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



1 [next chapter]

The Sociology of "Developmental" Sexualities. Traditions and Entries for an "Anthropological" Format[1]



"Instead of teaching the boy civil manners, the father desires him to beat and pelt the strangers who come to the tent; to steal or secret in joke some trifling article belonging to them; and the more saucy and impudent they are, the more troublesome to strangers and all the men of the encampment, the more they are praised as giving indication of a future enterprising and warlike disposition"[2]


"If you notice, it is the puppies that seem to go against Nature, but grown dogs, never"[3]

"Is he allowed to take a few favorite toys to bed with him so that before he goes to sleep and after he wakes up, he has things to keep him happy and busy?"[4]


"Knowing, just where you're blowing

Getting to where you should be going"[5]



Summary: This chapter identifies sociological traditions in approaching human sexual "development", resulting in a choice of perspective informing the present literature review; this choice serves to inform specific elaborations offered further on, in chapter 3. These traditions were "tried on" for their utility in surveying and interpreting ethnographic accounts of sexual socialisation processes. To further map the orientations of academic interests in "developmental sexuality" research, a range of agenda in approaching sexual socialisation was explored for the use in doing ethnographia. To complement this exploration, some preliminary notes are offered on "lateral" constructions and biases in approaching socialised (or sociologised) phase-identified sexual behaviour. The definitive format chosen included constructionist elements informing a "performed sexuality" or "modified" scripting perspective.



Contents [up]


The Sociology of "Developmental" Sexualities. Traditions and Entries for an "Anthropological"Format 1


1.0 Introduction: The "Ontological" in the "Sexologist" 2

1.1 Biological versus Sociological Traditions and Age-Based Sexual Stratification 3

1.1.1 Structural-Functional Theories 4

1.1.2 Marxist ( / Conflict) Theory: The Sexual Economy 4

1.1.3 Social Constructionism 5 Basic Assumptions 5 Contemporary Specifications / Modifications of Script Theory 6 Scripts: Culture to Individual 6 Symbolic Interactionism 6 Sexual Pedagogy and Civilisation

1.1.4 Ethnomethodology and Phenomenology 7

1.1.5 Post-Structuralism 7

1.2 Academic Traditions in Approaching Sexual Socialisation: An Agenda Classification 8

1.2.1 The Psychoanalytic Agenda 8 The "Psychocultural" / Psychoanalytic Anthropological Agenda 8

1.2.3 The Psychohistorical Agenda 9

1.2.4 The Pedagogical Agenda 9

1.2.5 The Medical and Demographic Agendas 9

1.2.6 The Ethological Agenda 9

1.2.7 The "Zoologist" Agenda 10

1.2.8 The Literary/ Folklorist Agenda 10

1.2.9 The "Sexologist" (Homosexologist) Agenda 10

1.2.10 Activist / Interpretationist Agendas 10 The Liberalist/Political Agenda 10 The Feminist Agenda 11 The Gay Theorist / Activist Agenda 12 The Globalist / Antiglobalist Agenda 12

1.2.11 Recapitulating: Agenda and Developmentalist Sexology 12

1.3 Ethnocentrism and Developmentalism 12

1.4 Recapitulation: Fitting Ethnographic and Cross-Historical Data into Sociological Models 12


1.5 Conclusion 13


Notes 13



1.0 Introduction: The "Ontological" in the "Sexologist" [up] [Contents]


A number of arguments for the study of sexual behaviour trajectories have been proposed, of which the most important ones are reviewed below. These approaches to sexual behaviour curricularisation not usually add up to "pure paradigms", instead appear to be blended so as to inform a range of authors' personally satisfying modes of ideologising. In a literature review of the orthodox cross-cultural method presented in Appendix I, it will be concluded that "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".


The lasting impression that characterises at least some childhood encounters is rarely addressed in available materials[6], a problem that seems to affect all layers of methodological proximity. With all means of compromise, it can be maintained that "psychosexual development" has been studied on cultural[7], subcultural (cf. §3.2.1), familial[8] and individual levels. Of primary interest here, the study of "sexual cultures" (e.g., Herdt, 1999)[9] is an established discipline within the sexological field. Conducting cross-cultural research on sexuality, however, exacerbates conceptual and methodological issues that occur within singular cultural contexts[10]. As "cultural" attributes, sexuality, sexology and sexual socialisation are part of an intimate circle of reality, whether addressed within behavioural, transitional, or identity discourses[11]. As Herdt[12] states:


"The creation of a sexual culture is an epistemology, a system of knowledge about the world, and about things in the world. Sexual culture provides for a culture its received theory of what human nature is. What is a man? What is a woman? What is manliness? What is womanliness? What is a boy? What is a girl? What is heterosexuality? What is homosexuality? What is sex for? What is good about sex? What is bad about sex? Those questions are all being iterated as a set of distinctions from the locally created theory of human sexual nature. This theory is then being promoted and taught to children, becomes part of their individual ontologies, and then feeds back into what we might call the collective pool of the sexual culture and its public representations for the culture as a whole".


Hostetler and Herdt (1998)[13] more recently have positioned the "ontological" within a culturalist approach:


"We do not mean to say merely that identity is a process; we also mean to suggest that the phenomena typically glossed as "sexual identity" includes a narrative of origins (an ontology), a fantasy of an ultimate purpose and future fulfilment (a teleology), (3) and a theory of and/or plan for moral action in the world (deontology)".


In reminding ourselves of the fact that cultures and ontologies meet at the level of public performance, we might appreciate the portrait of the Choung family, headed by a Chinese immigrant grocery store worker, which provides the following encounter[14]:


"Their second son had arrived in the summer of 1986, but had trouble in school. He was placed in a bilingual class, but Mr. and Mrs. Choung were unhappy with his teacher, a Filipino-Chinese, who had taught in Taiwan. The teacher said that their son liked to touch other boys and that people in the United States would think him homosexual. Mrs. Choung said, "He must be crazy. It is normal for kids to play like that. In Taiwan kids do it, so he does it here. I have seen American kids touching each other. They are too young to know about "gays". Don't you see the kids play like that in the United States?".


The focal review below identifies approaches that may help describe cross-cultural as well as subcultural variability in the experience of growing up within gendered and sexualised contexts. Specifically, it is explored how ethnography-derived sexual regulation modalities are to be presented within established scientific faculties. To at least avoid ignorance on involved "subjectivities"[15], this requires a discussion at three levels:


(a) sociological (versus biological) traditions in approaching human sexuality (§1.1);

(b) academic uses of anthropology in approaching sexual socialisation as identified by specific agendas (§1.2); and

(c) "lateral" constructions and biases in approaching socialised (or sociologised) phase-identified sexual behaviour (§1.3).



1.1 Biological versus Sociological Traditions and Age-Based Sexual Stratification [up] [Contents]


What is "adolescent sex"? Schalet (1994, 2000)[16] found that US parents describe this issue as a biologically driven, individually based activity that causes disruption to the teenager and the family. Dutch parents, by contrast, emphasize love relationships and social responsibility of teenagers, making their sexuality a "normal" phenomenon. US parents would exclude "sexuality of teenagers" from conversation and the family, while Dutch parents accommodate culturally prescribed forms of "teenage sexuality" in the home. Schalet demonstrates how two constructions of adolescent sexuality, and the conceptions of personhood and social life that engender them, constitute "fundamentally different cultural logics". However, even reasoning within a single cultural setting, authors argue that "men and women often pursue radically different paths in response to the sexual "awakening" of adolescence"[17].


Sociologists have always -yet progressively- questioned the place of biology, in their search of social ramifications of "sexuality"[18]. Stich and Du Bois-Reymond (1999)[19] discussed this growing "sociologisation" for adolescent sexuality. Sociologists have proposed social control, social learning, social contagion, social exchange, differential association and strain theories to explain adolescent coitarche[20]. Current theorists, however, also tend to refer to "biosocial" models of specific, adolescent "sexual" beginnings (coitarche)[21]. In this respect, it could be argued that, "[…] although there may be theories and research that conjoin biological and social influences, there can be no true conjoining of essentialism and social constructionism"[22]. Selected studies indeed argue for an exclusively sociologist[23] or biologist positioning of sex research, while others seek to "combine" or "integrate" them (e.g., Woodson, 2002)[24].


Notwithstanding "modern" biosocial positions, Stein[25] demonstrates how sociologists have relocated their emphasis from "drives" (psychoanalysis, traditional sexology) to "identities" / "roles" (functionalism, symbolic interactionism, social constructionism) and to "activities" (post-structuralism). With the latter perspective, Foucault discards agency along structure, creating a diffuse, or rather un-localisation of power, which would render its foundations of less direct interest for sociologists, and for idealists[26]. Stein (with others, including Redman and Angelides) argues for blendings of sociological and cultural analysis that combine insights of psychoanalysis, symbolic interactionism, and discourse analysis to focus on "the cultural scenarios that make sexual practices possible in culture"[27]; others advocate the localisation of sex at "the interconversion between the body and the social"[28].


Using a "cognitive scripting" entrance, Carr (1999)[29] notes that "ontologies" of sexuality come in three curricula: the "essentialist", the "anarchist" and the "constructionist" or synthetic. Thus, "culture" has no place in essentialist ontological perspectives, plays a circumstantial or background role for anarchists, and a central role for constructionists.


Various entries can be utilised to describe sexual behaviour identities (adapting from Messner's[30] discussion of gender constructions):


-- interactionist theoretical frameworks that emphasise the ways that social agents "perform" or "do" sexual identities. These are most useful in describing how groups of people actively create (or at times disrupt) the boundaries that delineate seemingly categorical sexual interactions;

-- structural theoretical frameworks that emphasise the ways that sexuality is built into institutions through hierarchical structures. These are most useful in explaining under what conditions social agents mobilise variously to disrupt or to affirm sexual identities;

-- cultural theoretical perspectives that examine how popular symbols that are injected into circulation by the culture industry are variously taken up by differently situated individuals. These are most useful in analysing how the meanings of cultural symbols, in a given institutional context, might trigger or be taken up by social agents and used as resources to reproduce, disrupt, or contest sexological conceptions.


Classical sociological explanations of human sexuality cover a wide range of perspectives[31]. According to Weinberg, these might include so-called (1) structural-functional theories[32], (2) conflict theories (Dahrendorf), (3) symbolic interactionism / social constructionism[33], and (4) ethnomethodology and phenomenology. An obvious addition would be (5) post-structuralism. The following section applies these models to the problem of developmental sexuality, providing examples of applications for each model, and exploring usefulness for the presentation of cross-cultural material.



1.1.1 Structural-Functional Theories [up] [Contents]


This generation of approaches would explain sexual socialisation as the regulation of "powerful libidinal drives, which have the potential, when unregulated, to disrupt orderly social interaction" or "orders" that are being "advantageous for collective survival". The norms related to this regulation as typical for specific societies would have to be "compatible with other social arrangements and beliefs" or die out in evolutionary processes. Sexuality represents a threat to social equilibria, and its proper use or control facilitates the erection of, or preserves existing, social institutions based on such equilibria.

Major personae in developmental sexology can be located within this tradition (Freud c.s. including Róheim; Whiting and Child; Ford and Beach, etc.). The concepts of "permissiveness" and "restraint" (e.g. SCCS) tend to refer to structural-functional ideas of developing erotic motives.

An ethnographic example:


In Guajiro (Venezuela) society there is an apparent relationship between severe socialisation of female sexual behaviour and the demands made on a woman's behaviour by the institution of marriage (Watson, 1972)[34]. The success of this severe sexual socialisation of the girl has a bearing on the ability of her family to maintain its status in society and to contract useful political alliances. Severe socialisation is functionally adapted to these demands because it produces "negative fixation in the sexual system", which in turn acts as "a psychic monitoring device" to discourage the unmarried girl from experiencing sexually and thereby increases the likelihood that she will remain sexually chaste, marry well and be potentially valuable to her lineage for cementing a political alliance. This pattern is carried out especially conscientiously by upper class Guajiro who have more at stake in the successful marriage of their daughters.


Structuralist models require a baseline insight to the developmental role of biological agency in social interactions. In contemporary sexology, these issues have been researched to some extent (particularly by Udry and Halpern)[35], but the linkage to sociological processes remains hypothetical, and unexamined in a cross-cultural perspective. It appears that structuralist traditions in sexology addressing cross-cultural perspectives have not systematically incorporated biological principles in their models, and that biosexologists have not systematically addressed cross-cultural patterns. Society, here, tends to be interpreted as a univariate monolithical structure, and biology as a likewise constant yet "cryptic" causal determinant. For these reasons, the development of a "biocultural" ontological concept of sexual behaviour falls beyond the scope of the present literature study.



1.1.2 Marxist ( / Conflict) Theory: The Sexual Economy [up] [Contents]


According to Marxism, sexual organisations are an exponent of the order of production. The economically powerful age (older) strata of society "exploit" the weaker, younger strata members. Cross-cultural approaches unravel how economic groups define their identity and status in sexual matters at the expense of others. Thus, older and younger strata (consequent generations over given time spans) are identified as rulers and ruled, whose conflicting interests are redefined in terms of role-expectations. This approach was used by Meyer[36] and others, but, though various ethnographic examples can be referred to, few cross-culturally sophisticated attempts have been undertaken. John Money certainly represents an avid protagonist of this model, but his use of ethnologic (along with historical) data was fragmentary.

It has been proposed[37] that, generally, classical Marxism "lacks a clear psychology"[38], and that authors may misunderstand "the full nature of sexuality" by concentrating on "adult" sexuality (Zaretsky). Reich, attempting to fuse early Freudian theory of libido with Marxist approaches [39], was criticised for his "failure to apply the Marxian analysis of the family as an economic unit to his observations of the family as a sexually repressive structure for women and children"[40]. Marxist interpretations of contemporary sexual society address "the only remaining site of control and autonomy": the body[41].


Building on tentative apologies for Marxist anthropological sexology[42], further explorations of the use of Marxist ideologies in sexual development issues have to include a critical assessment of (a) Marxist views of child "development" and pedagogy; (b) Marxist visions on sexuality, and (c) the relation of Marxism to other developmental sexologist systems, such as psychoanalysis and feminism[43] (For instance, the capitalist order "family" can be interpreted as combining the quartet of production, reproduction, sexuality, and socialisation, thus demarcating the woman's[44], and child's, "domesticated" world). A Marxist analysis of sexual development requires an evolutionary opposition of communist and capitalist sex, coupled to an opposition of communist and capitalist operationalisations of the "child" persona.

Another entry contains the problem of children (not) being or (not) becoming Marxists, or generally, politically aware beings, themselves, either within economic perspectives[45] or others, including the sexological discipline.

The application of "conflict" formulations of vertical / hierarchical sexual organisations has proved fruitful in selected cases of the ethnographic record.


Meyer (p100) conceptualised orgasm as a behavioural tool mastered, in contrast to the child, by the adult and utilised in defining sexual reality of the child by means of this "superior orgasmic technology". Further illustrative examples include the distribution and negotiation of sexual partners within gerontocratic polygynic age-set societies (§ Another situation is that of "sugar daddy relationships" (§ Further uses include that within activist settings[46].




1.1.3 Social Constructionism [up] [Contents] Basic Assumptions [up] [Contents]


Symbolic interactionist perspectives (Mead, Heise, Stryker) on sexual identity and behaviour require that sexuality is represented by meaning, emerging from interactions, organised through symbolism, and modified by reinterpretation of symbols. The "sexual learning" is in the interaction, contributing to "role identities", as distributed through language.


According to "scripting" theory, "[w]ithout the proper elements of a script that defines the situation, names the actors, and plots the behavior, nothing sexual is likely to happen. [...] Scripts are involved in learning the meaning of internal states, organizing the sequences of specifically sexual acts, decoding novel situations, setting the limits on sexual responses, and linking meanings from nonsexual aspects of life to specifically sexual experience" (ital.add.). Sexual socialisation, thus, requires the assignment, acceptation and application of various of such scripts. Cross-cultural approaches would determine (a) how identical scripts are assigned, accepted or applied across cultures; and (b) to what degree such scripts are indeed identical or comparable.

Apart from incidental specific essays[47], and a common utilisation by mainstream authors[48], no cross-culturally sophisticated attempts to explore theoretical dimensions have been undertaken.


An exquisite example is provided by a recent study by Ajzenstadt and Cavaglion[49] on sex instruction manuals written in central Europe in the nineteenth century Palestine and Israel in the twentieth century providing the basis for broader discussions on religious and scientific discourse on child and adolescent sexuality within the Jewish communities. By tracing the development of forms of expert knowledge, the authors show how expert discourse on masturbation gradually transformed it from a symbolic moral evil into a medical disease and a psychological problem, prior to declaring it a legitimised behaviour.


Sociologists have re-examined such structuring concepts as "risk"[50] in localising modern childhood. As Scott et al. (1998:p692) suggest, this requires "[t]he construction of childhood […] to be understood at a number of different levels: the structural, the discursive and the situated". Gagnon and Simon's script theory is widely adopted in discussion of control of the sexual curriculum in childhood (e.g., DeLamater, 1981:p269-71)[51] but is hardly studied in this age group[52]. Following DeLamater's simplification of script theory that children "are unaware of the sexual significance" of behaviours later recognised as "sexual", it would follow that control of children's sexuality relates to the distribution of awareness invested in a shared curricular potential, thereby blending a power gradient with a gradient in realism.


The assumption that ignorance is preserved by non-suggestion has been found erroneous in any "sexual" system. Reiss (e.g., 1970:p80)[53] together with many others explains the "ease" of sexual practice in the young despite the cult of avoidance as practised among parents. Paradoxically, it may even be said that around the beginning of the 20th century, sexual education was seen as a means of controlling curiosity posing a threat to the information gradient (curriculum). Early constructionists, it could be argued, minimised the child's active participation in his "development". Contemporary Specifications / Modifications of Script Theory [up] [Contents]


Contemporary authors argue that it is essential to consider the ways in which individuals "construct a sense of themselves as sexual beings"[54]. Gender, for instance, is not so much a construed, but a negotiated performance in which the child represents an assertive and productive agent, however choosing from available choices. Gender, as what I would call "performed performance", is a "social contract", renegotiated and relocated through "a cycle of practice"[55]. For constructionists, childhood "exists as a type of performance space or 'cultural geography' in which various images and identities are enacted"[56]. Constructionists describe "how pubertal events (menarche, breast development, shaving, voice change, weight gain) evoke cultural meanings about gender and gendered bodies that adolescents then use to construct personal meaning and sexual subjectivity"[57]. Research suggests that individual scripts are in fact personal modifications of subcultural scripts. Exploring developmental Ghetto sexual identities, Hillman[58] found that girls had to "negotiate the dominant [stereotypical black, "ghetto"] sexual script and their own personal narrative to create personal and social equilibrium". Using Edwards' theory on "script formulations", it could be argued that "[d]iscourse does not simply reflect or express ready-made cognitive schemas; rather, scripts are actively constructed in interactions through which people 'work up' events as scripted (or as breaches of scripts), and this 'script talk' is analysable in its own right" (Frith and Kitzinger, 2000:p216). Scripts, thus, do not create (sexuality), they get created. This specification of "performative sexualities" reinvents essentialist and monolithic notions such as sexual "learning", "informing", "thinking", "knowing", "perceiving" and "understanding" (e.g., Goldman and Goldman), "theorising" (Freud)[59], and so on.

Ergo, as Carpenter (1995)[60] has verbalised,


"[…] it is through the manipulation, rejection and re-creation of their cultural world that young people simultaneously search for and validate their voice and so situate themselves culturally". Scripts: Culture to Individual [up] [Contents]


Informative to our problem of proximity gradations, Whittier and Simon's (2001)[61] discussion of individuals' "personal sexual culture" issues the concept of "intrapsychic scripting" in sexual scripting theory, demonstrated by "the exhibition of several major domains of meaning as they are contained in the subject's reports of their sexuality". Simon had argued before[62] for a classification including cultural scenarios (instruction in collective meanings), interpersonal scripts (the application of specific cultural scenarios by a specific individual in a specific social context), and intrapsychic scripts (the management of desires as experienced by the individual). Interpersonal scripts are seen as the ordering of representations of self and other that facilitate the occurrence of a sexual act; intrapsychic scripts represent the ordering of images and desires that elicit and sustain sexual arousal. Using this model, the process of scripting through various stages is explored "as a function of cultural expectations, with problems resulting from both the culture's and the individual's reliance on scripts developed in adolescence [note Simon and Gagnon's systematic disregard for earlier socialisation processes] and young adulthood impeding the development of a healthy [!?] adult sexuality". Symbolic Interactionism [up] [Contents]


Symbolic interactionist theory[63] has been applied to developmental sexology by a number of authors (e.g., Swedish author Helmius)[64]. Dutch sexologists Straver and Rademakers describe how adolescents "learn" sexuality in a "step-wise" process involving anticipation, barrier taking, decision making, the "discovery" of relational perspectives, the "appropriation of relational insight", and the "awareness" of a "growing interactional competence"[65]. Interactional competence is a gradually acquired function related to an "operative self-concept", and the negotiation of operative and normative rules. Within a socio-cultural scale (Straver, 1986:p28-70 comparing the U.S. and Scandinavian adolescent case on the basis of Ribal's 1973 study) there are differences in value ambiguity, the presence of positive valuation, anticipated contextuality (e.g., "steady relationships") and the role of experience in the formation of a close relationship. For girls, sexual behaviour trajectories could be differentiated as "steadily pleasurable" (Scandinavia) or "interrupted" (U.S.) by the interference of negativist principles in what could have been a positivist development, Straver argues. For boys, differences were noted in (1) the degree of curricular privatising of the reference sphere; (2) curricular degree of broadening of meaning spectra; (3) the curricular use of external rather than internal (e.g., sensory) criteria for self-evaluation processes; and (4) the existence of a curricular sexual dissonance rendering development nonparallel, less workable, and less satisfying.


[Arguing that American curricular inegalitarianism undermines the effectuation of a "working consensus", it appears that Straver normalises Scandinavian sexual trajectories as "positive", pleasurable and effective, and denormalises the U.S. case by the use of negative qualifications, and the pathologising of sexual dissonance, rendering "development" (1) "restricted"; (2) "halted"; and (3) "blocked" due to "conflict" and "tension"; thus (4) "structurally" problematic (ibid.). Straver also recognises a "distinct" male Scandinavian "B" pattern opposing a "typical" "A", which entails much of the "structurally" negative qualities ascribed to the U.S. male pattern, but nonetheless would be "clearly separable" from it. There is no statistical testing of the perspectives offered, as Ribal's study was based on a loose, nonnumeric juxtaposition, or inter-subject colloquium. While this is a rather interesting format, it allows a large space for interpretation.] Sexual Pedagogy and Civilisation [up] [Contents]


This debate appears to be a predominantly German/ Flemish one. Within figurational sociology, Elias[66] had argued how, over the past centuries, "sexual impulses" became


"[...] slowly but progressively suppressed [away] from the public life of society. [...] And this restraint, like all others, is enforced less and less by direct physical force. It is cultivated in the individual from an early age as habitual self-restraint by the structure of social life, by the pressure of social institutions in general, and by certain executive organs of society (above all, the family) in particular. Thereby the social commands and prohibitions become increasingly a part of the self, a strictly regulated superego" (Elias, as quoted by Van Krieken, 2000) [67].


Thus, it would be


"[...] the web of social relations in which the individual lives during his more impressionable phase, during childhood and youth, which imprints itself upon his unfolding personality where it has its counterpart in the relationship between his controlling agencies, super-ego and ego, and his libidinal impulses. The resulting balance between controlling agencies and drives on a variety of levels determines how an individual person steers himself in his relations with others; it determines that which we call, according to taste, habits, complexes or personality structure" (Elias, as quoted by Van Krieken, nd) [68].


In the late 1980s, Duerr[69] began to question Elias's assertion that there is a tendency in the West to curb feelings and amend drives to meet social expectations (Wouters, 1994)[70]. Elias in turn argued that there is no absolute beginning point of the long-term process of the development of socially generated self-constraints in humans (Bogner, 1992)[71].


More directly addressing sexual pedagogy, Jos van Ussel[72] had in the late 1960s argued that


"the socio-economic situation of the bourgeoisie has created a more and more anti-sexual moral system since the basic values of the bourgeoisie make a pro-sexual position impossible. In the 19th century, an involuntary or unconscious anti-sexual syndrome was evident, which was a conjunctive and residual phenomenon. This syndrome had its origin in Christianity and was not specific to the 19th century" [73].


Van Ussel's 1967 thesis was introduced by him as an elaboration on Elias, a point missed by Vandekerckhove's (1980)[74] later analysis of "somatic cultures" (Vincke , 1983:p228-9)[75]. In this thesis, Vandekerckhove analyses the social embeddedness of sexual education (p164-215) with a specific reference to Van Ussel and Schnabel[76].

As it appears, outside Van Ussel, sexual enculturation is a neglected issue in the whole discussion; that is, how must one conceive the "civilisation" of children in "civilised" society? On the whole, the "adult-child relation has not been extensively theorized as a structuring principle in bourgeois society", according to Stephens[77]. This author argued that children are considered in terms of the problems which their relatively uncontrolled and 'uncivilized' movements pose to adult society, while adult society's relation to childhood is considered in terms of the strategies and devices the adult society has developed to restrict children's movement.


[For an Elias vs Foucault, see Smith[78].]



1.1.4 Ethnomethodology and Phenomenology [up] [Contents]


This approach identifies the ways how people actively construct reality and then act on the basis of these social constructions. Ethnomethodologists at this point proceed to unravel the actual methods that native people use to construct the meaning of sexual socialisation in their everyday lives. Contrary to what is designated as the "orthodox consensus", an ethnomethodological perspective (Garfinkel, 1967) would aim to explore how sexual behaviour (and thus, the sexual behaviour curriculum) is construed by the common man (child) particularly by means of linguistic interactions, instead of what it constitutes within the grand scheme of macrosocial cause and effect. It explores the socially embedded, tacit assumptions that make it possible for individuals to understand, control and manipulate mundane events; "sexuality", ergo, is not merely a biological given, it is an accomplishment by social actors in the course of everyday life. Ethnomethodological research on sexual behaviour socialisation processes, however, seems to be more ethically compromised as any kind of investigation, particularly because of its reliance on close inquiry and the use of dissonant situations.



1.1.5 Post-Structuralism: La Croisade des Enfants [up] [Contents]


According to post-modern, perhaps inevitably poststructuralist, sexology, sexual/erotic subjectivities are constituted through the (perhaps chronologically inconsistent, perhaps contradictory) adoption of "subject positions", within discourses, "discourse" referring to a "linked [set] of meanings and interpretations, a field of terms and explanatory hypotheses established both in written texts and localized in conversations and self-understanding" (as in Leahy)[79].


In his History of Sexuality Foucault[80] argued that the rise of medical and psychiatric science has created a discourse of sexuality as deep, instinctual and mysterious. This discourse became accepted as the dominant explanation, and its assumptions began to seep into the discourse of the everyday. In this way the human subjects' experience of their own sexuality is shaped and controlled by the discourses that purport to explain it. The search for knowledge does not simply uncover pre-existing 'objects'; it actively shapes and creates them. Specifically, children's sexuality came under the reign of pedagogical discourses. Pedagogisation of children's sex is one of four deployment strategies, or "great strategic unities" together constituting the "production of sexuality" in the modern period. Stoler[81], for instance, describes how "[…] a cultivation of the European self (and specifically a Dutch bourgeois identity) was affirmed in the proliferating discourses around pedagogy, parenting, children's sexuality, servants, and tropical hygiene […]" (p11).

Foucault's aborted, intentional, thematic schema (discussed in Elden, 2001a,b)[82] included the never finished "La Croisade des Enfants" as the third of five works that would delineate sexuality's four constituent subjects. His earlier lectures Les Anormaux[83] dealt with this discussion of The Masturbation Child to some extent. Beside Foucault, poststructuralist principles have been applied to children's sexuality in selected cases[84].


Foucault has opened up a post-modern discussion of the history of 'development thinking' as well as 'sexological thinking' from a dramaturchic point of view. He describes the nascent citizenship of personae critical to the child's (mothers, pedagogues, criminals) as related to changing (intensified) academic spectatorship.


Applying cross-ethnographic data to this schema, such data would have to prove useful in performing discourse analysis, that is, the identification of discursive positions and strategies versus pedagogical and in-group curricula. Particularly, it would have to provide an analysis of relationships between discourses and social practice. Anthropological material only diffusely discusses cultural discourses associated with sexual upbringing, and rarely addresses strategic positioning and subjectivity of children within this process. Foucault has contributed little to the ontogeny (rather than phylogeny) of discourse. Being applied to Western settings only recently, a full cross-cultural demonstration using a post-structuralist framework is beyond currently available data. However, such data can be used for a preliminary and hypothetical outline of practices as resulting from culture-identifying discourses.



1.2 Academic Traditions in Approaching Sexual Socialisation: An Agenda Classification [up] [Contents]


Below are identified a number of arguments organised on the basis of their operational agenda rather than their scientific location. Within its limited format, depth and scale, the schema provides for an exploration of the manners anthropological / cross-ethnic data may be employed to fit variable agendas, providing diverse frameworks. These agendas include psychoanalytic / "psychocultural", psychohistorical, pedagogical, medical and demographic, ethological, "zoologist", folklorist, "sexologist" and assorted "activist" agendas. By no means these agendas should be conceived of consisting of, or having been used as, unilateral employments.



1.2.1 The Psychoanalytic Agenda [up] [Contents]


Psychoanalytic anthropology and historiography proper have originally been informed by the need for approval or disapproval of Freudian claims regarding the so-called "psychosexual" space of the socialisation curriculum. As Freud postulated, "[i]n general, our most reliable proof of infantile sexuality, if we do not wish to refer to the sexuality of children among primitive peoples, is the neurosis"[85]. Needless to say Freud never "wished" to elaborate this reference. The use of psychodynamic concepts in anthropology, by contrast, generally illustrates the operationalisation of the Freudian reference as an explanans of gender configurations, ethnopsychiatric observations, etc. Anthropological challenging of Freudian sexology is fragmentary, at least for psychosexual development. This corresponds to the general appraisal of "infantile sexuality" and its alleged sequelae being a largely hypothetical set of doctrines, as generations of critics have issued.


[A bibliography could be compiled on the role of ethnology on psychosexual theory, resulting from a preliminary chapter not included in the present report. For a quick sidestep to the "latency" debate, see here]. The "Psychocultural" / Psychoanalytic Anthropological Agenda [up] [Contents]


Geza Róheim (1891-1953), a Hungarian-American psychoanalyst was the first ethnologist to utilise a psychoanalytic approach to interpreting culture. He (1934a,b; 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943)[86] maintained that the structure of any given culture is determined by the infantile neuroses typical of that area. The institutions of the culture serve as defence mechanisms against infantile libidinal urges. This is a result of man's retardation, i.e. of his being born at a comparatively undeveloped stage biologically. Growing up consists of returning to the desired infancy situation by finding substitutes for the original love objects.

Róheim's psychocultural agenda mainly addresses fundamental causality problems by starting from solid psychodynamic grounds. In so doing, the author has not succeeded very well. Hence, Róheim's considerate observations on childhood sexual behaviour (Atlas: Australian Aboriginals and Normanby Island), and references to the cross-cultural case, are best studied in the light of the general agenda (§1.2.1).



1.2.3 The Psychohistorical Agenda [up] [Contents]


Founded in the early seventies, what has become known as psychohistory represents the claim of a close connection of social and political structures, with socialisation practices. In 1998, DeMause wrote that his conclusion from a lifetime of psychohistorical study of childhood and society is "that the history of humanity is founded upon the abuse of children"; most of his statements are (literally) equal to those a quarter of a century ago. DeMause's conceptualisation of childhood as a "nightmare", from which, so much is obvious, he has just recently woken up, was conveniently attributed to the collective "we" of academic historiography, to the dissatisfaction of many historians. The "abuse" paradigm of psychohistorians to early sexual behaviour socialisation is expectedly entirely unilateral and to some extent absurd; DeMause himself never commented on positive sexual experiences in children for he simply denies it was part of history (or either western or non-western world). The comparable infrequence of data that might challenge these views may be based on the neglect of sources to mention the phenomenon of childhood sexuality purely because it failed to constitute of a negatively formulated concern. Notable academic exceptions include the historian Jos van Ussel [see §], more or less introducing Holland into its "sexual revolution".

Again, historians' insights to the history of early sexual experiences are very limited as this issue was not studied objectively even until the later 20th century. The psychohistorical pursuit, therefore, seems to be primarily informed by the (selective) application of orthodox psychodynamic dogma to a contemporalist moral order reminiscent of that of feminism. Inherently, psychohistory is more activist and antagonist than it is reflective. DeMause's interpretation of age-graded homosexualities, and of genital soothing customs (vide ibi), is illustrative of this ethic code[87].



1.2.4 The Pedagogical Agenda [up] [Contents]


The sexological elements in child rearing have been the specific focus of cross-cultural reflection roughly since the 1950s (U.S.), and sporadically in more recent studies of immigrant families (U.S., and to some extent, Europe). This latter excursion may parallel the nascent study of childhoods in nontraditional families (bimaternal, bipaternal, single-parent, foster care), cross-continental adoption families, etc. As reviewed, only a selected number of authors have studied or reviewed cross-cultural perspectives on sexual behaviour socialisation, which contrasts poorly with the paucity of child rearing studies including sexology at all (consider linguistic, motoric, lexic, intellectual development).



1.2.5 The Medical[88] and Demographic Agendas [up] [Contents]


Medical sexology, or rather the interest of sexologists in anthropological and historical data, is informed by an awareness of the interactions of sexual cultures and the prevention, management, meaning and future of sexually transmittable diseases, with a prominent place for HIV since the middle 1980s, and female reproductive trajectories. Closely related is the demographer's interest in family planning perspectives. Notably, the observations from many large demographic studies are comparatively limited in explaining psychological depths of sexual experiences, as they have traditionally tended to concentrate on incidence rather than lived experience. Most of the studies adopt or advocate specific interventionalist concepts of multi-hierarchical (multigenerational, multi-institutional) "sexual information" systems. However much has changed since the 1960s, and valuable qualitative accounts do exist, studies operating solely from a biomedical agenda can rarely be used in the description of preadolescent life, notwithstanding a definite tendency for researchers to question and address younger (and indeed prepubescent) populations. This selective approach, of course, may or may not parallel local or national interventionalist curricula.



1.2.6 The Ethological Agenda [up] [Contents]


The human ethology approach has sporadically been utilised in sexology[89] to describe such phenomena as mock "genital presenting behaviour" in children (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Schievenhövel), childhood coitus (arguable, Langfeldt), and may be used to explore maternal "genital parenting" behaviour, genital selfmanipulation, observance of visual avoidance, etc. (various chapters in this project). However, it seems (and has been) ineffective to address the wider social context in which these occur. More urgently, ethology has proved little instrumentality in the establishment of an inclusive theory of sexual behaviour, or its development.



1.2.7 The "Zoologist" Agendas[90] [up] [Contents]


Celebrated Desmond Morris[91] argued that "no real", "no functional" sexual activity can be seen before puberty, "apart from a large number of so-called sexual games". Morris[92] later seemed to acknowledge "symbolic love play", only in the broadest "instead of the limited sexual sense". Similarly arguing on the developmental sexual "human animal", zoologist Kinsey reached conclusions quite at odds with this perspective[93].

Others, including Money and Harlow, used animal models in discussing human and cultural errors and errata. Money's recurrent, collateral use of zoological and ethnological data in his idealist claims is remarkable. This use, at least in the narrative of Money, seems limited but served a salient political perspective. Born in New Zealand, Money (Money et al., 1970) claimed to have taken his trip to Australia to specify his ideas on childhood sexuality/coitality, which, if authentic, is a remarkable motivation, especially for a non-anthropologist.

According to the comparative zoological claim, human societies tend to currricularise, spatialise, psychologise and politicise developmental eroticism and reproductive capacity, thereby delaying both dimensions of experience and their necessary precursors, replacing this simple curriculum by a multi-axial pathway issuing the same (and alternative) behaviour via a delineation of hypothetical possibilities, entrenched as they are in their developmental linguistic structure. The operational application of this concept, within this structure, is predictably variable. Specifically, society selectively provides legitimisation fora, or at least an explanatory curriculum, for this variability, and for the nonreproductive "aims" of behaviour that apparently equals the mimesis (fragments of) the reproductive routine, whether in normalised or nonnormalised formats. Social recognition of developmental pathways, then, theoretically allows a congruent degree of variability, the theory depending on current genetic ideologies.



1.2.8 The Literary/ Folklorist Agenda [up] [Contents]


Rarely explored, nonacademic writings on human development, especially "ego documents" (diaries, autobiographies, prose, school essays) and works of literary significance may provide a valuable contribution to human sexual cultures. No studies to date use these sources as an entry to sex research. More than an alternative methodology, sexual representations in human literary or other cultures of art may describe hypothetical situations rather than factual ones, and as such provides a compelling alternative exploration of the boundaries of cultural organisation. However, writers, academics not excluded, tend to be individualists, and also aim to produce what shall be consumed. This renders the study of actual consumption of these materials inherently problematic. Autobiographies are rarely if ever used in a cross-cultural methodology.



1.2.9 The "Sexologist" (Homosexologist) Agenda [up] [Contents]


It can be inferred that few studies addressing the sexual behaviour curriculum originate from a purely sexological (erotological) motive, that is, to describe sexual and sexologically informed practices and ideologies. I would suggest this study is intended, partially, as an exception to this rule. Some contributions to the developmental question are found within the ethnohistorical study of male and female homoeroticism, but not in any systematic scope and only to some degree as organised around ontological hotbeds (berdaches, ritualised initiations), stressing gender identity and sexual orientation (® For the developmental case, it appears that there has been a considerable piling of ethnographic material, but few specific ethnological efforts.



1.2.10 Activist / Interpretationist Agendas [up] [Contents]


Activist agendas have had a definite impact on theoretical models addressing the established of gender and erotic gender orientation mediated "identities" and hierarchies. Combined, including the subspecies of "gender activisms", provide interesting examples in the advocacy, application and modification of theoretical models. Activist agendas have been categorised as addressing the "emerging" local, female, (potential) minority, and world citizen. The Liberalist / Political Agenda, Especially in a Globalist Perspective [up] [Contents]


The idea of "sexual rights" of children is not new[94], and seemed to have had its Days of Glory in the seventies and early 1980s. Childhood sexual rights has to be seen within the emergence of child protection legislation in general, obligatory "sex ed" programs, and the need for an organised "children's right movement", which has been dated back to 1852 (Evans, 1993)[95]. Evans states: "Inevitably legal judgements on age of maturity, consent and parental and state responsibilities, no matter how painstakingly arrived at, can be little more than token gestures, bound to vary between and even within modern societies". Evans distinguishes two paradigms of protection: "one of sexual being from harm because of their immaturity and ignorance; the other of the non-sexual from the perversity of sexual indoctrination" (p216). Thus, while children are scripted into sexuality (p217), and trained in abuse scripts (p223), children are left with the unilateral right to say "no", and to "tell" (p224) when approached sexually. Into paradigms, Lee (1980; cf. 1982)[96] argues:


"If the property paradigm of childhood and children's sexuality correlated with the other paradigms of a pre-Copernican, pre-industrial, hierarchically rigid world, and the protection paradigm with an industrializing, socially mobile world constantly expanding the frontiers of Progress, it may be that the new personal paradigm will fit well with a post-industrial world, a Conserver Society where Growth is not gospel. Grown-up may become a pejorative label of a licence to vote, to travel and choose one's residence and to have sex. We may simply allow everyone to grow up" (p68).


Invariably, age and development factors are decidedly underrepresented in universalist proclamations and of "sexual" and sexological rights. Rudolf Goldscheid's early reference to "sexual rights"[97] presented to the 4th congress of the World League for Sexual Reform (WLSR) in Vienna 1930, does not seem to have specifically addressed development issues [1933]. When the 13th World Congress of Sexology (Valencia, Spain, June 1997) issued The Valencia Declaration on Sexual Rights, childhood was not addressed specifically, although it was agreed that "all children should be desired [?] and loved"[98]. In an apparent revision of priorities, the World Association for Sexology's Declaration of Sexual Rights, adopted 26 August 1999, issues the "right to comprehensive sexuality education. This is a lifelong process from birth throughout the lifecycle and should involve all [?] social institutions"[99]. In June 1983[100], this was not yet part of the WAS' program.

It appears that most of the "Rights" paradigm operates from a protectionist (anti-interventionalist) basis (see for instance the IPPF "Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights"[101]). Combating "abuse" is a very obvious project: 1999 and 2000 ECPAT International Annual Reports[102] and other major communications (1997-2001)[103] do not elaborate on the establishment of "exploitation" categorisation from any ethnographic / ethnological understanding, nor do they offer an integral perspective on sexual development. The 1996 Declaration and Action for Agenda of the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children suggests that "The child [should not be] treated as a sexual object [in, for instances, "early" marriages] and as a commercial object". It is argued that in such marriages, "The child [theoretically, under 18] does not have the opportunity to exercise her right to choose. For this reason, early marriages are also referred to as forced marriages".


In 1975 the WHO[104] issued coverage in the training curriculum of health professionals of such items as "children's question", "latency period" sexual curiosity, and pubertal experimentation under the heading of "main sexual problems". In an attempt to further "sexual health", WHO later (2001)[105] argued that "[a] necessary component of a sexually healthy society is universal access to age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education across the lifespan", which should be at least school-based. As for "health rights", the RHR/HRP[106] (1998:p80; 1999:p92; 2000:p88; cf. 2001:p122)[107] sought to generally


"enable people to experience healthy sexual development and maturation and enhance the capacity for equitable and responsible relationships and sexual fulfil[l]ment".


"Rights" and "health" considerations fuse in the understanding of sexual politics and sexual medicine. Two decades ago, John Money (1982)[108] observed that


"Children are too young to liberate themselves militantly […]. In consequence, their sexuality remains unliberated. Many adults justify continued imposition of the sexual taboo in order to "protect" children from exposure to anything sexual. The paradox of such protection is that it really exploits children in order to maintain erroneous theory, neglecting their development of sexual health and subjecting them to child abuse when they exhibit any significant manifestation of healthy sexual development" (p5)[109].


The cross-cultural argument has been used more or less routinely within unmistakably political discussions of developmental sexualities (blatant examples including Guyon, Reich, Money, O'Carroll, Brongersma). Certainly, it must be clear that the informal sexual "liberties" of children vary extremely, whereas the formal rights are nowhere acknowledged outside apparently modernist constructs of education, consent, etc. The global "rights"/"health" movement has proved unable to address concepts of "multiplicity" [110] when addressing "sexuality", and is, inherently, likely to contribute to globalist age / life phase categorialism.


[Guyon's interpretation of "the legitimacy of sexual acts" specifically operates from a cross-culturalist, Orientalist foundation. See also his 1951 pamphlet "Human Rights and the Denial of Sexual Freedom"[111] briefly addressing "the refusal of sexual knowledge and sexual experience to children and adolescents"]. The Feminist Agenda[112] [up] [Contents]


Not so much a distinct theory, feminists use sexual scripting theories (e.g., "sexual objectification" theories) to facilitate the image of suppressed and oppressed "femininity". Notwithstanding antipsychoanalytic sentiments, the scripted woman is the child of the scripted girl, that is, a product of what is considered "patriarch" values and positions. Feminists conduct "ethnographic" impressions on school environments to explore girlhoods and the construction and negotiation of gender that up to recent eras was invariably seen to have compromised the natural emerging of "Woman". Thus, feminists have collaborated in turning the school environment into a suitable workshop for "ethnographic" explorations (interpretations) of gender dynamics, together with, increasingly, interventionalist intentions.

Specific ethnological agendas have issued genital modifications as "mutilations" of such womanhood, early marriage, the commodification of female teenhood, etc., themes often addressed within overtly universalist crusades for Improvement of the Female Condition. With the rise of communication technology, this "outreach" has magnified considerably in recent decades and there will probably be a growing cross-cultural extrapolation of values and "truths" along established antagonist lines (anti-"Islam"ism, for instance). The Gay Theorist / Activist Agenda [up] [Contents]


Whereas ethnography and historical materials are extensively used by authors on homosexuality issues, the developmental problem is rarely addressed in its own light, or perhaps not at an obviously activist level (Herdt). Authors have provided a definite contribution to developmental sexology in providing autobiographical material, exploring the developmental problem in defining "sexual orientations", and detailing developmental phenomena otherwise unexamined ("first awareness of attraction", etc.). The concern for developmental issues within the field of gay academia is largely directed at "liberating" the "emerging" "gay adolescent" within the familial and school milieu.

With his Sambia case, Gilbert Herdt c.s. has substantially de-essentialised notions of ontology as is concerned "sexual orientations" and associated trajectories. Activist uses of these materials, however, have tended to reassemble ethnographic examples to provide for geographies of "homosexualities" (for an application, see §8.2.1) celebrating universality and variability at once, often on descriptive but hardly on "ontographic" terms. Given the wide possibilities globally for public politicisation of "homosexualities" toward the end of the 20th century, ontology appear to have (1) seized to occupy center stage in whatever "discussions" that remain or were thus generated; and (2) shifted in political localisation, from exterior justifications to acclaimed, autonomous pasts. In this sense, for Western academics ontologies may have become yet another way of celebrating postmodern lifestyles. Ultimately, the depsychiatrisation of "homosexuality" has not led to a complete disintegration of clinical ontologist tendencies either. The "gay activist" case for ontology, if any, thus continuous to inform "homosexuality" as a cultural project, and as academic performance. Unexplored niches include the question of trajectories of ontology, or the in-developmental reverberation of notions like "contributory past" and politicised present. The Globalist / Antiglobalist Agenda [up] [Contents]


Antiglobalists argue that the variety of sexual cultures is sacrificed for the hegemony of dominant moralities (and of academic traditions). Gay situated activists, particularly, have expressed this concern.

Globalisation, roughly speaking, introduces subjectivist concepts of female sexual behaviour "identity" into objectivist sexual systems, resulting in adolescent-parent conflict. Another issue is the globalist crusade against ultimate forms of sexual objectification of children, including prostitution and graphic representations (interestingly not excluding "virtual" ones). Question is whether such crusades are indicative of altering agendas, or of latent sentiments being provoked, voiced, and operationalised by an unprecedented scale of communicative possibilities, as well as by increasingly salient political-economic interests. This may be best illustrated by the decidedly ambivalent negotiation, historically speaking, of concepts of the "traditional" in such arenas as indigenous childrearing and sexualities.



1.2.11 Recapitulating: Agenda and Developmentalist Sexology [up] [Contents]


Concluding, some of these perspectives are (a) highly idealistic, even Utopian, or at least programmatic (Marxism); (b) others may be based on predominantly unverified assumptions on human "nature" (e.g., orthodox psychoanalysis); and while (c) some have very narrow secondary agendas, rendering entire ideological systems as (historically) biased (psychohistory); (d) others are simply too limited to describe basic social dimensions of developmental sexuality.



1.3 Ethnocentrism and Developmentalism [up] [Contents]


The above discussion of models does not accommodate perhaps more recalcitrant issues in developmental sexology, such as ethnocentric developmentalism, which is associated to categorialist curricula. This defines childhood and adolescence as phases in the course of "turning adult" (e.g., "turning erotic"), a cross-culturally diverse choice. Both the process and the goals of this functional perspective are entitled to their cultural relativism. This would put quests for "normative" baselines (Frayser, 1994b)[113] into cultural perspective. The present material was collected partly in the hope it contributes to avoidance of, as Walkerdine phrases the thing, "fetishizating western rationality as the universal pinnacle of development"[114]. This is particularly true in addressing "phases" as "monolithic cultural categories" [115]. The study requires a challenge of sexualities as well as sexologies, while by no means pretending these are separable or to be separated in any substantial or monopolist manner. As Thorne (1987)[116] has argued, the re-issuing of children's agency is a complex and task, and it should (can) not be hastened. Options are further explored in Appendix IV.



1.4 Recapitulation: Fitting Ethnographic and Cross-Historical Data into Sociological Models [up] [Contents]


The integration of ethnographical data in contemporary social sexology, though emphasised[117], seems to have been useful for descriptive overviews and sociological theories on homosexuality (Murray, Herdt, etc.), but marginal in terms of a psychological developmental theory. On the one hand, this statement may seem debatable considering the multiplicity of work on "adolescent" sexualities; however, cross-cultural traditions foster a neglect of developmental issues that has compromised attention to childhood, theoretically a most important site of "development". In the social view of Reiss, for instance, pre-adulthood occupies a marginal position, critical issues being identified to include the triad of marital jealousy, "gender power roles" and ideologies of normality. That is, these theories might help explain developmental sexualities, but tend to avoid addressing them.


As becomes apparent in the literature review in Appendix 1, the (numeric) cross-cultural method did not generate a precise sociological description of sexual development. It did hint at sociological models created around larger structural levels, but data to support such models are still fragmentary. Judging from Broude's (1981:p633)[118] article, which title is tale-telling, the main theoretical position taken by cross-culturalists was an essentialist structuralist one, predominantly motivated by or geared toward psychodynamic perspectives.


The decline in contributions to this approach is probably related to the emergence of novel principles in "closing in" on developing sexuality. Contemporary sociologists have used combined constructionist and post-structuralist approaches to issues of developmental gender and sexuality (e.g., Walkerdine, Reay). This would allow a combination of Messner's "interactionist theoretical" and "cultural theoretical" perspectives. It was also observed that interactionist perspectives have recently begun to be modified so as to portray the child as an active agent in the process, a more or less "self-scripting" autonomy within changing cultural spaces merely offering the building blocks for a continuous compilation task (cf. §


Introduced in a comparatively late stage of the project, it was decided to choose such a perspective as an organising principle for presenting multi-cultural data even if not collected or presented within this exact format. Having specifically assessed the literature on this point, I believe that the current work offers a first preliminary overview of the broad field opened up by recent theoretical developments, being informed by a comprehensive scanning of the ethnographic record. I also believe that most chapters could not have been written without this advance (and continuing) scanning. Thus informed, it provided an appraisal of cross-cultural variety at this point, a variety that may progressively be limited due to globalist processes and economic reform.

The rationale for this approach is multipartite:


-- The description of sexuality as performative aids in establishing and advocating a sexologist's "child's perspective"[119] in which activities, as structurally mediated "tasks", would become central elements;

-- It meets the paucity of psychometric and psychosocial material in ethnographic materials using children and adolescents as key informants, and the (up to comparatively recently) bias toward material and practical social anthropology;

-- It provides for a positivist, bottom-up theory building; as such it counterweights negativist (e.g., "control", "abuse") entries and operationalisations, as well as "referent" models based on inference and extrapolation.


The method was first "tried on" in a preliminary article on gender/sexuality within school environments[120]. Progressively, it was appreciated that the "sexual-erotic" takes it place within a multi-layered set of discourses that govern grand unifying principles such as (a) genderedness, (b) embodiment, and (c) eroticisation proper. The social constructionism of the first two of these three pillars could be most clearly demonstrated, the third one being much more perfused with idealist-moralist (rather than activist-pragmatic) agendas (see chapter 16). It was also suggested that some aspects of these principles could alternatively be approached via a "clinical" entry (e.g., §, exceptional situations (medically or socially) luxating "cultural" performances otherwise hidden from the public space and eye.



1.5 Conclusion [up] [Contents]


Considering the previous arguments, I chose a social constructionist perspective that is to describe how, at the "cultural" level, social environments introduce the individual to sexuality, and operationalise it so that it might "function" within a performative-teleological frame. Contrary to classical psychodynamic theory, as Imbasciati[121] argues, I will take the position that


"[…] pleasure is not an explanans of psychic life, but an explanandum […]".


I will, however, not conclude that "[t]he attribution of sexuality to the biological sphere, through the concept of instinct, is misleading, possibly even wrong". Instead, the question of biological representation is reserved for future probing.

From this perspective, recommendations can be made for further inquiry. In any case, sociologist perspectives should require a theoretical position versus pedagogical principles and organisations[122], and a culturally specified, updated view on children's (endangered and expanding) technological space[123]. Or, using Appadurai's[124] categories, their curricular inclusion into ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes.




Notes [up] [Contents]

[last updated 011102]


[2] Burckhardt, J. L. ([1831]) Notes on the Bedouins and Wahabys. London. Vol. I, p98, as quoted by Thomas, W. I. (1899) Sex in Primitive Morality, Am J Sociol 4,6:774-87

[3] From a letter written by "an experienced master in one of the most famous English public schools" to Havelock Ellis, quoted in Auto-Erotism. See Ellis, H. ([1936]) Studies in the Psychology of Sex. Vol. I. New York: Random House

[4] The Prudential Company of America (1954) Your Child- Pre-School and School Years, p70

[5] Paul Weller, Wild Wood (Wild Wood, 1993)

[6] Cohen, S. (1993) Le grand frission, Rev Franç Psychanal 57,2:613-24

[7] E.g., Vandermeersch, P. (1990) A cultural sexuality or a sexual culture? In Van de Vijver, F. J. R. & Hutschemaekers, G. J. M. (Eds.) The Investigation of Culture: Current Issues in Cultural Psychology. Tilburg, the Netherlands: Tilburg University Press, p43-58

[8] Maddock, J. W. (1983a) Sex in the family system, Marr & Fam Rev 6:9-20; Maddock, J. W. (1983b) Human sexuality in the life cycle of the family, in Hansen, J. (Ed.) Sexual Issues in Family Therapy. London [etc.]: Aspen, p1-31

[9] Herdt, G. (1999) Clinical Ethnography and Sexual Culture, Ann Rev Sex Res 10:100-19

[10] Frayser, S. G. (2002) Discovering the value of cross-cultural research on human sexuality, in Wiederman, M. W., Whitley, B. E. Jr. (Eds.) Handbook for Conducting Research on Human Sexuality. p425-53. Cf. Frayser, S. G. (1994a) Anthropology: Influence of Culture on Sex, in Bullough, V. L. & Bullough, B. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. New York & London: Garland Publ. Inc.

[11] Brooks-Gunn, J. & Graber, J. A. (1999) What's sex got to do with it? The development of sexual identities during adolescence, in Contrada, R. J. & Ashmore, R. D. (Eds.) Self, Social Identity, and Physical Health: Interdisciplinary Explorations. New York: Oxford University Press, p155-82

[12] Semiannual Newsletter of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities 6,2 (Spring, 1998). Taken from

[13] Hostetler, A. J. & Herdt, G. H. (1998) Culture, sexual lifeways, and developmental subjectivities: rethinking sexual taxonomies, Soc Res 65,2:249-91

[14] Chen, H. (1992) Chinatown No More: Taiwan Immigrants in Contemporary New York. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, p101

[15] E.g., Walkerdine, V. (1999) Childhood Sexuality and the Subjectivity of the Researcher, in Maiers, W., Bayer, B. et al. (Eds.) Challenges to Theoretical Psychology. York: Captus Press

[16] Schalet, A. T. (2000) Raging Hormones, Regulated Love: Adolescent Sexuality and the Constitution of the Modern Individual in the United States and the Netherlands, Body & Society 6,1:75-105; Schalet, A. T. (1994) Dramatiseren of normaliseren? De culturele constructie van tiernerseksualiteit in de Verenigde Staten en Nederland, Amsterdam Sociol Tijdschr 21,2:113-47. See also Bozon, M. & Heilborn, M. L. (1996) Les Caresses et les mots. Initiations amoureuses a Rio de Janeiro et a Paris, Terrain 27:37-58. Cf. id., As caricias e as palavras. Iniciacao sexual no Rio de Janeiro e em Paris, Novos Estud CEBRAP 59(2001):111-35

[17] Sayers, J. (1998) Boy Crazy: Remembering Adolescence, Therapies and Dreams. Florence, KY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge

[18] Margold, Ch. W. (1926) The Need of a Sociological Approach to Problems of Sex Conduct. I. Radical Practices Cannot Be Justified by Merely Biological Data, Am J Sociol 31,4:455-73. See also 31,5:634-56; Shuttleworth, F. K. (1959) A Biosocial and Developmental Theory of Male and Female Sexuality, Marr & Fam Living 21,2:163-70; Sprey, J. (1969) On the Institutionalization of Sexuality, J Marr & Fam 31,3:432-40; Ross, E. & Rapp, R. (1981) Sex and Society: A Research Note from Social History and Anthropology, Comparat Stud Society & Hist 23,1:51-72; Gindorf, R. & Haeberle, E. J. (Eds., 1986) Sexualität als Sozialer Tatbestand : Theoretische und Empirische Beiträge zu einer Soziologie der Sexualitäten. Berlin: New York, NY: W. de Gruyter; Reiss, I. L. (1986a) Journey into Sexuality: A Sociological Voyage. New York: Prentice-Hall. Cf. Reiss, I. L. (1986b) A Sociological Journey into Sexuality, J Marr & Fam 48,2:233-42; Reiss, I. L. (1989) Society and sexuality: A sociological explanation, in McKinney, K. & Sprecher, S. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: The Societal and Interpersonal Context. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, p3-29; Callero, P. L. & Howard, J. A. (1989) Biases of the scientific discourse on human sexuality: Toward a sociology of sexuality, in McKinney, K. & Sprecher, S. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: The Societal and Interpersonal Context. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, p425-37; Stein, A. (1989) Three Models of Sexuality: Drives, Identities and Practices, Sociol Theory 7,1:1-13; DeLamater, J. (1981) The social control of sexuality, Ann Rev Sociol 7:263-90. Cf. DeLamater, J. (1987) A sociological perspective, in Geer, J. & O'Donohue, W. (Eds.) Theories of Human Sexuality. New York: Plenum, p237-56; DeLamater, J. D. (1989) The social control of human sexuality, in McKinney, K. & Sprecher, S. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: The Societal and Interpersonal Context. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, p30-62; Vance, C. S. (1991) Anthropology Rediscovers Sexuality: A Theoretical Comment, Soc Sci & Med 33,8:875-84

[19] Stich, J. & du Bois-Reymond, M. (1999) Jugendsexualität wird ein Thema der Soziologie, Diskurs 9,1:6-9

[20] E.g., Strouse, J. S. & Fabes, R. A. (1987) A conceptualization of transition to nonvirginity in adolescent females, J Adol Res 2,4:331-48; Udry, J. R. (1988) Biological Predispositions and Social Control in Adolescent Sexual Behavior, Am Sociol Rev 53,5:709-22; Benda, B. B. & DiBlasio, F. A. (1991) Comparison of four theories of adolescent sexual exploration, Deviant Behav 12,3:235-57; Benda, B. B. & Kashner, T. M. (1994) Adolescent sexual behavior: A path analysis, J Soc Serv Res 19,3-4: 49-69; Benda, B. B. & DiBlasio, F. A. (1994) An integration of theory: Adolescent sexual contacts, J Youth & Adol 23,3:403-20; Benda, B. B. & Corwyn, R. F. (1996) Testing a Theoretical Model of Adolescent Sexual Behavior among Rural Families in Poverty, Child & Adol Soc Work J 13,6:469-94; DiBlasio, F. A. & Benda, B. B. (1990) Adolescent sexual behavior: Multivariate analysis of a social learning model, J Adol Res 5,4:449-66; DiBlasio, F. A. & Benda, B. B. (1992) Gender differences in theories of adolescent sexual activity, Sex Roles 27,5-6:221-39; Hillman, E. R. (1993) Adolescent sexual behavior: A developmental social learning model, DAI 53(11-B):5977-8; Rowe, D. C., Rodgers, J. L. & Meseck, B. S. (1989) An "epidemic" model of sexual intercourse prevalences for Black and White adolescents, Soc Biol 36,3-4:127-45; Rowe, D. C. & Rodgers, J. L. (1994) A Social Contagion Model of Adolescent Sexual Behavior: Explaining Race Differences, Soc Biol 41,1-2:1-18; Rowe, D. C. & Rodgers, J. L. (1991) An "epidemic" model of adolescent sexual intercourse: Applications to national survey data, J Biosoc Sci 23,2:211-9; Hovell, M. F. et al. (1994) A Behavioral-Ecological Model of Adolescent Sexual Development: A Template for AIDS Prevention, J Sex Res 31,4:267-81;Sprecher, S. (1998) Social Exchange Theories and Sexuality, J Sex Res 35,1:32-43; Hogben, M. & Byrne, D. (1998) Using social learning theory to explain individual differences in human sexuality, J Sex Res 35,1:58-71; Lauritsen, J. L. (1990) Adolescent Sexual Behavior and Early Childbearing: Empirical Tests of Social Control and Strain Theories, DAI-A 50,7, Jan, 2257-A; Dorius, G. L. (1995) Parental Support and Control and the Onset of Sexual Intercourse, DAI-A 55,12, June,4005-A; Oyor, S. C. J. & Pandey, A. (1999) Adolescent Transition to Coitus and Premarital Childbearing in Sudan: A Biosocial Context, J Biosoc Sci 31,3:361-74

[21] Martin, N. G., Eaves, L. J. & Eysenck, H. J. (1977) Genetical, Environmental and Personality Factors Influencing the Age of First Sexual Intercourse in Twins, J Biosoc Sci 9,1:91-7; Smith, E. A., Udry, J. R. & Morris, N. M. (1985) Pubertal development and friends: A biosocial explanation of adolescent sexual behavior, J Health & Soc Behav 26,3:183-92; Udry, J. R. (1988) Biological predispositions and social control in adolescent sexual behavior, Am Sociol Rev 53,5:709-22; Smith, E. A. (1989) A biosocial model of adolescent sexual behavior, in Adams, G. R. et al. (Eds.) Biology of Adolescent Behavior and Development. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, p143-67; Halpern, C. T., Udry, J. R. et al. (1994) Testosterone and religiosity as predictors of sexual attitudes and activity among adolescent males: A biosocial model, J Biosoc Sci 26,2:217-34; Rodgers, J. L., Rowe, D. C. & Buster, M. (1999) Nature, Nurture and First Sexual Intercourse in the USA: Fitting Behavioral Genetic Models to NLSY Kinship Data, J Biosoc Sci 31,1:29-41

[22] DeLamater, J. D. & Hyde, J. Sh. (1998) Essentialism vs. social constructionism in the study of human sexuality, J Sex Res 35,1:10-8

[23] In a limited study on 17 HRAF cultures, it was found that sexual permissiveness was uncorrelated with either sex-role rigidity or violence (yet sex-role rigidity was highly correlated with violence). Results were incompatible with theories of sex and violence that stress a single physiological or instinctual factor, and support two-factor theories which gave more emphasis to social learning principles than to physiological determinants. McConahay, Sh. A. & McConahay, J. B. (1977) Sexual permissiveness, sex-role rigidity, and violence across cultures, J Soc Iss 33,2:134-43

[24] Woodson, J. C. (2002) Including "learned sexuality" in the organization of sexual behavior, Neurosci & Biobehav Rev 26,1: 69-80

[25] Op.cit.

[26] Horowitz, G. (1987) The Foucaultian Impasse: No Sex, No Self, No Revolution, Political Theory 15,1:61-80

[27] Stein, A. (1997) Sex after "Sexuality": From Sexology to Post-Structuralism, in Owen, D. (Ed.) Sociology after Postmodernism. London: Sage, p158-72

[28] Sanday, P. R. (1996) A Discourse-Centered Approach to Human Sexuality. Keynote address given at the Second Annual Rutgers Anthropology Graduate Student Conference, "Contemplating Sex," March 23, l996. [Conference Proceedings published in Crosscurrents: The Journal of Graduate Research in Anthropology, Vol. VIII, Autumn l996, p147-58 [unpaged]

[29] Carr, C. L. (1999) Cognitive scripting and sexual identification: essentialism, anarchism, and constructionism, Symbolic Interaction 22,1:1-24

[30] Messner, M. A. (2000) Barbie girls versus sea monsters: Children constructing gender, Gender & Society 14,6: 765-84, at p780-1

[31] E.g., Weinberg, Th. S. (1994) Sociological theories of sexuality, in Bullough, V. L. & Bullough, B. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. New York & London: Garland Publ.. Inc.

[32] Davis, K. (1966) Sexual behavior, in Merton R. K. & Nisbet, R. (Eds.) Contemporary Social Problems. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace & World

[33] Gagnon, J. H. & Simon, W. (1973) Sexual Conduct: The Sources of Human Sexuality. Chicago: Aldine; Gagnon, J. H. (1977) Human Sexualities. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman; Gagnon, J. H. (1989) Sexuality across the life course in the United States, in Turner, Ch. F., Miller, H. G. & Moses, L. E. (Eds.) AIDS, Sexual Behavior and Intravenous Drug Use. Washington, DC: National Academic Press, p500-36; Simon, W. & Gagnon, J. (1998) Psychosexual development, Society 35,2:60-8

[34] Watson, L. C. (1972) Sexual Socialization in Guajiro Society, Ethnology 11,2:150-6

[35] Cf. Hutchinson, K. A. (1995) Androgens and Sexuality, Am J Med 98,1, Suppl. 1:111S-115S

[36] Meyer, J. (1996) Sexuality and power: Perspectives for the less powerful, Theory & Psychol 6,1:93-119

[37] Rotkin, K. & Rotkin, M. (1975) Freud: Rejected, Redeemed and Rejected, Socialist Revolution 5,2:105-19

[38] For a disappointing application on gender role formation, see Cummings, S. & Taebel, D. (1980) Sexual Inequality and the Reproduction of Consciousness: An Analysis of Sex-Role Stereotyping among Children, Sex Roles 6,4:631-44

[39] Angelergues, R. (1976) Reich and the Freudian-Marxist illusion, Evolution Psychiatrique 41,4:733-46

[40] Press, H. (1971) The Marxism and Anti-Marxism of Wilhelm Reich, Telos 9:65-82. See also Sinelnikov, C. (1972) Early "Marxist" Critiques of Reich, Telos 13:131-7

[41] Baxandall, R. (1995) Marxism and Sexuality: The Body as Battleground, in Callari, A., Cullenberg, S. & Biewener, C. (Eds.) Marxism in the Postmodern Age: Confronting the New World Order. New York, NY: Guilford Press, p235-45

[42] Adam, B. D. (1980) What Has Marxism to Do with Sex Research? Paper for the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)

[43] MacKinnon, C. A. (1982) Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory, Signs 7,3:515-44

[44] Gimenez, M. E. (1978) Structuralist Marxism on "The Woman Question", Science & Society 42,3:301-23

[45] Cummings, S. & Taebel, D. (1978) The Economic Socialization of Children: A Neo-Marxist Analysis, Social Problems 26,2:198-210

[46] Anon. (1983) Free childhood- free sexuality: a Marxist analysis [part 1,2,3], Minor Probl 1(6,7); 2(4); 3(5)

[47] White, J. W., Bondurant, B. & Travis, Ch. B. (2000) Social constructions of sexuality: Unpacking hidden meanings, in Travis, Ch. B. & White, J. W. (Eds.) Sexuality, Society, and Feminism. Psychology of Women; 4, p11-33; Davis-Stephenson, C. L. (1990) The construction of childhood sexuality: a symbolic interactionalist perspective, DAI-B 51/04, oct., p2057. Based on a 1989 Dissertation, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Psychology; Plummer, K. (1990) Understanding childhood sexualities, J Homosex 20,1/2:231-49. Plummer's primary agenda, however, seems to be the deconstruction of paedophilia. Cf. Plummer, K. (1979) Images of paedophilia, in Cook, M. and Wilson, G. (Eds.) Love and Attraction, Oxford: Pergamon, p537-40; Plummer, K. (1981) Pedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline, in Cook, M. & Howells, K. (Eds.) Adult Sexual Interest in Children. London: Academic Press, p221-50. Cf. Reid, P. & Bing, V. M. (2000) Sexual roles of girls and women: An ethnocultural lifespan perspective, in Travis, Ch. B. & White, J. W. (Eds.) Sexuality, Society, and Feminism. Psychology of Women 4. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, p141-66

[48] E.g., Jackson, S. (1980) Girls and sexual knowledge, in Spender D. & Sarah, E. (Eds.) Learning to Lose. London: The Women's Press, p131-45; Jackson, S. (1982) Childhood and Sexuality. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. See also Lees, S. (1986) Losing Out: Sexuality and Adolescent Girls. Hutchinson: London. Cf. Lees, S. (1993) Sugar and Spice; Sexuality and Adolescent Girls. Penguin: London

[49] Ajzenstadt, M. & Cavaglion, G. (2002) The sexual body of the young Jew as an arena of ideological struggle, 1821-1948, Symbolic Interaction 25,1:93-116

[50] Scott, S., Jackson, S. & Backett-Milburn, K. (1998) Swings and Roundabouts: Risk Anxiety and the Everyday Worlds of Children, Sociology 32,4:689-705. Cf. Scott, S., Jackson, S., Backett-Milburn, K. & Harden, J. (1998) Risk Anxiety and the Social Construction of Childhood. Paper for the International Sociological Association; Jackson, S. & Scott, S. (1999) Risk anxiety and the social construction of childhood, in Lupton, D. (Ed.) Risk and Sociocultural Theory: New Directions and Perspectives. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, p86-107; Jackson, S. (1990) Demons and innocents: Western ideas on children's sexuality in historical perspective in Perry, M. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Sexology. Vol. 7. Amsterdam: Elsevier p23-49; Jackson, S. & Scott, S. (2000) Childhood, in Payne, G. (Ed.) Social Divisions. New York: Saint Martin's, p152-84. See also Kendall, G., Collins, A. & Michael, M. (1997) Constructing risk: psychology, medicine and child welfare, J Applied Social Behav 4,1:15-27

[51] DeLamater, J. (1981) The Social Control of Sexuality, Ann Rev Sociol 7:263-90

[52] See for instance Ende-de Monchy, C. M. van den (1984) Onderzoek naar het Seksuele Scenario van Kinderen van 6 tot 10 Jaar. Zeist [Holland]: NISSO; Frith, H. & Kitzinger, C. (2001) Reformulating Sexual Script Theory: Developing a Discursive Psychology of Sexual Negotiation, Theory & Psychol 11,2:209–32. Examples of studies on adolescents include Krac, A. & Williams, C. J. (1979) Sexual Scripts and Female Masturbation: A Test of Gagnon and Simon's Theory of Sexual Socialization. Paper for the Society for the Study of Social Problems; Hillman, Ph L. (2000) Negotiating the Dominant Sexual Script: Middle-Class Black Girls Tell Their Story, DAI-A 60, 7:2698-A; Steele, J. R. (2000) Adolescent sexuality: Negotiating the influences of family, friends, school and the mass media, DAI 60(7-A):2275; Carpenter, L. M. (1998) From girls into women: Scripts for sexuality and romance in Seventeen magazine, 1974-1994, J Sex Res 35,2:158-68; Gilmore, S., DeLamater, J. & Wagstaff, D. (1996) Sexual decision making by inner city black adolescent males: A focus group study, J Sex Res 33,4:363-71; Villanueva, M. I. M. (1997) The Social Construction of Sexuality: Personal Meanings, Perceptions of Sexual Experience, and Females' Sexuality in Puerto Rico. Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. For another application, see Daverveld, M. J. C. (1991) Scripts van Kinderseksualiteit: Een Exploratief Onderzoek naar Scripts van Kinderseksualiteit bij Leerkrachten. Maastricht / Utrecht [Holland]: Rijksuniversiteit Limburg / NISSO

[53] Reiss, I. L. (1970) Premarital Sex as Deviant Behavior: An Application of Current Approaches to Deviance, Am Sociol Rev 35,1:78-87

[54] Buzwell, S. & Rosenthal, D. (1996) Constructing a sexual self: Adolescents' sexual self-perceptions and sexual risk-taking, J Res Adolesc 6,4:489-513

[55] Jordan, E. & Cowan, A. (1995) Warrior Narratives in the Kindergarten Classroom Renegotiating the Social Contract? Gender & Society 9,6:727-43, at p740

[56] Woodson, S. E. (1999) Mapping the Cultural Geography of Childhood or, Performing Monstrous Children, J Am Culture 22,4:31-43

[57] Martin, K. A. (1995) Puberty, sexuality, and the self: Gender differences at adolescence, DAI-A 55(9-A):3006

[58] Hillman, Ph. L. (2000) Negotiating the Dominant Sexual Script: Middle-Class Black Girls Tell Their Story, DAI-A 60, 7, Jan,2698-A

[59] Goldman, R. & Goldman, J. (1981) Children's Sexual Thinking: A Comparative Study of Children Aged 5-15 Years in Australia, the United States of America, England, and Sweden. London: Routledge: & Kegan Paul; Goldman, R. & Goldman, J. (1981) Children's concepts of why people get married, Austr J Sex, Marr & Fam 2,3: 105-18; Goldman, R. & Goldman, J. (1981) What children want to know about sex, Austr Sci Teachers J 27:61-9; Goldman, R. & Goldman, J. (1981) Children's perceptions of clothes and nakedness, Genet Psychol Monogr 104:163-85; Goldman, R. & Goldman, J. (1981) Sources of sex information for Australian, English, North American and Swedish children, J Psychol 109:97-108; Goldman, J. (1990) The importance of an adequate sexual vocabulary for children, Austral J Marr & Fam 11,3:136-48

[60] Carpenter, C. H. (1995) In Our Own Image: The Child, Canadian Culture and Our Future. Paper for the 9th Annual Robarts Lecture, March 29

[61] Whittier, D. & Simon, W. (2001) The fuzzy matrix of "my type" in intrapsychic sexual scripting, Sexualities 4,2:139-65

[62] Simon, W. & Gagnon, J. H. (1984) Sexual Scripts, Society 22,1(153):53-60; Simon, W. & Gagnon, J. H. (1986) Sexual scripts: Permanence and change, Arch Sex Behav 15,2:97-120; Simon, W. (1996) Postmodern Sexualities. New York: Routledge

[63] Cf. Gecas, V. & Libby, R. (1976) Sexual behavior as symbolic interaction, J Sex Res 12,1:33-49

[64] Helmius, G. (2000) Manus för Mognad. Om Kärlek, Sexualitet och Socialisation i Ungdomsåren [Scripts for Maturity. On Love, Sexuality and Socialisation in Adolescence]. Revised from author's doctoral dissertation. Sala: Mimers Brunn [For a further bibliography, see]

[65] Straver, C. J. (1976) Jugendsexualität: Versuch zur Gestaltung einer Theorie. Paper für die Tagung der Sektion Familien- und Jugendsoziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, München, May 28-29; Straver, C. J. (1977) Jugendsexualität: Versuch zur Gestaltung einer Theorie, Soziologenkorrespondenz 4:121-50; Straver, C. J. & De Boer, J. (1977) Toenaderingsgedrag van Jongens en Meisjes. Deel 1: Onderzoeksgegevens, Theorie en Conclusies. Zeist [Holland]: NISSO; Straver, C. J. (1980) Jong Zijn en Contact Zoeken; Problemen en Processen rond Toenaderingssituaties. Deventer [Holland]: Van Loghum Slaterus; Straver, C. J. (1983) Erotic overtures and sexual contacts; competence, rules, attitudes and problems, in Everard, W., Hindley, C. B. Bot, A. & Van der Werff ten Bosch J. J. (Eds.) Development in Adolescence: Psychological, Social and Biological Aspects. Boston, MA: Martinus Nijhoff, p149-66; Straver, C. J. (1985) Toenaderingsgedrag van jongens en meisjes. Een verwaarloosd thema in SI onderzoek, in Arts, W. A. et al. (Eds.) Betekenis en Interactie. Deventer [Holland]: Van Loghum Slaterus; Straver, C. J. (1985) Soziale und sexuelle Interaktionen bei Jugendlichen: ein handlungstheoretischer und empirischer Ansatz, Sonderndruck aus Schriftenreihe Sozialwissenschaftliche Sexualforschung 1:179-96; Straver, C. (1986) De trapsgewijze interactie-carrière, in Rademakers, J. & Straver, C., Van Fascinatie naar Relatie: Het Leren Omgaan met Relaties en Sexualiteit in de Jeugdperiode; Een Ontwikkelingsdynamische Studie. Zeist [Holland]: NISSO, p1-128; Straver, C. J. & Rademakers, J. (1996) De seksuele ontwikkeling van jongeren in de huidige samenleving: een overzicht van gegevens en enkele consequenties voor de voorlichting, Nederlands Tijdschr Opvoeding, Vorming & Onderwijs [Dutch] 12,2:76-99. For more on Straver's approach, see Regt, W. De (1980) Toenaderingsgedrag van adolescenten en de daarop gerichte seksuele relationele vorming, Tijdschr Seksuol [Belgium / Holland] 5,1-2:21-33. More on this theme is found in Stapel, D., Fock, O. & Van der Zwaan., M. (1987) Tussen Blik en Eerste Zoen. Toenaderingsgedrag bij Adolescenten. Amsterdam

[66] Elias, N. (1939) Über den Prozess der Zivilisation: Soziogenetische und Psychogenetische Untersuchungen. Basel: Haus zum Falken

[67] Van Krieken, R. (2000) Norbert Elias and Process Sociology, forthcoming in Ritzer, G. & Smart, B. (Eds.) The Handbook of Social Theory. London: Sage, p353-67

[68] Van Krieken, R. (nd) Beyond the 'Problem of Order': Elias, Habit and Modern Sociology, or, Hobbes was Right. Online paper, earlier version given at the 1996 Conference of the Australian Sociological Association in Hobart, Tasmania, 4- 7th December 1996.[]

[69] Duerr, H. P. (1988) Nacktheit und Scham. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp. Vol. 1 of Der Mythos vom Zivilizationprocess. 2nd ed.

[70] Wouters, C. (1994) Duerr und Elias. Scham und Gewalt in Zivilisationsprozessen, Zeitschr f Sexualforsch 7,3:203-16. "Duerr allows that levels of shame and embarrassment have changed over the course of history, but argues against Elias that such changes are not a genuine part of evolution. Duerr further argues that social pressure to conform was/is far stricter in face-to-face, traditional societies than in industrialized societies. Duerr's arguments are rebutted using Elias's text and observations on the paradoxes of social control".

[71] Bogner, A. (1992) The Theory of the Civilizing Process-An Idiographic Theory of Modernization? Theory, Culture & Society 9,2:23-53

[72] For a discussions of Van Ussel vs Elias, see Schnabel, P. (1973) Seksualiteit in de welvaartsstaat, Sociologische Gids [Dutch] 20,3:189-206

[73] Van Ussel, J. (1969) Socio-Economische Grondslagen van de Seksuele Moraal [Socio-Economic Factors and Sexual Morality], Tijdschr Sociale Wetensch [Belgium] 14,2:155-206. Based on author's two-volume thesis

[74] Vandekerckhove, L. (1980) Gemaakt van Asse: Een Sociologische Studie van de Westerse Somatische Kultuur. Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven, Fakulteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Departement Sociologie

[75] Vincke, J. (1983) De normering van de lichamelijkheid: een kanttekening bij Vandekerckhove's 'Gemaakt van as', Tijdschr Sociale Wetensch [Belgium] 28,3:226-32

[76] Op.cit.

[77] Stephens, M. Ch. (1994) The Shiftiness of Childhood. PhD Dissertation, Bowling Green State University [DAI 1996, 56, 8, Feb 1996, 3333-A]

[78] Smith, D. (1999) The Civilizing Process and the History of Sexuality: Comparing Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault, Theory & Society 28,1:79-100

[79] Leahy, T. (1991) Negotiating Stigma: Approaches to Intergenerational Sex. PhD thesis presented to the University of New South Wales. Online ed., Books-Reborn; Leahy, T. (1992) Positively experienced man-boy sex: the discourse of seduction and the social construction of masculinity, Austr & N Z J Sociol 28,1:71-88. Leahy utilises post-structuralist principles to locate "subcultural" and individual negotiations of meaning within dominant discourses of "intergenerational" sexual interactions (§14.4).

[80] Foucault, M. (1976) Histoire de la Sexualité. Vol. 1. 1980 English ed., New York: Vintage Books. Cf. Karmanoila, A., Knecht, C. & Parrat-Dayan, S. (1992/3) Le discours sur la sexualité infantile. Évolution du XIXe siècle à nos jours, Bull Psychol 46(409):121-9

[81] Stoler, A. L.(1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press

[82] Elden, S. (2001a) The History of Sexuality and the Constitution of the State. Paper prepared for delivery at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, August 30-September 2 []; Elden, S. (2001b) The constitution of the normal: monsters and masturbation at the Collège de France, boundary 2, 28,1:91-105 []

[83] Foucault, M. (Ewald, F. et al., eds., 1999) Les Anormaux; Cours au Collège de France (1974-1975). [Paris]: Gallimard / Seuil

[84] Beside Stoler, see Tien, L. (1994) Children's Sexuality and the New Information Technology: A Foucaultian Approach, Soc & Leg Stud 3,1:121-47

[85] Sigmund Freud, cited by Sadger (Febr. 5th, 1913) Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, 188, p158-61

[86] Róheim, G. (1934) The Riddle of the Sphinx. London, Hogarth, chapter 3; Róheim, G. (1934) The evolution of culture, Int J Psycho-Anal 15:387-418; Róheim, G. (1940) Society and the individual, Psychoanal Quart 9:526-45; Róheim, G. (1941) The psycho-analytic interpretation of culture, Int J Psycho-Anal 22:147-69 / Int Zeitschr f Psychoanal & Imago 26:9-31; Róheim, G. (1942) The origin and function of culture: I. Delayed infancy, Psychoanal Rev 29:131-64; Róheim, G. (1943) The Origin and Function of Culture. New York: Nervous and Mental Disease Monographs 69, esp. p3-39

[87] Cf. Enculturation Curricula, Abuse Categorisation and the Globalist/Culturalist Project: The Genital Reference. Unpublished¨ paper by the author

[88] A compartment of less relevance to the cross-cultural case include paediatric associations of psychoneuroendocrinological deficit and sexual behaviour symptomatology. For a review, see author's manuscript "Paradoxia Sexualis".

[89] Feierman, J. R. (1994) Ethology and sexology, in Bullough, V. L. & Bullough, B. (Eds.) Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. New York & London: Garland Publ. Inc. From online ed.

[90] See also preparatory review material on aminal sexual behaviour development.

[91] Morris, D. (1967) The Naked Ape. 1986 ill. Dutch ed. Bruna & Zn., p59-60

[92] Morris, D. (1977) Manwatching. 1987 Dutch ed. Amsterdam/Brussel: Elsevier, p270

[93] Kinsey's [et al.] use of ethnologia was biased to demonstrate the precocious (notably 1953:p108n8) and thus counterbalance (oppose) Western discourse. Levine (, A. J. (1994) 'Errorgenous' Zones? Kinsey's Sexual Ideology, The World & I Online, 9, p426) notes: "Kinsey repeatedly implied that the sexual customs of the West were unique, or nearly so, and based wholly on arbitrary assumptions. His vague references to anthropological data were highly selective. In his eyes, "the reactions of our social organization to the various types of behavior are the things that need study". Kinsey declared that mores originated neither in accumulated experience nor in scientific examination and objectively gathered data. The sociologist and the anthropologist find the origins of such customs in ignorance and superstition, and in the attempts of every group to set itself apart from its neighbors".

[94] Lee, J. A. (1980) The politics of child sexuality, in Samson, J. M. (Ed) Enfance et Sexualité. Montréal [etc.]: Éditions Études Vivantes, p56-70; cf. Lee, J. A. (1982) Three paradigms of childhood, Can Rev Sociol & Anthropol 19,4:591-608; Adams (1980) Sexual freedom for children versus adult sexual abuse of children: description of a community action program, in Samson, J. M. (Ed) Enfance et Sexualité. Montréal [etc.]: Éditions Études Vivantes, p676-81 ; Millett, K. (1984) Beyond politics? Children and sexuality, in Vance, C. S. (Ed.) Pleasure and Danger. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p217-24; Wells (1977) Le Droit de Votre Enfant à la Sexualité; Youth Liberation (1979) Children and sexuality: a youth libertaion view, Gay Insurgent 4-5:22-4; Youth Liberation (1981) Children and sex, in Tsang, D. (Ed.) The Age Taboo. London: Gay Men's Press, p46-52; Blasius, M. & Millett, K. (1980) Sexual Revolution and the Liberation of Children, Semiotexte special #2. Reprinted in Tsang, D. (Ed., 1981) The Age Taboo. London: Gay Men's Press, p80-3, and Paidika 2,4[8](1992):83-5; Aigner & Canterwall (1984) Barnas Kjaerlighetliv; Archard, D. (1993) Children: Rights and Childhood. London [etc.]: Routledge; Brongersma, E. (1977) On loving relations human and humane, Childhood Rights 1:1; Calderone, M. (1977) Sexual rights, SIECUS Report; Constantine, L. L. (1979) Sexual rights of children: implications of a radical theory, in Cook, M. & Wilson, G. D. (Eds.) Love and Attraction. Oxford [etc.]: Pergamon, p503-8; Constantine, L. L. (1979) The sexual rights of children: implications of a radical perspective, in Constantine, L. & Martinson, F. (Eds., 1981) Children and Sex: New Findings, New Perspectives. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., p255-63; Farson, R. (1974) Birthrights. New York: Macmillan; Foster & Freed (1972) A bill of rights for children, Fam Law Quart 6:343-75; Guyon, R. (1948/50) The child and sexual activity [2 parts], Int J Sexol 2,1:26-34/3,4:237-47/4,1:51; Holt, J. C. (1974) Escape from Childhood. New York: E. P. Dutton, p270-6; Kirkendall (1980) The sexual rights of children and youth, AEP Journal 5,4:38-9; Kirkendall & Moglia (1979) The Sexual Rights of Children and Youth. Paper presented at the 5th International Symposium on Sex Education, Tel Aviv; Ives (1986) Children's sexual rights, in Franklin, B. (Ed.) The Rights of Children. Oxford [etc.]: Blackwell, p144-62; Knudsen (1987) Sex in childhood: aversion, abuse or right, J Sex Educ & Ther 13,1:16-24; Martinson, F. (1990) Current legal status of erotic and sexual rights of children, in Perry, M. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Sexology. Vol. 7. Amsterdam: Elsevier, p113-24; Ramer, L. V. (1973) Your Sexual Bill of Rights. New York: Expositions Press; A New Bill of Sexual Rights and Responsibilities, The Humanist, January/February, 1976 []; Haroian, L. ([2000]) Child Sexual Development, Electronic J Hum Sex 3, Feb. 1 []; Roberts, E. J. (Ed., 1980) Childhood Sexual Learning: The Unwritten Curriculum. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Pub. Co. A convention on children, sex and human rights was held at the Faculty of Laws, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London on April 3rd, 1998.

[95] Evans, D. T. (1993) Sexual Citizenship. New York: Routledge, esp. p209-39

[96] Op.cit.

[98] World Association for Sexology (2000), Scand J Sexol 3,1:27-8. Check here:

[101] For another example, see East, P. & Adams, J. (2002) Sexual Assertiveness and Adolescents' Sexual Rights, Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health 34,4:212-3 []

[103] See for instance 5 consecutive reports on the implementation of the agenda for action adopted at the world congress against commercial sexual exploitation of children, Stockholm, Sweden []

[104] WHO (1975) Education and Treatment in Human Sexuality: The Training of Health Professionals. Report of a WHO Meeting. Technical Report Series Nr. 572 []

[105] Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization & World Association for Sexology (2001) Promotion of Sexual Health: Recommendations for Action. Proceedings of a Regional Consultation, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, May 19-22, 2000 []

[106] The WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) was created in November 1998 by joining the UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) and the former WHO Division of Reproductive Health (Technical Support) (RHT).

[107] Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), Jejeebhoy, S. J., Shah, I. H. & Yount, K. M. (1999) Sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, Annual Technical Report, p91-104, at p92 []; Jejeebhoy, S., Shah, I. H. & Bott, S. R. (1998) Sexual development, maturation and growth, Annual Technical Report, p69-79, at p80 []; Jejeebhoy, S.J., Shah, I. H., Bathija, H. & Warriner, I. (2000) Adolescent reproductive health, Annual Technical Report, p87-98, at p88 []; Jejeebhoy, S., Bathija, H., Shah, I. H. & Warriner, I. K. (2001) Promoting sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, Annual Technical Report, p121-33 []

[108] Money, J. (1982) Sex: How young is too young? Br J Sexual Med 9,oct:5-6

[109] This is not just an impulsive statement. Money ([1983]): "[P]rohibition, prevention, and punishment in children [of species-typical erotosexual rehearsal play] amounts to what is, indeed, a form of child abuse" (p19). See Money, J. (1983) Sexosophy & sexology, philosophy & science: 2 halves, 1 whole [Part I], Br J Sexual Med 10, April:16, 18-9

[110] Cf. Corrêa, S. (nd/1997) From Reproductive Health to Sexual Rights: Achievements and Future Challenges. Paper at / Reproductive Health Matters 10

[113] Frayser, S. G. (1994b) Defining normal childhood sexuality: An anthropological approach, Ann Rev Sex Res 5:173­217

[114] Walkerdine, V. (1993) Beyond developmentalism? Theory & Psychol 3,4:451-69

[115] Burman, E. (1995) "What is it?" Masculinity and femininity in cultural representations of childhood, in Wilkinson, S. & Kitzinger, C. (Eds.) Feminism and Discourse: Psychological Perspectives. London: Sage, p49-67

[116] Thorne, B. (1987) Re-Visioning Women and Social Change: Where are the Children? Gender & Society 1,1:85-109

[117] Okami, P. & Pendleton, L. (1994) Theorizing Sexuality: Seeds of a Transdisciplinary Paradigm Shift, Current Anthropol 35,1:85-91

[118] 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

[119] Rademakers, J., Laan, M. & Straver, C. J. (2000) Studying children's sexuality from the child's perspective, J Psychol & Hum Sex 12,1-2:49-60

[120] Included in the present volume as Appendix III.

[121] Imbasciati, A. (nd) Why Sex and Pleasure? Milan Psychoanalysis Centre. Online article, available at

[122] E.g., Malone, Ch. P. (1999) Ordering childhood: Figures of childhood, pedagogical address, love of the world and the mis-education of desire, DAI-A 59(8-A):2899

[123] Walkerdine, V., Dudfield, A. & Studdert, D. (Oct., 1999) Sex and Violence: Regulating Childhood at the Turn of the Millenium, Paper presented at the conference Research in Childhood. Sociology, Culture and History, University of Southern Denmark; Walkerdine, V. (2001) Safety and danger: Childhood, sexuality, and space at the end of the millennium, in Hultqvist, K. & Dahlberg, G. (Eds.) Governing the Child in the New Millennium. New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer, p15-34

[124] Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. As cited by Gatter, Ph. (Febr., 2001) Global Theories and Sexuality. Online paper.