addressed the pre-institutional more centrally than the extra-institutional experience; and also the fertile experience more centrally than the prefertile.


Among the first to speculate on interrelations between economic status and premarital freedom, or promiscuity, were Westermarck, Wikman and Malinowski[17]. Using premarital standards as a starting point, Murdock (1964)[18] published "suggestive" but not statistically verified associations with subsistence economy, technology, demography, and political organisation. Data "suggested" that "[…] norms of premarital sex behavior tend to become progressively more restrictive with an increase in cultural complexity, however the latter may be measured" (p409)[19]. An alike finding was arrived at by Levinson and Malone (as cited by Hotvedt)[20], Stephens (as cited by Naroll)[21], and by Broude (1975)[22] using a previously unpublished measure of premarital freedom. Regression analysis by Broude showed that high (or low) accessibility of caretakers for children is strongly associated with permissiveness toward premarital sex (or restrictiveness), as is SSA (W&Ch.). Broude finds that class stratification and cultural complexity[23] are also significant predictors, indicating that restrictiveness has different origins in different social contexts[24]. This is not surprising since the diversity of native explanations for restrictiveness would lead to the expectation that no one social structural or psychological factor will explain norms of premarital sexual behaviour in all societies. These three predictors account for only 33% of the total variance, showing that studies of restrictiveness have not isolated all the reasons for premarital sexual behaviour.


Somewhat contrary to these findings, De Leeuwe found that both factors (male) "internal oppression" (composed of class/caste distinction, and presence of slavery) and development of production forces (subsistence) predicted a higher (moral, not factual) tolerance for selected categories of sexual activity lumped together (which may not appear to be interrelated; p11), including pre-adult sexuality (F&B).


Testing subcultural structures, Goethals[25] had pointed out a significant relationship with residence and descent rules, which was tentatively explained by the degree with which premarital pregnancy disrupts personal, familial and social cohesion. Unpublished material by the author established the influence of status (ascribed vs. achieved), and explored the issue of bride price (which proved nonsignificant) (as cited by Broude). Eckhardt[26] further used earlier measures of premarital sex to test some basic hypotheses concerning the association of sexual permissiveness and the distribution of power and other social resources. Factors tested included rule of descent, rule of residence, female subsistence contribution, and level of courting autonomy. Data modestly suggested the following idea:


"[…] sex is an exchange good offered by females and controlled by males for advancing self-interest. The nature of the controls exercized by males as prospective spouses or as women's kin, in conjunction with sex drives, determines the level of sexual permissiveness in society" (p11-2).


Confirming previous findings, SCCS data (Barry III et al., 1976:p105) suggested that late childhood sexual restraint for both sexes progressively increased with the level of political integration[27], a correlation greater for girls [SCCS v330-3, 329-30x149-158]. Correlation analysis (Barry III and Schlegel, 1986) shows that adolescent sexual freedom was low in societies with the highest level of social stratification and intensive agriculture. High degrees of sexual freedom were associated with several customs within specific categories of societies: with initiation ceremony for adolescents of either sex in highly socially stratified, mostly intensive agricultural, societies (positive, p<.05), female initiation in nonagricultural societies (negative, p<.05), exogamy in less socially stratified intensive agricultural societies (positive, p<.01), matrilineal descent in horticultural societies (positive, p<.01), and monogamy in nonagricultural (simplex) societies (negative, p<.05). For the total of societies (but for none of the specific subcategories), community size was negatively associated with sexual freedom (p<.01). In a 1969 study by Zern[28], a cross-cultural sample of linguistically independent and geographically separate societies was rated on degree of group cohesiveness (with items such as presence or absence of localised clans, lineage systems, and extended family residence patterns), and values and norms describing premarital sexual behaviour. The more cohesive family units placed more restrictions on premarital sexual behaviour; there was no relationship between family structure and norms.



I.1.2 Female Status and Role [up] [Contents]


Using 1982 SCCS ratings, it was found that where girls are being trained for high future contribution, they are significantly less likely to be sexually restrained (p=.034, later childhood) (Schlegel and Barry III, 1986:p146)[29] [SCCS v733-8/821-6x v330-3]. Also, premarital permissiveness characterised societies with high female contribution to subsistence (ibid., p147).


I.2 Sexological Framework [up] [Contents]



I.2.1 Confronting Essentialist Concepts of "Permissiveness" [up] [Contents]


The sexological approach aims to analyse patterns of attitudes toward distinct categories of sexual behaviour. Cross-culturally speaking, the operationalisation of sexuality according to the reproductive principle is potentially the most informative. Frayser[30] suggests that the degree to which reproductive and sexual [nonreproductive] relationships are allowed to coexist varies according to cultural definition and social arrangement. Both male and female options for reproductive success must be examined. Frayser (1989) did not rule out that it may be possible to reduce all of the attributes of sexual relationships to reproductive ends. The "cultural fit" of the sexual within the reproductive can be studied at various levels, most notably the intrafamilial (intergenerational), dyadic, and, more problematic, "individual".


Challenging the simplex notion that a permissive-nonpermissive dichotomy, or any "permissiveness" scale, is sufficient to describe variations across countries, Widmer et al. (1998)[31] examined the hypothesis that there are distinctive sexual regimes with different moral standards depending on the type of sexual behaviour. Attitudes toward premarital sex, teenage sex, extramarital sex, and homosexual sex were examined in a selection of 24 countries. Cluster analysis reveals that there are six groupings of nations which have alike "moral standards". However, a variance decomposition analysis also shows that all countries included in the sample share relatively similar attitudes toward nonmarital sex.



I.2.2 Construing Sexual Systems [up] [Contents]


A specifically interesting question is whether there is a relation between attitudes toward phase-specified activities (or all activities of phase-specified participants of the sexual system). Stephens' work on modesty/obscenity produced the tentative division of two "sex-restriction" factors, with some degree of mutual exclusion cross-culturally: (1) "taboo", including kin avoidances, menses and birth-related taboos, and a variety of "occasional" taboos; and (2) "modesty-chastity", including [not specifically curricularised] clothing[32]/conversational explicitness ("modesty"), extramarital liberty and, speculatively (1972:p13)[33], sex training (acc. W&Ch)[34]. Minturn et al. (1969)[35] further published correlations of sexual satisfaction potential (SSP) and sexual socialisation anxiety (SSA; both W&Ch) with a number of sexual beliefs and practices in 135 HRAF societies. SSA was found to be associated with adolescent sex segregation[36] (p<.01); this was weak for SSP (p<.10). Textor had earlier found good correlations between SSP/SSA and premarital (but not with extramarital) "permissiveness" in the expected directions (Textor, 305/311x390-3; replicated by Broude, 1975), thus compromising Stephen's second cluster. This was also suggested by SCCS data (Barry III et al., 1976:p101, 102). On the other hand, sexual permissiveness (F&B) was not correlated with premarital but indeed with extamarital freedom (Textor, 386x392-3)! As suggested by these incongruencies, an important finding is the noncorrelation of the concepts SSA (W&Ch.) and restrictiveness (F&B) (Textor 311x386 e.v.v). This may be due to the use of alternative sources, or suggest a genuine curricular phenomenon. Measures of extramarital liberties (SCCS 169,597,598,963,964) tend to correlate better with the female adolescent rather than male "adolescent" case.


SSA and SSP were significantly (negatively) correlated (Textor 305x311 e.v.v.). Adolescent sexual freedom (expression plus "nonrestraint") appears to be well correlated to previous phase-blind ratings of premarital sex (frequency, norms and attitudes) (B&Schl, 1984:p327-8), and also with sexual restraint of both preceding phases.

De Leeuwe found that the permission regarding "sexual activity of children" (adapt. F&B) and that regarding homosexual activity of persons other than children (adapt. F&B) were uncorrelated; Textor had earlier found a negative correlation using W&Ch data (SSP). "Children"'s presence during sexual activity or sex talk of older people was present in the most permissive societies more often than in the most prohibiting societies.


Many more correlations can be calculated using SCCS data (corrected, 2002). This study awaits future efforts, especially using SCCS data offered in SPSS format.



I.3 Pedagogical Framework [up] [Contents]


These studies investigate sexual standards as the implicated within some pedagogical situation or system that anticipates is co-occurs with the expression of and socialisation of "the sexual impulse". Selected writings suggest that the subjective use of rationale in sexual behaviour socialisation may be a poorly developed variable[37]. Exactly how "sex" fits in the grand scheme of shaping the child's behaviour is open for much conjecture. Lancy (2002)[38] suggested that "[…] the benefits of play to children must be extensive and profound in order to overcome [the] pervasive attempts at restraint" of such play. The application of this in the sexological sphere would depend on whether pedagogues operationalise early sexuality as "play".


The "problem" entry seems to have been an informing method[39], but this operationalisation of salience is open for debate; cultural definitions, for instance, may manipulate the notion of cross-cultural variability. Ford and Beach's classical trichotomisation of cultural permissiveness patterns was rightly[40] expanded by a fourth, "supportive" dimension by Currier in the late 1970s. A visual representation of world-wide severity ratings specified for the three phases according to SCCS ratings, points out that "sexual restraint" severity in the ethnographic sample can indeed globally be identified by means of a three-point scale (corresponding with two, three and four on the original five point scale), thus supporting Ford and Beach's original classification. This roughly applies to all gender/phase configurations, though in some it is less apparent than in others. However, one should consider a rater's or even observer's bias in this respect, and, obviously, the choice of measure. An earlier general permissiveness rating (SCCS v465-8), for what it is worth, does not provide for an obvious di- or trichotomisation cross-culturally. Still, there appears to be a significant (p<.01) correlation of sexual and general retraint measures in all four gender/phase cells.



I.3.1 Sex and Pedagogy [up] [Contents]


An analysis of interrelations among training categories by Whiting and Child (p115-8) revealed that, while systems were "almost entirely independent", there was a very high positive relation between the age of socialisation for modesty and heterosexual training. Prothro elaborated on this issue by using Whiting and Child's data for a factor analysis. One polarity described an inverse association of "oral" and "sexual" permissiveness. This was tentatively approached via (1) psychodynamic arguments; and (2) maternal attitudes allowing that sex and suckling are alternative means of gratification.

Factor analysis by Broude and Green (1976) on the basis of SCCS data suggests that sexual restraint can be grouped together with "Obedience" and "Self-Restraint" into a category labelled "Submission"; there was little correlation with any of the other categories (demands of toughness, maturity and dutifulness) for either sex.


Textor further found significant correlations of both SSA (positive) and SSP (negative) with average socialisation anxiety and with aggression socialisation anxiety (vide 305x308, 305x313, 311x308, 311x313). Barry III et al. (1977:p228) correlated SSA (W&Ch.) with their measures on general permissiveness (N=33) and affection (N=29). Correlations with permissiveness produced scores of r=-.50 (girls, early childhood) to -.56 (boys, early childhood). Looking at SR vs. Permissiveness transitions from early to late childhood, however, a considerable number of cases suggest an inverse, or at least not a parallel, pattern. Also, two in three societies apply in their sexual restraint a gender principle to some degree consistent with the general pedagogical application in early childhood. This figure drops to just over half in late childhood. 34% (early childhood) and 42% (late childhood) of cultures apply some type of curriculum suggesting that the choice for the sexological policy (DS or no DS) stands out against (but is not contrary to) the general pedagogical background of permissiveness.



I.3.2 Double Standard: Pedagogical Consistency [up] [Contents]


The organisation of a double standard in sexual permissiveness is most effective when curricularly consistent with general permissiveness, that is "atraumatic". Ninety-one of 138 of known early childhood cases are consistent in their standard (either no DS of any kind or boys more lenient sexually as well as generally). 77 of 144 known late childhood cases are consistent in their standard (either none of any kind or boys more lenient sexually as well as generally); seven patterns[41] are contrary to expectation (A/-A, -A/A). While the hypothesis is met for early childhood better as for late childhood, for a remarkable minority of societies with SR DS type A (boys more lenient) it could be considered consistent with a generalised pedagogical principle.



I.4 Curricular and Curricularisation Frameworks [up] [Contents]



I.4.1 Chronology and the Timing of Sexuality Processes [up] [Contents]


Specific timing data for sexual socialisation practices are rare, but depend on the variables chosen. Invariably, the whole concept of timing in psychosexual development/socialisation is debatable regarding the measures under examination. Whiting and Child could rate the "age at beginning of [serious] training in heterosexual play inhibition" only for 17 of 75 HRAF societies; the age of initial "serious" "modesty training" could be established for 19 societies (25%). "Sexual satisfaction potential" (SSP) could only be rated for 17 societies in the case of "masturbation", for 26 in the case of "heterosexual play", and for a further, unidentified small amount in the case of "homosexual" (same-sex) behaviour.

Specific timing data are not established for the SCCS, this being explained by their earliest phase apparently already universally being characterised by some measurable form of "sexual (non-)restraint"[42].

In the interesting study by Rogoff et al., examining timing structures in a selection of 50 HRAF cultures, 22 could be rated for "considered sexual" ("The age when the child is considered capable of sexual activity and stimulation, or when this behavior is bound by the taboos of the culture"), 18 for "stressing sexual attractiveness" ("The culture encourages the child to be concerned with sexual attractiveness in clothing, self-decoration, hair-styling, personal cleanliness"), and 30 for "stressing sex differentiation". Studies also reveal large differences in the measurability of timing of relatively unambiguous variables[43].



I.4.2 Continuity: Intracurricular Coherence [up] [Contents]


Benedict (1938:p164-5)[44] stated that "[c]ontinuity in sex expression means […] that the child is taught nothing it must unlearn later"[45]. Apart from the number of (contradicting) insights pertaining to curricular continuity are presented under the heading "sexological framework", Heise tested five major hypotheses on their ability to correctly identify occurring from nonoccurring patterns of phase-specified sexual restraint, three of these being found promising. Homogenisating material from three sources (F&B, W&Ch., Textor), four hypotheses were further tested on their ability to predict the frequency of pattern occurrence. Neither normative consistency or normative continuity were found necessary conditions for occurring sex socialisation patterns. Strong arguments could be made for (1) the adolescent strain hypothesis (occurring socialisation in adolescence at least as permissive as childhood); (2) inhibitions imitation hypothesis (occurring shifts toward permissiveness rare and not extreme); (3) a combination of both latter hypotheses.


To anticipate on a tentative retest, some basic inaccuracies[46] in the SCCS ratings render the argument on curriculum continuity on the basis of this quantitative material rather limited, as for, for example, the question whether a long early childhood is met with less severe restraint than a short one, or whether a (consequentially) short late childhood is met with more severe restraint than a long one. Due to timing variability, it is not clear how obvious psychosexual discontinuities (initiation, communal residence, marriage) enter (or in fact define) the phase schema; in other cases the factual organisation of transitions remain altogether unclear. Rather than phase ratings, transitional ratings should have been offered.


Globalised sexual restraint ratings as well as SDs increase for every next phase regardless of gender, but, strictly, this was not tested for significance. Also, some contamination occurred with the distinction of late childhood with adolescence, and rating procedures were not exactly alike for preadolescent versus adolescent phases (B&Sch, 1984:p324, 325). Adolescent freedom was well correlated with childhood sexual restraint (better for later childhood), predictably as a function of general cultural differentiation from both "phases"[47]. Only in two societies there was a less severe restraint (that is, greater SNR) in late versus early childhood; both societies were again more restrictive in adolescence. A considerable number of societies, however, go against the general tendency of more severe restraint in adolescence as opposed to late childhood. This global negative phase effect is not seen for at least one of both genders in a total number of 70 societies, which almost approaches half of the societies for which male adolescent sexual freedom could be measured (#=150). In more than half of these, both sexes are met with less severe restraint.


Judging from a reexamination of SCCS findings on curricular organisation of sexual restraint, the most frequent patterns include gender-egalitarian maximum in late childhood, and that of progressive restriction. Curricular patterns are consistent for gender in 63% of examined cases. Transitions between adjacent phases differ in severity from –5 to 6 on a theoretical –10 to 10 scale, weighted means varying from 0.19 to 1.40. Some support was found for Heise's adolescent strain hypothesis, predicting that SR in adolescence is at least as permissive as childhood (tested for later childhood/adolescence transition).


Another aspect of curricularisation continuity is represented by the sexological implications of ceremonial initiation. It is suggested that puberty rites function generally to provide intensive instruction in adult sex roles, instil cultural loyalty, regulate and publicise the attainment of adult status, and enhance the mate value of the initiate (Weisfeld, 1997)[48]; as such the timing would tend to following biological principles (p45-7)[49]. Schegel and Barry III (1979) found that in 13 of 63 SCCS societies (»1/5) practicing these ceremonies for boys, it is "intended for or clearly results in the initiation of [hetero]sexual relations". This is the case for 28 of 84 societies (1/3) practising such ceremonies for girls. Of both boy and girl cases, ceremonies are held as early as "before genital maturation"[50] but, in the case of girls, mostly "at" genital maturation, which would be at the occasion of menarche or ejacularche [51]. Sexual permissiveness (F&B) does not seem to be related with the presence of female initiation rites (Textor 386x382). Likewise, Barry and Schlegel (1984) failed to find a significant interaction between degree of childhood-adolescence continuity and restraint severity (SCCS).



I.4.3 Gender Informed Standard: Curricular Consistency [up] [Contents]


Judging from a reexamination of SCCS material, double standards are encountered in late childhood more than before or after, but not for more than half of societies. More leniency for girls is very rare. Apart from the typical curricularly consistent pattern of egalitarianism, most frequent patterns include that of dissolution of a previous double standard at adolescence (N=20), and that of a temporary double standard for late childhood only (N=19). The only minor though significant alternative patterns describe either an adolescent onset, or a late childhood onset double standard. Less than half of societies are consistent, in only two curricula are contrary to expected consistency. Of the societies applying some degree of double standard in any phase, only 11% is wholly curricularly consistent. The strength of the double standard varies from –2 to 8 on a theoretical –10 to 10 scale, the weighted mean varying between 0.47 to 0.86. Extramarital and adolescent double standards are in agreement for 39% of examinable societies, and in only 9 of 71 societies (13%) applying some form of double standard for either "phase". This suggests that when addressing double standards, one should at least specify the type of sexual behaviour measured and the phase under investigation.



I.5 Interim Conclusions [up] [Contents]


Interpreted within the numeric, narrowly unilateral and only indefinitely curricular definition of sexual permissiveness, this attitude seems to be related to societal complexity, as well as to various subcultural economic and political dimensions; in fact, it seems to be a combination of global social structural parameters and subsocietal organisations that predict sexual restrictiveness. A number of authors have tried to fit these findings in models that attempt to cover all or most societies under investigation. Within the sexual behaviour system, curricular coherence is generally found, while selected other variables appear to be consistent with such curricular system, though not unambiguously so. As a whole, the description of the system of motives vs (curricular) sexual behaviour categories lacks a coherent framework. Based on numeric material, it does not directly seem to fit into some coherent pedagogical system.



I.6 Major Limitations and Inaccuracies of the Cross-Cultural Method [up] [Contents]


As is concerned the anthropology of life phase sexualities, a number of arguments can readily be made contra the cross-cultural method, most of them extendable to alternative subjects. Among these:


1. Conceptual reductionism. Nummerification does nothing to prevent a simplex concept of sexual socialisation patterns. Instead, the current study points out that the comparability thus created is fraud with the loss of vital insights to the matter.

2. Definitions. "Permissiveness" does not unambiguously address regulation dynamics. Further, permissiveness cannot solely be represented by ad hoc attitudes and practices, instead should be informed by ante hoc and post hoc dynamics as well.

3. Scales. Unidirectional scales do not permit cultural juxtaposition (rather than comparison).

4. Theoretical baseline. Most studies, interpreters and reviewers embrace structural-functional theories. This renders its conclusions less useful for or of less immediate applicability in alternative, say, constructionist or poststructural approaches.

5. Curricularity and developmentalist / "curricularist" essentialism. Variables are either dissociated from curricular implications, or resulting from inconsiderate application of curricular operationalisations. Further, presentations do not confront reductionist and essentialist ideologies concerning curricula and curricularisation processes.

6. "Behaviourist" essentialism. Variables describe behavioural measures lifted from an attitudinal and psychomental context.

7. Culturalist essentialism. Cultures tend to be represented as static uniform structures, according to limited, individual and at times morally biased casuistics. Intracultural, mircogeographic, (micro-)historical and interindividual variability are not represented.

8. Disregard for methodological (e.g., historical) standards and lumping of methodological approaches. Especially in older material, these are indeed variable and rarely accounted for.


In broad terms, numeric cross-culturalists have reduced cultures and sexuality (hence, possible notions of "sexual cultures") beyond the level required for what I believe connotes qualitative understanding. This has "produced" comparability and divergence inherent to methodology rather than suggestive of qualitative similarity or dissimilarity. By its definitions, the use SCCS in sexological categorisation has introduced an occidentalist bias that monolaterally issues sexuality as dominated by individualist concepts of liberalism, and, paradoxically, a distinctly Marxist concept of the family.


I.7 Reconceptualising Sexual Control: Cross-Cultural Method vs. Becker [up] [Contents]


The concept of "control" in sexual socialisation is a function on the theoretical presuppositions. Within a symbolic interactionist perspective, such terms as "control" are replaced by "manufacture" or "creation" (Gagnon, 1977:p82)[52]. Rethinking S. Freud's imagery of an irremediable antagonism between sex and society on the grounds that sexual repression is necessary to counteract social contraction and its dysfunctional effects, Becker[53] formulated a framework of two ideal-typical sexual orientations and utilised it to select societies approximating some configuration of sex-promoting and sex-inhibiting definitions on one hand, and of the tendency to actively intervene in sexual lives on the other. Organising this within a four-cell matrix, cultural configurations could be demonstrated using the examples of the "sex-negative" Manus, the "sex-positive" Mangaians, the "sex-neutral" Ik (East Africa), and the "sex-ambivalent" Americans [U.S.]. Examination of these societies, with particular attention to the relationship between sexual orientation and the tendency either to "contract" toward individualistic sexual consumption, or "expand" toward co-operative social relations, leads to the conclusion that sex "regulation" for the purpose posited by Freud (expansion) is not confined to sexual repression, but may also take place in the context of "sexual permissiveness". In other words, "[t]he issue is not whether a society represses or fails to repress sex, but whether it avoids the potential hazard of nonregulation", that is, of an indifferent, "neutral" attitude. A matter unexplored by Becker is that of socialisation, or perhaps anticipation, or continuity.


Becker addressed an important issue not adequately represented in the cross-culturalist tradition, and more authors have taken an alike stance at a monocultural level. Thorogood[54] argues that "[…] sex education, as any education, does not take place in a neutral environment. It is always about the transmission of values and by implication acts as a form of control. This is most clear in the traditional, "restricted information" approach, which uses the twin bases of "objective scientific fact" and "moral frameworks" to achieve the "sexual socialisation of young people" […]". Even acts of rendering "alternative" forms of experience valid and visible simultaneously also construct them as "sites for monitoring and regulation, as the objects of disciplinary power". Thus, "[l]iberal pluralist "empowerment" models of sex education have the unintended consequence of producing micro-techniques of power and are not unequivocally liberating or resisting". Not cited by Thorogood, Monk[55] previously had sets out to demonstrate how sex education programmes are "deployed to govern [teenage] sexuality" by problematising its interactional identity.


On the basis of the presented examples it would be an obvious choice to try and view cross-generational attitudes and control measures as creating continuous sexual curricula on the basis of proscriptive and prescriptive principles, producing positive, negative, neutral or ambivalent ways of growing up sexually, and of socialising adjacent generations. This requires a study of the inherent vertical stratification in the formation of sexual sub- and countercultures between generations, that is, the issue of operationalising authority, and a curricular system.


A numeric elaboration of Becker's hypothesis seems compromised by the fact that sexual attitudes are measured via an (inverted) negative definition only: there is no (SCCS or any standardised cross-cultural) measure describing antithetical positions toward sexual behaviour. The present study, however, offers some semi-quantitative material. Operationalising measures for the cross-cultural study of sexual permissiveness revolves around the issue of measuring the same thing in cultures where it isn't the same thing[56]. A cross-cultural examination of the cultural factors that predict regulation/nonregulation choices probably reveals differences in phases of life and categories of behaviour which would compromise any monolithic concept.


I.8 Perspectives [up] [Contents]


A conclusion that could be anticipated, neither any single entry or level of analysis will be able to explain the total variance of cultural attitudes toward sexological phases. The literature suggests an interplay of pedagogical, sexological and otherwise curricular dynamics, which make a particular activist curriculum seem logical.




Notes [up] [Contents]


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[2] Westbrook, J. T. (1963) Norms of premarital sex behavior, Ethnology 2:109-33. The measure was later incorporated in Murdock, G. P. (1967) Ethnographic Atlas. Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg Press; Murdock, G. P. (1964) Cultural correlates of the regulation of premarital sexual behavior, in Manners, R. A. (Ed.) Process and Pattern in Culture: Essays in Honor of Julian Steward. Chicago: Aldine, p399-410; Eckhardt, K. W. (1971) Echange theory and sexual permissiveness, Behav Sci Notes 6:1-18

[3] Broude, G. J. & Greene, S. J. (1976) Cross-cultural codes on twenty sexual attitudes and practices, Ethnology 5,4:409-29; De Leeuwe, J. (1970) Society system and sexual life, Bijdr Taal- Land- & Volkenk 126:1-36. Said to be based on an unpublished manuscript Maatschappijvorm en Seksualiteit.

[4] Rogoff, B. et al. (1975) Age of assignment of roles and responsibilities to children: A cross-cultural survey, Hum Developm 18,5:353-69; Minturn, L., Grosse, M. & Haider, S. (1969) Cultural patterning of sexual beliefs and behavior, Ethnology 8,3:301-18

[5] Ford, C. S. & Beach, F. A. (1951) Patterns of Sexual Behavior. New York: Paul J. Hoeber, Inc., p167-98

[6] Whiting, J. & Child, I. (1953) Child Training and Personality: A Cross-Cultural Study. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press

[7] Whiting, J. W. M. (1967) Sorcery, sin, and the superego: cross-cultural study of some mechanisms, in Ford, C. S. (Ed.) Cross-Cultural Approaches. New Haven: HRAF Press, p147-68. Orig. in Jones, M. R. (Ed.) Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (1959). Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, p174-95; Prothro, E. T. (1960) Patterns of permissiveness among preliterate peoples, J Abnorm & Soc Psychol 61,1:151-4; Roberts, J. M. (1962) Child training and game involvement, Ethnology 1:166-85; Stephens, W. N. (1962) The Oedipus Complex: Cross-Cultural Evidence. Free Press of Glencoe; Stephens, W. N. (1967) A cross-cultural study of menstrual taboos, in Ford, C. S. (Ed.) Cross-Cultural Approaches. New Haven: HRAF Press, p67-94. Critical conclusions excepted in Price-Williams, D. R. (Ed., 1969) Cross-Cultural Studies. Middlesex: Penguin, p338-42; Shirley, R. W. & Romney, A. K. (1962) Love magic and socialization anxiety, Am Anthropol 64:1028-31; Ayres, B. (1967) Pregnancy magic: a study of food taboos and sex avoidances, in Ford, C. S. (Ed.) Cross-Cultural Approaches. New Haven: HRAF Press, p111-25; Heise, D. R. (1962) Socio-cultural Correlates of Sex Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Study. Unpublished Master's paper, Dept. of Sociology, University of Chicago; Heise, D. R. (1967) Cultural Patterning of Sexual Socialization, Am Sociol Rev 32,5:726-39; Spiro, M. E. & D'Andrade, R. G. (1967) A cross-cultural study of some supernatural beliefs, Am Anthropol 60:456-66. Reprinted in Ford, C. S. (Ed.) Cross-Cultural Approaches. New Haven: HRAF Press, p196-206; Textor, R. B. (1967) A Cross-Cultural Summary. New Haven: HRAF Press; Allen, M. G. (1967) Childhood experience and adult personality: a cross-cultural study using the concept of ego strength, J Soc Psychol 71,1:53-68; Minturn, L., Grosse, M. & Haider, S. (1969) Cultural patterning of sexual beliefs and behavior, Ethnology 8,3:301-18; Barry, H. III, Josephson, L., Lauer, E. & Marshall, C. (1977) Agents and Techniques for Child Training: Cross-Cultural Codes 6, Ethnology 16:191-230

[8] Barry, H. III & Paxson, L.M. (1971) Infancy and early childhood: cross-cultural codes 2, Ethnology 10:466-508; Broude, G. J. & Greene, S. J. (1976) Cross-cultural codes on twenty sexual attitudes and practices, Ethnology 5,4:409-29; Barry, H. III, Josephson, E. et al. (1976) Traits inculcated in childhood: cross-cultural codes 5, Ethnology 15:83-114. Codes are reprinted in Barry III, H. & Schlegel, A. (Eds., 1980) Cross-Cultural Codes and Samples. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press; Schlegel, A. & Barry III, H. (1979) Adolescent initiation ceremonies: a cross-cultural code, Ethnology 18,2:199-210. Reprinted in Barry, H. III & Schlegel, A. (Eds.) Cross-Cultural Samples and Codes. Pittsburgh: University of Pittburgh Press, p277-88; Barry, H. III & Schlegel, A. (1984) Measurements of adolescent sexual behavior in the standard sample of societies, Ethnology 23,4:315-29; Barry, H. III & Schlegel, A. (1986) Cultural Customs That Influence Sexual Freedom in Adolescence, Ethnology 25,2:151-62. See also Schlegel, A. & Barry III, H. (1991) Adolescence. New York, N.Y.: The Free Press, p167-9

[9] Frayser, S. G. (1985) Varieties of Sexual Experience: An Anthropological Perspective on Human Sexuality. New Haven: HRAF Press

[10] Francoeur, R. T. (1997, 2001) The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. New York: Continuum. 3 vols. published in 1997, 4th vol. in 2001. Three volumes available online, 4th to be available online in 2002.

[11] Current project, covering Atlas and Subject Volumes.

[12] Scott, S., Jackson, S. & Backett-Milburn, K. (1998) Swings and Roundabouts: Risk Anxiety and the Everyday Worlds of Children, Sociology 32,4:689-705

[13] Francoeur, R. T. (1990) Current religious doctrines of sexual and erotic development in childhood, in Money, J. & Musaph, H. (Eds.) Handbook of Sexology, Vol VII. Amsterdam [etc.]: Elsevier, p81-112. Cf. Francoeur, R. T. (1994) Religion and sexuality, in Bullough, V. L. & Bullough, B. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. New York & London: Garland Publ. Inc.

[14] Osmond, M. W. (1965) Toward Monogamy: A Cross-Cultural Study of Correlates of Type of Marriage, Social Forces 44,1:8-16, see p14

[15] Christensen, H. T. & Carpenter, G. R. (1962a) Timing Patterns in the Development of Sexual Intimacy: An Attitudinal Report on Three Modern Western Societies, Marr Fam Living 24,1:30-5; Christensen, H. T. & Carpenter, G. R. (1962b) Value-Behavior Discrepancies Regarding Premarital Coitus in Three Western Cultures, Am Sociol Rev 27,1:66-74; Christensen, H. T. (1960) Cultural Relativism and Premarital Sex Norms, Am Sociol Rev 25,1:31-9

[16] Broude, G. (1981) The cultural management of sexuality, in Munroe, R. L., Munroe, R. & Whiting, B. (Eds.) Handbook of Cross-Cultural Human Development. New York: Garland STPM, p633-73

[17] Cf. Gόnther, H. F. K. (1943) De Geschiedenis van het Huwelijk. Amsterdam: Roskam, p82-93

[18] Murdock, G. P. (1964) Cultural correlates of the regulation of premarital sexual behavior, in Manners, R. A. (Ed.) Process and Pattern in Culture: Essays in Honor of Julian Steward. Chicago: Aldine, p399-410

[19] Cf. Caputo, G. C. (1974) A cross-cultural analysis of sexual restrictions and cultural complexity, DAI 34(11-B): 5647-8

[20] Levinson, D. & Malone, M. J. (1980) Toward Explaining Human Culture. New Haven, CT: HRAF Press; Hotvedt, M. E. (1990) Emerging and submerging adolescent sexuality: culture and sexual orientation, in Bancroft, J. & Reinisch, J. M. (Eds.) Adolescence and Puberty. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p154-72, at p 163

[21] Stephens, W. N. (1972) A cross-cultural study of modesty, Behav Sci Notes 7,1:1-28, at p11f, Table 3, Columns 8 and 10. Cited by Naroll, R. (1983) The Moral Order. Beverly Hills [etc.]: SAGE, p345, 347.

[22] Broude, G. J. (1975) Norms of premarital sexual behavior, Ethos 3:381-402

[23] Composite score by Murdock.

[24] It was hypothesized that if inaccessibility of the mother or caretaker is an important antecedent of anxiety about attachment, then a high association would be found between accessibility and norms of premarital sexual behaviour across cultures. Only SSA and accessibility of caretakers predict premarital sex norms at an acceptable level of significance, as the relation with five other measures of sex anxiety proved nonsignificant (display of affection, age and style of independence training, age of weaning, and diffusion of nurturance). Regression analysis determined that accessibility of caretakers accounts for .23 of the variance, class stratification accounts for .046 of the variance, and cultural complexity accounts for .027 of the variance.

[25] Goethals, G. W. ([1971]) Factors affecting rules regarding premarital sex, in Henslin, J. M. & Sagarin, E. (Eds.) Studies in the Sociology of Sex. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1978 rev. ed., p41-58

[26] Op.cit.

[27] Murdock, G. P. & Provost, C. (1973) Measurement of cultural complexity, Ethnology 12:379-92

[28] Zern, D. (1969) The relevance of family cohesiveness as a determinant of premarital sexual behavior in a cross-cultural sample, J Soc Psychol 78,1:3-9

[29] Schlegel, A. & Barry III, H. (1986) The cultural consequences of female contribution to subsistence, Am Anthropol 88:142-50

[30] Frayser, S. G. (1989) Sexual and reproductive relationships: Cross-cultural evidence and biosocial implications, Med Anthropol 11,4:385-407

[31] Widmer, E. D., Treas, J. & Newcomb, R. (1998) Attitudes toward nonmarital sex in 24 countries, J Sex Res 35,4: 349-58

[32] Barry III et al. (1976:p101, 102) found that the earlier clothes are assumed to be worn, the higher sex restraint was likely to be.

[33] "I believe that severity of sex training belongs here too, but that cannot be demonstrated at this time", which would be based on the fact that Whiting and Child sample lacked the less "primitive" civilisations.

[34] It must be noted that Stephens ultimately, though with hesitation, expresses psychoanalytic sentiments in order to explain cultural sexualities (vide p17).

[35] Minturn, L., Grosse, M. & Haider, S. (1969) Cultural patterning of sexual beliefs and behavior, Ethnology 8,3:301-18

[36] Measured on an 8-point scale, from segregation within the nuclear family to unchaperoned dormitories.

[37] Thus, it was observed that "[t]he majority of the Guajiro seem to act as passive carriers of their tradition and do not question, to any appreciable degree, the reasons why they socialize sex the way they do" (Watson, 1972:p155). Sears et al. observed that mothers apply curricular arguments, but remark: "As far as we could tell, […] most of the mothers had not rationalized their antipathy for masturbation. They simply said it was something they did not like to see; they felt it was not "nice"; and they were embarrassed when their child did it, especially in the presence of others".

[38] Lancy, D. F. (2002) Cultural constraints on children's play, in Roopnarine, J. L. (Ed.) Conceptual, Social-Cognitive, and Contextual Issues in the Fields of Play. Play & Culture Studies, vol. 4, p51-60

[39] According to a comparison by MacClenathan (1934:p331-2), "masturbation" ranked third most undesirable among Brooklin elementary school teachers' "undesirable modes of behaviour" (after stealing and temper outbursts)[39], seventh among mothers attending a "child-study" class, and 21st among a sample of seven unselected parents. Yourman (1932:p335) found that New York City elementary school teachers ranked "heterosexual activity" as the foremost Grave Problem; "masturbation" ranked fifth, "obscene" notes and talk ninth, and "profanity" as nineteenth.

[40] A detailed analysis of the operationalisation of supportive attitudes is found in preparatory material for chapter 7.

[41] SR=A, GP=-A: Ibo, Menabe Tanala, M. Gilbertese, Zuni; SR=-A GP=A: Comanche, Cubeo, Shavante

[42] After interviewed approximately 1,000 children (aged 5-15 years) from nuclear intact families in Australia, England, North America, the Goldmans termed children asexual (up to 7 years old), presexual (7-9 years), and sexual (from 11 years on). This reflects their (initial) disregard for sexual behaviour as well as gender development.

[43] In Whiting and Child the age of initial "serious" "modesty training" could be established for 19/75 societies (25%), Rogoff found 24/50 (48%) HRAF ethnographies reporting ages for modesty training, Barry III and Paxson (1971) rated the age of modesty training (genitalia first covered, as would be typical for males) for 140 SCCS societies, while a restudy for the same sample (Broude and Green, 1976) revealed data on "the age at which clothing begins to be worn" for only 42 (males) and 53 of 186 cultures (females; 23 vs 28%).

[44] Benedict, R. (1938) Continuities and discontinuities in cultural conditioning, Psychiatry 1:161-7

[45] Benedict, thus, recognises a culture of sexuality apart from a culture of sexual socialisation, while the latter may not be determined by political or economic necessity, but rather by "conceptual dogma".

[46] "Childhood" is defined as the time when the child walks and talks "proficiently", "or when the society considers the child past infancy" [while infancy is not further defined], to the time of "onset of major physiological changes [?] or status changes, usually associated with puberty" [?]. This would mean that childhood lasts from "approximately" age four to "approximately" age twelve. "Adolescence" was nowhere defined by the SCCS authors, but seems to be regarded as a "premarital" measure, leaving the chronological matter to the highly variable age of first marriage. Early and late childhood where divided by "an [sic] important changes in treatment or status [marking] the transition from early to late childhood"; there is no mentioning of possible gender differences here. The early/late dichotomy is maintained for every measure in the 1976 article, which seems to suggest that sexual restraint transitions, if occurring, are exponents of an all-encompassing multi-task schedule, its timing either being defined by it, or contributing to its time-bound definition. The whole narrative seems self-referring, so that the universality and significance of this so-called transition remains to be clarified. In the case of a "long" "early" childhood (especially coinciding with an early puberty) "late" childhood would be absent, or very short (one year or less). The authors do not address historical, racial, and gender differences in pubertal timing, nor do they take into consideration that puberty is a multi-staged, multi-facetted transition in both sexes. Apparently, biological and social transitions are globally assumed to coincide, which is contrary to facts over a cultural and historical span. As for the marriage question, prepubertal marriage denies the existence of adolescence, and perhaps even late childhood. Issues of pre-betrothal sexual restraint are not examined cross-culturally. This would add up to a rather complicated situation, since concepts of marriage and betrothal, especially when occurring early, more than once prove to be blurred. Rosenblatt et al. (1969) discussed sexual restriction during betrothal in 27 societies, but did not take into consideration the timing of the betrothal. See Rosenblatt, P. C., Fugita, S. S. & McDowell, K. V. (1969) Wealth transfer and restrictions on sexual relations during betrothal, Ethnology 8,3:319-28

[47] The definition of this variable allows a contamination with a difference in sexological status.

[48] Weisfeld, G. (1997) Puberty rites as clues to the nature of human adolescence, Cross-Cult Res 31,1:27-54

[49] This would be supported by SCCS data. See Kitahara, M. (1983) Female puberty rites: Reconsideration and speculation, Adolescence 18(72):957-64; Kitahara, M. (1984) Female Physiology and Female Puberty Rites, Ethos 12,2:132-50

[50] Thus putting the expression "pubertal initiation" in perspective, 21% of boy and 9% of girl cases were scheduled "before genital maturation".

[51] In 10 of 62 (11%) boy initiation cases "sexuality" (referring to "sexual capacity or attractiveness") was the "principle focus" of the ceremony; this would be so in 18 of 84 (21%) girl initiation cases. Fertility, in contrast, would be the principal focus in 10 boy cases, and 34 girl cases. Taken together, sexuality/fertility accounts for the focal agenda in about 1/3 of exclusively boy cases (N=17), ½ of exclusively girl cases (N=39), and up to 71% for girls where there are ceremonies for both sexes (N=45).

[52] Gagnon, J. H. (1977) Human Sexualities. Ilinois: Scott, Foresman & Co.

[53] Becker, G. (1984) The Social Regulation of Sexuality: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, Curr Perspect Soc Theory 5:45-69

[54] Thorogood, N. (2000) Sex education as a disciplinary technique: Policy and Practice in England and Wales, Sexualities 3,4:425-38. Cf. Thorogood, N. (1992) Sex Education as Social Control, Critical Public Health 3,2:43-50

[55] Monk, D. (1998) Sex education and the problematization of teenage pregnancy: a genealogy of law and governance, Social & Legal Studies 7,2:239-59

[56] LaBeff, E. E. et al. (1978) A Note on Cross-National Methodology: Measuring Sexual Permissiveness among College Students in New Mexico and the U.S. Paper for the Southwestern Sociological Association