Growing Up Sexually

The Sexual Curriculum (Oct., 2002)

[to Volume II Index]

[to Main Index Page]

  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [I] [II] [III] [IV]


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

3[previous chapter] [next chapter]

Developmental to Developing Sexologies. A Sociological Entry to Sexual Socialisation Cultures and Processes


Summary: This chapter provides a theoretical outline of a framework for describing cross-cultural patterns of sexual behaviour socialisation. Three principles were identified to explore cross-cultural differences in sexual socialisation processes: pragmatism, agenda, and stratification. The "pragmatism" framework describes the process of sexual behaviour and identity socialisation in terms of potentialising (enabling) rather than permissiveness (gratification). This reformulation requires the identification of cultural tasks of defining individual curricular sexual identities (developmental sexology), and curricular-subcultural countertasks by which children and youth respond to, assimilate, renegotiate these claims (developing sexology). That is, a specific (sexual) socialisation curriculum creates a specific (sexological) subculture, as can be described and studied via its being grounded in self-devised forms of expression and self-imposed tasks. On this basis, the current literature review was identified as aiming to facilitate a demonstration of social definitions operationalising any part and level of the process of socialisation: acts, actors, bodies (and their biological evolutions), and body parts (and their biological functions). From an interactionist-performative perspective, the concept of "negative" or antagonist socialisation is theoretically problematic, since, it was argued, antagonist pedagogism always originates in a curricularised positive discourse.

It was observed that pedagogical cultures, as a whole, may uniformise and institutionalise paradigmatic entries to developing sex, or rationalise practices in a less organised, more individualised fashion.




Developmental to Developing Sexologies. A Sociological Entry to Sexual Socialisation Cultures and Processes 1


3.0 Introduction 2

3.0.1 Frameworking Sexual Ontology 2

3.0.2 The Cultural in the Developmental 3

3.0.3 Pedagogisation, Participating Citizenship and the Praxis of Sexuality: The Cross-Cultural View 3

3.0.4 Outlining Pedagogical Cultures: A Principle Trinity 4

3.0.5 The Sexual as the Sexological Interaction: The "Operationalisation" of Sex 4

3.1 Meaning vs "Operational" Meaning: The Praxis of Curricular Sexology 5

3.1.0 Regulating Sexuality-Sexology 5

3.1.1 Positive Intergenerational Legitimisation 6

3.1.2 Negation (Negativist Identification) vs De-Legitimisation: Taboo, Avoidance, and Appropriation 6 Intermezzo: "Antisexualism" and Culture 6

3.1.3 Covert, Collateral and "Centrifugal" Negation 7

3.1.4 Ambivalent and Non-Identification 7

3.2 Culture, Subculture, Counterculture, and Co-Culture 7

3.2.1 The Peer in the Sex: Subcultural and Subculturalist Sexology 7

3.2.2 Hypothesis 8

3.3 Sex, Trajectories and Cultural Agenda 9

3.4 "Developmental" Sexologies: Cross-Cultural Appraisal 9

3.4.0 Cultural Legitimisations and "Developmental" Sexology 9

3.4.1 Drive-Centered (Biologist) "Developmental" Sexology 9

3.4.2 Theonomic-Biologist "Developmental" Sexology 10

3.4.3 Constructionist / Interactionist-Centered "Developmental" Sexology 10

3.5 Highlights and Summary 10


Notes 10




3.0 Introduction [up] [Contents]


Many self-identified cultural survivor movements today face the manifold seductions of ongoing concept elaborations, such as that of "Inner Child" work. Either at a metaphor level or part of a more definite realism (consider Price, 1996)[1], Inner Children must be reclaimed (Wacks, 1994)[2], healed (Kiefer, 1993)[3], scripted (Benton, 1990)[4] and befriended (Esslinger, 1999)[5]. Among various other examples, these exotic artefacts of intellectual capital are illustrative of an insidious revolution that fosters more ways of "doing childhood" than could have been imagined even a decade ago. Concurrently, it has been observed that childhood has become a central fetish of today's sexological culture. Kincaid (1998:p69-72, 251, 291)[6], for instance, wonders whether "[w]e return to impossible erotic fantasies, ardently sexualizing our children and sentencing them to feel the full force of our childish disappointments".

These developments both strain and fuel postmodern concepts of early erotics, as archaic ones are easily discarded and alternative ones remain highly contextual. In this last of three introductory chapters, I here wish to further explore productive alternatives for the current project. This will necessitate an acknowledgement of productive as well as non-productive entries to sexual developmentality.



3.0.1 Frameworking Sexual Ontologies [up] [Contents]


Social conventions dictate that a certain maximum (rarely an optimum) of psychological content (knowledge, preoccupation) or interaction would define age-related sexual health (age and "phase" "appropriateness"), or would define such chronology in itself ("psychosexual age"). Money's erotic age (Money and Walker, 1971:p59; Money and Ehrhardt, [1973] 1996:p200)[7] or "lovemap age" (Money, 1991:p5)[8] remained largely hypothetical: "lovemap development" was never studied by Money beyond the clinical realm.


By no means a routine starting point for discussing "cultural" sexologies is provided by the position that ontology "inevitably" occupies a central (though perhaps not overtly centralised) position in such sexologies. John Money (1997 [1999:p14])[9], first self-declared "child sexologist" / psychoneuroendocrinologist at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, states: "No historian of sexology has yet taken on the task of writing a history of the transformations of the developmental principle in sexology. Yet, the proposition that sexology must inevitably be a developmental science has always been indisputable […]"[10]. While one may or may not accept this (rather direct) apology for developmental agendas, is it clear that various sociological agendas (®§1.2) do inform pervasively developmentalist perspectives of things sexual, and do introduce specific biases[11] on this account. For instance, Herdt[12] discussed the "Western heterosexist bias in seeing normative development as a function of the individual biology or subjective desire, rather than as a function of social regulations and control". Indeed, "[a]re childhood and sexual maturation the result of biological age, or are they ideas constantly emerging in the structure of the family, an institution that is itself historically changeable and culturally diverse?"[13].


It can be argued that social agendas informing sexology are rationalised, normalised and operationalised by their pursuit for, and use of, ontology; on the other hand, the research opportunities are notoriously limited, and met with insubstantially defendable, institutionalised opposition (Money).


A brief discussion of the political issuing of the developmental being offered in Appendix IV, I here wish to expand on the preceding chapters as a preliminary to the current project's line of commitment, as introduced in §s and 1.4. Specifically, I will outline the choices made to visualise differences in the cultural imperatives of development, while refraining from discussing "cultures" instead of individuals, and "development" instead of trajectories. Rather than delineated at the outset, these principles emerged as data were being organised, and theoretical orientations were "tried on". This chapter represents the interim product of this process.



3.0.2 The Cultural in the Developmental [up] [Contents]


Industrial societies seem to prefer biomedical approaches to sexual behaviour curricula. It could be argued that regular visits to a gynaecologist's office have replaced the function of communal rites of sexual passage in preindustrial societies[14]. Transitional rites in American society are currently informed by commercial interpretations of the medical-hygienic approach[15], an approach that tends to inform the negative sides of an ambivalent[16] sexology culture. Based on a previous historical appraisal of early German language sexology's dealing with the early sexual curriculum, it is possible to identify original Euro-American operationalisations of prepubertal sexuality as medicalising ones, biologising concepts of "libidarche" or erotic "awakening", and, thus, even today, compromising the sociological study of sexual behaviour trajectories[17].


Cross-culturally, however, diversion is noted for attitudes that prescribe or proscribe intervention in sexual trajectories, or ensuring sexual "development" to take place, be it physically, morally, and conceptually, to occur at all, or earlier, or within some preferred curriculum. Cross-cultural methods have generally tended to restrict themselves to negative attitudes for explananda, or somehow feel justified in simply reversing original negative to positive scales[18] (cf. §7.1.1). Such incidental classifications as offered by Currier (1979/1981)[19] and Becker (1984)[20] allow positive and negative operationalisations of sexual development, but do not specifically address curricular continuity, and evade diverting standards for gender categories. These authors also leave the issue of historical consistency unexplored.


A review of the literature adds up to the preliminary observation that most of the cross-cultural literature lacks a perspective and vocabulary that suits a descriptive account of sexual "socialisation" processes that meets the cross-cultural variety found in that literature (consider the obviously problematic and unilateral, yet normalised concepts of "permissiveness", "control", "education"). This compromises ethnographic accounts, and especially hampers the ethnological study of pre-institutional sexualities. On the basis of the current limited review of ethnographic accounts covering preadult sexual trajectories, it was to be demonstrated how, and why, societies tend to operationalise (define) sexological concepts of maturity and developmental sexual competence, and how such definitions are utilised to produce efforts of fitting individual performative trajectories into theoretical curricula, or ideal-typical, developmental trajectories.



3.0.3 Pedagogisation, Participating Citizenship and the Praxis of Sexuality [up] [Contents]


Reynolds[21] visualises how concepts of both youth and sexuality enter the realm of public space, of participation and of citizenship through such mediating institutions as family, church, medicine, education, police, law and judiciary. Although horaiocentric (horaios, Gr., adult), the author's essay issues the following interesting problem: in the area of sexuality, how does the possible become performance? In other words: how does the child move from the potential, the preliminary, and the pedagogical space of society to the arena of participation, of praxis?


In his History of Sexuality Foucault[22] argued that children's sexuality was progressively governed (created) by pedagogical discourses, this "pedagogisation"[23] being one of four central deployment strategies, or "great strategic unities" together constituting the "production of sexuality" in the modern period. That is, the application of nascent concepts of pedagogy effected a reformulation of behavioural trajectories, sexualising critical sites of cultural transmission (classrooms, bedrooms, children's bodies) and revisiting, certainly complicating, expanding and problematising (cf. Van Ussel) existing, agendas, while relocating others. This process, however minimally detailed by Foucault, informs a valuable reinterpretation of the interactions between concepts of participating citizenship, pedagogical imperative and sexual praxis[24].


In chapter 7, pedagogisation of sexual initiation is operationalised along a negativist-positivist scale, and along a second activist-abstinence scale, following Becker. Pedagogisation is interpreted as the introduction of an agenda identified by a set of motives that promote the identification (localisation) of roles within a vertical social order. It was observed that


"[w]hereas European pedagogical discourses have evolved from broadly negativist to positivist orientations over the past three centuries, there is still a distinctly non-pragmatic or even covertly anti-activist discourse in sexological teaching. The cover-up is provided by the decentralisation of "clarifying" sex matters, from coitus to negative (or anti-negative) contextualisation of coitarche. This circumlocution renders the early sexual/erotic realm ambiguous and problematic".


Pedagogical discourses of sexuality have issued a number of paradigms, including risk-danger and a range of 'health' species ("mental", "sexual", "developmental"). This opens up discussions of the concurrence of diverse pedagogical curricula, rather than their salience in specific social compartments.


Contemporary species of U.S. pedagogic curricula include subgenres variably entitled "sexuality enhancement" [25], awareness and safety education, allegedly "promoting"[26] "healthy"[27] sexuality while filtering out corrupting influences. Factually, "sexuality" may be a "neglected" issue in these programs[28]. In adolescence, individuals are variably exposed to "abstinence" curricula. They may be exposed to the following opening lines: "Abstinence is giving your body the respect it deserves, that you deserve. Saying no to sex, alcohol, drugs and tobacco keeps you healthy and safe. Stated a bit more frankly, it means no touching from the neck to the knees and keeping all your clothes on, zippers closed and buttons buttoned"[29]. It suffices to have remarked here that the pedagogical axis in these modern day curricula is variably positioned, and as for childhood curricula, the long term effects largely unknown.



3.0.4 Outlining Pedagogical Cultures: A Principle Trinity [up] [Contents]


In a preliminary essay, I have proposed a selection of "operational principles" governing human sexual behaviour trajectories. These principles were to inform descriptive and comparative accounts of the "cultural process" of sexual behaviour socialisation. The most salient ones included:


(i) the pragmatism principle, identifying sexuality as a negotiation between theory, practice and patterning (®§3.1).


The first principle argues that sex be identified as an accomplishment located on a trajectory from preliminary to practice to performance to routine performance. In this sense, sexual socialisation effects sexuality to become (or, as developmentalists might argue, "evolve" as) progressively practicable and feasible as a social performance. Thus, one might argue that within certain ethnohistorical contexts, sex acts represented subversions relative to what is perceived as an antagonist pedagogical system.



(ii) the stratification principle, localising and positioning sexuality within cultural, subcultural, and countercultural hierarchies (®§3.2)


The second principle argues that the doing of sex is in its confinement (politicised localisation, positioning) within social spaces, most saliently in what might be called "curricular compartments", or spaces stratified on the basis of life "phase" ideologies. For further elaborations on topographic conceptions of sexuality, see §IV.1.



(iii) the agenda principle, issuing sexuality as an agent operationalised through concepts of commitment, frustration and distraction defined by cultural-subcultural agenda within a teleological framework (®§3.3).


The third principle argues that within the context of sexuality as identified by hegemonic cultural agendas (fostering the establishment of naturalised, accepted stratification), trajectories are to be measured by their commitment to these agendas, or their failure to do so. Socialisation cultures are identified by their activism of transmitting agendas that are unambiguous, feasible, totalitarian ("centric"), or attractive.


Anticipating on the following paragraphs, a fusion of the above principles was attempted as a motivator for the volume's presentation of data. The following trinity (3.1-3) of paragraphs further explores how the application of the principles was effected.



3.0.5 The Sexual as the Sexological Interaction: The "Operationalisation" of Sex [up] [Contents]


Within the context of adolescent sexual behaviour, Straver (cf. § has identified sexual development processes as governing the "acquisition of indices for enactment" within the perspectives and definitions of sexual (e.g., self-) objects that emerge from peer group interactions. This process includes the formation of "operative rules", as well as normative rules, which inform an "operative self-concept", in which "[…] perceived examples are reworked into self-addressing rules that appear applicable to personal agency" (1985:p71-2, 75-6, 81).


Using an analogy with scientific praxis / performance, for sexual-sexological praxis to become functional, the practitioner is required to have operationalised his variables to ensure measurablity, relativity, internal consistency, external compatibility and later applicability: for sexual cultures to be reproduced, they need to be reproducable. The symbolic interaction implied in the social organisation of "sexual" behaviour is effected through the "sexological" process, and as such it is to be centralised in interactionist analyses of the "sexual". It can be hypothesised that (macro- and microcultural) differences exist in the effort in which this elementary conditional process is facilitated within the intergenerational realm. Being the performance of sexuality, sexology is potentialised and informed through a continuous process of "operationalisation", or redefinition of operative regulations. In terms of "scripts", things sexual are exempt from social utility when not operationalised, before being made available for social transactions. Thus, it can be examined how societies tend to "do", "represent", "imagine", in other words "operationalise" (and thus, regulate, understand, experience) puberty as a sexological caesura (§5.3). This unifying term implies to cover the collective of processes conditional to the performative competence of sexual interaction: labelling, legitimisation, authorisation, instrumentalisation, etc. Within the framework detailed in § , it is proposed that children will operationalise aspects of their sexual status (as behaviour, as identity performance) in the interaction with their environment, rather than it being passively operationalised for them. Elaborating on the previous paragraph, the operationalisation process is identified by the elements of practicability, agenda and stratification. In other words, doing sexuality (sexology) is informed by hints at effectuation (doing, starting, not-doing, not-starting), mobility and direction (going, developing) and social contextuality or reflection (moving upward, looking back/down). In still other words, changes in the sexological process are mediated by the relative application of the dynamic concepts praxis (practice), telos (goal), and topos (place). Operable sexuality is the result of imagining the possible and probable, and the claims of agency attached to it; sexology is not the learning of sexuality, or its operationalisation per se, it is the total sum of doing "the sexual" as such.


Operationalisation tasks within the sexological realm are distinctly problematic. The outstanding role for operationalisation lies in the dissociation of discussed sexual behaviour with private sexual behaviour, that is, the semisocial status of the sex act. This accounts for the larger part of sexual "socialisation" being a near-universally problematic concept. Another perspective, which is not elaborated here, is that certain social organisations of sexuality-as-knowledge may render the performance of "sexuality" / "sexual behaviour developmentally and biosocially analogous to the scientific, and epistemological, process, determining the culturally, historically and personally specific tendency to "sexologise" "sexual" categories, and to de-essentialise "the sexual".



[Conceptualising sexuality as sexology, as follows from previous choices of perspective, requires a lexicon reflecting this interpretation. Since the use of particular expressions by the author raised questions pertaining to the appraisal of fundamental concepts among the expert board supervising this project, some definitions were listed at the conclusion of the work in response to, and to anticipate on, these criticisms. Particularly, the use of "operationalisation" and "curricularisation" is considered of critical importance in the conceptualisation of pedagogical principles, and in culture-identifying practices].



In conclusion, it can be postulated that the cultural transmission of sex occurs in contextualisation and rationalisation modules that are to direct or redirect (more or less unspecific) emotional (neuroendocrinological) processes associated with the socialised Self. This (cryptobiological) model assumes that the segmentalisation of sexology on the basis of age and class (e.g., "academic", "formal"), that is, the variety of its methodological and contextual praxis, is a cultural artefact. Sexual activities are interesting insofar as they occur, or not-occur, in the context of previous sexological proceedings, and insofar as they provide for future elaboration and revision.


3.1 Meaning vs "Operational" Meaning: The Praxis of Curricular Sexology [up] [Contents]



3.1.0 Regulating Sexuality-Sexology [up] [Contents]


Sociologists have invested considerable efforts in identifying sex as praxis, telos, and instrument. Arguing from hegemonic medical viewpoints, sex-as-praxis is studied relative to the agenda of control by tracking and tackling processes in which the peripubescent is "introduced" ("initiated") into medically meaningful (clinically relevant) practices. By doing so, there is a flow of reinterpretation ("education") concerning specific behavioural categories "operationalised" as "risk behaviour". The praxis now connotes "running risks", "being exposed", "potentially contracting fatal diseases", etc., where elsewhere it has meant "attracting misfortune to the tribe", "exhibiting degeneration", "exhibiting commitment to the reproductive cause", "being healthy", "being normal", etc.


It can be argued that in studying cultural entries to sexual behaviour development two fundamental elements can be distinguished (Becker): the attitudinal and pragmatic identification of sexual competence. The current study, however, argues that these issues are immediate concomitants of a multivariate principle that describes how cultures either do or do not legitimise, or otherwise, denaturalise, given sexual behaviour agendas in given sections of the sexual behaviour curriculum. Whereas in legitimising efforts, sexual behaviour principles are (whether or not unambiguously) offered intergenerationally as immediately utilisable tools and feasible objectives, in conditional legitimisation efforts such principles are identified, but not unambivalently as immediately utilisable tools; in non-legitimising ramifications, no sexological identification is offered; via "negative" ("antagonistic" definition, illegitimisiation, unauthorisation) efforts, identified possibilities are actively prevented to become immediate practical objectives, and, lastly, in ambivalent efforts, opposing principles are applied concurrently or alternatively. Operational legitimisation occurs within formalised, ritualised, or via more unstructured, vicarious routes. Rather than discussing curricular enforcement along separate scales of attitude and intervention, the composite scale of legitimisation offers a more uniform measure of cultural perspectives and sexual behaviour development. Specifically, this project will focus on the differences in meanings implied in, rather than in efficacy of, processes.


Legitimisation pertains first to self-referring possibilities and agendas: it potentialises the concept of personal actualisation, and is directly linked to "personification" and embodiment. Secondly, the entire sexual/erotic environment is gradually given (or not given, or not-given) some sort of personal social relevance, requiring position taking, attitude sharing and eventual discussion. Thus, via a constuctionist approach, one expects meanings (identifications) to be or become operationalised meanings facilitating significance to be applied to the (hypothetical) personal situation, and thus providing a basis (discourse) for actions. Sexuality is applied in the performance of embodied personhood.


American preadolescents, for instance, seem to be required to adopt an unambiguous, often negative, use of homoerotic categories. This predominantly vicariously legitimised agenda requires some form of reflection on the possibility of same-sex contacts, and a pressing need to reflect on or explore the moral boundaries of the concept within the personal setting. Starting from the fourth grade, a "very powerful" use of homophobic terms occurs, which would, Plummer somehow feels justified to argue, would rarely carry "sexual connotations" [sic][30]. Verbal homoerotomisic ("homophobic"? antihomoerotic?) cultures, however ineffective, could be assumed to invalidate (counter-legitimise) personal actualisation of the suggested practice. That this should hardly prove a flawless tendency, as data suggest, points to the presence of the overrule of competing (e.g., contrapragmatic heteroerotic) principles.

An associated process describes the transition of (pre)adolescents knowing "homosexuality" to applying homosexuality as an identifier of social identity ("sexual orientation") (cf. Sandfort & Van Zessen).


Summing up, legitimisation of sex as praxis represents the facilitation of turning conceptual mastery via motivated personalisation into pragmatic intent. The delay or disruption between these three imaginary conditions (reductionistically, knowing-wanting-doing) are arrived at by active and passive tendencies characterising the microsocial response to anatomical, physiological and behavioural clues[31]. Socially and culturally, differences are noted in issues covering, for instance, extent, timing, and curricular continuity of authority claims. Identification and legitimisation, thus, encompass the techniques employed to communicate principles as more or less personally salient (pragmatic) concepts, not the conceptualisation of how such concepts would 'naturally' be present, or 'naturally' be utilised.



3.1.1 Positive and Positivist Intergenerational Legitimisation [up] [Contents]



Unambiguous examples of intergenerational legitimisation of sexual behaviour curricula instances of explicit and direct transmission of sexual techniques: coitus demonstrations, institutional intructrices, semi-formal age-stratified coital introductions, active shaping of heterosexual identity/role, anatomical and physiological prosexual preparations, public recognition / announcements (menarche, defloration) and behavioural encouragements (chapter 7). Within this setting fits a biomedical sexology that selectively associates curricular sexual behaviour categories with promotive physiological qualities ("poetic sexology"), beneficial preventative qualities, or therapeutic qualities (cf. Whiting and Child). Thus, these sexosophies (Money) rationalise and legitimise given curricular choices. The child is supplied with the idea that "Sexual behaviour can [should] currently be practised by me". The dividing line between positive and forced positive modes ("I have got to do/undergo this now, whether I might want to or not") may be hard to draw.




3.1.2 Negation (Negativist Identification) vs De-Legitimisation: Taboo, Avoidance, and Appropriation [up] [Contents]



Money (1980:p45-9)[32] lists three major taboos in children's sexual socialisation, which Money allows to partially "overlap" the others: age-avoidancy[33] (cf. Murdock[34]; Bryant, 1977:p304-5)[35], intimacy-avoidancy, and allosex-avoidancy. Age-avoidancy is connected to age stratification in sexual behaviour and communication. Intimacy-avoidancy is described in terms of (particularly parent-child) kinship taboos in discussing and observing sexual behaviour, hampering "direct" intrafamilial forms of education. The foregoing two are judged to be "not sex disparate, but […] applied equally to boys and girls in the course of their development", as far as sources demonstrate far from an obvious point. Allosex-avoidancy is discussed in terms of gender segregation in situations of bodily exposure and "erotic communication".


Negative legitimisation of sexual behaviour categories include the identification of avoidance and abstinence curricula. These include specific kinship avoidance rules, gender avoidance rules/ seclusion, age avoidance rules, residential change, sleeping/bathing/dressing arrangements, active prevention of instruction, deliberate misinformation, sexual behaviour proscriptions, contrasexual morphological/ physiological interventions /medicine, and virginity examinations / requirements.

Within this setting fits a biomedical sexology that selectively associates sexual behaviour categories with a "contrapoetic" processes (prevention of somatic / pubertal development, nosology, thanatology, theology, demonology). Negation creates the idea, "This is a possibility, but not for me" or "a rather conditional one". De-legitimisation, by contrast, implies the presentation of principles as if not applicable to the current stage of personal trajectories. This puts off its immediate utility: "This is a possibility for me, but not now".


The analysis of control methods by Sears et al. (1957:p185-92)[36] seems modest, unilateral and does not address, for instance, the issue of internalised standards. Mothers would employ the following tools: opportunity minimalisation ("preventing stimulation"), distraction by substitution ("changing stimulation"), cross-rationalisation ("borrowed sanctions"), non-labelling (vs. cross-interpretation), and non-suggestion ("information control"). The ethnographic record suggests additional options, including nosological narrative, various behaviour modification techniques, deliberate mislabelling, and harsh ad hoc or post hoc punishment.


The position taken here is that the (curricular) species of not-doing and not doing of sex represent variable active processes. U.S. revivalist mantras of abstinence sufficiently illustrate and denormalise not-doing as a culturally artifact, produced by an industry of recruitment technology. Intermezzo: "Global Antisexualism" and Culture [up] [Contents]


Largely an American party, selected authors have argued that "child" sexual "abuse" prevention agendas illustrate sex-opposing principles[37], or at least run the risk of transgressing to curricular "sexuality prevention" agendas[38]. These allegations are hard to substantiate, and impossible to verify. An (alleged idiosyncratic) "antisexualist" orientation is always categorical, always curricular, and always integrated within larger oppositional frameworks, which are always positively legitimised. The addressing of such "cultural", "endemic" positionings, thus, escape nonactivist reflection and empirical cross-examination. In anything, the authors try to reflect on mutually incompatible developmental principles.



3.1.3 Covert, Collateral and "Centrifugal" Negation [up] [Contents]


Girls, particularly, are socialised at an abstract level at which they do not grasp their situation, but nevertheless are rigidly controlled. Specifically, mothers employ devious rationalisations for preventing association with boys. This "don't run around with boys", or socialising sex without the sex, is an established schema for ensuring control while avoiding identifying the behaviours or identifying the moral dilemma/choice (cf. §4.7). This means of laterally approaching and addressing avoidance may be titled "centrifugal" considering its tendency to shy away from identification of matters considered "central" issues. Avoidance is accomplished via 'detours", or alternative meanings and contextualities: "I will not do B (running around with boys), for it leads to C (roughness)"; where the consequences for "A" (sexual behaviour) do not enter the script (until later).





3.1.4 Ambivalent and Non-Identification [up] [Contents]



It can be suggested that most, but particularly industrial, societies utilise a globally ambivalent (Becker) sexology that causes selective categories to be positively identified and de- or negatively legitimised synchronically, at least in adolescence. Ambivalence, mostly described for white middle-class U.S. sexual culture, creates the idea, "I can/want to engage in sexual behaviour, but then again I can not/do not want to" or "I should engage in sexual behaviour, but actually I shouldn't". This situation is fully analogous to the construction of the ambiguous sexual body[39] that is associated with this policy. Inherent to the requirements of a complex adult role goes a dissociation between reproductive and productive age, and a subordination of the former to the latter in terms of preparation (Schlegel). Ameliorating this dual situation is the technique of anticipatory avoidance of direct addressing of enabling interpretations. An example is that of the avoidance of "operationalising" (enabling, empowering) knowledge (orgasm, coitus), particularly through an emphasis on age stratification. It suggests an evasion of communications that are thought to operationalise (identify as practicable), and thereby promote, specific behaviours, by providing a deceiving alternative. Purposeful misleading arguments on the ontogenetic question are noted in many societies (§10.2.5).

Further, pseudo-identification is noted when the addressing of concepts occurs after they have been identified or even made practicable, for instance through informal curricula. Sexual education books have commonly provided curricula that were to represent "complete courses", while none of such courses approaches casuistic traditional African completeness.

Ambivalence at times produces ambivalent forms of sexual behaviour as exemplified by the so-called partial (interfemoral) intercourse practised to prevent defloration[40] (§6.2.11). Or rather, sexual expression reflects the compromises that follow from given sexological traditions, traditions based on wider social regulations.



3.2 Culture, Subculture, Counterculture, and Co-Culture [up] [Contents]



3.2.1 The Peer in the Sex: Subcultural and Subculturalist Sexology [up] [Contents]


Many researchers have interpreted sexual societies as segmental, allowing for an analysis of curricular sexual "subcultures"[41] (cf. §s 8.4; 15.4.3; III.0) rather than adolescents' preliminary (problematic or marginal) integration in "adult" sexual cultures. Time and again, and cross-"culturally" so, the importance of peer cultures in sexual acculturation trajectories is regarded uncontested. At times, the subculture is formulated as a "counterculture"[42], children "using"[43] sexuality as a tool in an antagonistic or subversive curriculum.


Mostly, the use of terms such as "subculture" do not connote a reference to classical subculture theory (Cohen) which argues that (dissident) subcultures develop in response to "dominant meaning systems", as identified by "rituals of resistance". Contemporary studies of age-identified sexual subculturing as occurring within school systems[44], in settings such as polyethnic[45] and marginal[46] youth environments, do identify antagonist principles, but generally reject much of the totalising, normalising and dichotomising tendencies of its original format (e.g., Redman). The existence of "curricular" (or life phase-identified, age-stratified) "sexual subcultures", for instance, need not presuppose that some unitarian, "normal" hegemonic sexual culture is rejected by preadult groups that unite under this credo in some uniformised antithetical curriculum. It might imply, however, that age groups experience coherence, identity and collective personality based on specific uses of sexual categories, uses that may be (but not essentially are) in opposition or oppositional to those of authority (or: rivalling, adjacent) age classes. In the Raffaelli study on Brazilian street youth, it was argued that "sex is used as a means of ensuring survival, seeking comfort, finding pleasure, and dealing with psychological issues that arise during adolescence". Now this is hardly to be called antihegemonic.

These insights are crucial footnotes to medical and pedagogical pursuits. As Renold[47] argues, "[…] only a curriculum and policy framework that is sensitive to and reflects pupils' own sexual cultures can support children's experience of their developing sexual and gendered identities" [].



3.2.2 Hypothesis [up] [Contents]


Depending on the type of legitimisation/operationalisation (which may be specific for phase, gender and behavioural category), peer networks seem to represent the countercultures that assume sexological tasks (curricular discourses) in response to the central techniques used by the preceding generation (theoretical categories identified in Table 1 below). In this sense, sexual socialisation cultures tend to promote the emergence of peer subcultures that can be specified on their sexological agenda, or active (collaborative, dissident, etc.) shaping of their sexual behaviour curricula.


Table 1 Sexual Behaviour: Operationalisation Modes and Sub-/Countercultural Tasks


Operationalisation Type

Central Technique



Central Subcultural Task

Likelihood of amplification


threat, coercion, obligation


directive- oppressive

opposition / justification



prescription, training, arrangement, demonstration, instigation

active promotion


utilisation, reinforcement, elaboration, complementation



delay, post hoc instruction

deferred initiative, responsive





deliberate malinforming



(anticipated) correction



(passivity, nonsuggestion)



introduction, initiation



neutralisation, conceptual relocation

preventative, relocating


revaluation, conservatism




actively counteracting


opposition, rebellism



Examples of each system generally indicative of the identified operationalisation principle are provided below. When discussing peer cultures, this can only be maintained for homosocial subcultures. Further, such generalisations disregard life phase and categorical dimensions. The examples infra are specific for male and/or female adolescent heterosexual sexual behaviour categories.



n       Enforced Positive. Examples mostly include dual gender standard systems as seen in traditional Islamic societies. Enforced positive socialisation includes forced age asymmetric early intercourse with a betrothed or husband (e.g., Aranda; Yanomama; Amhara, Hausa, !Kung), and more generally parent-organised betrothals. In these cases, frustrated opposition on the part of the girl is the rule, while males assume the enforcing role, though perhaps with some degree of consideration for the girl. Another option for age egalitarian subcultures is semi-or pseudo-clandestine courtship outside the established tradition.

n       Positive. Examples include a range of African, Oceanic and Latin American societies (e.g., Bemba, Mangaia, Puerto Rico). Peer cultures thus (a) are to make use of offered principles (e.g., age asymmetric coital instruction); (b) allow positive adhortations and appeals to reinforce sexual behaviour seeking (Mexican adolescent prostitute visiting); (c) elaborate on the provided stimulations; and generally provide a complementation to socialisation cultures rather than to the opposite sex

n       Ambivalent/Polyvalent/Conditional Modes. Examples include the U.S. and the large part of European, contemporary Asian, and more generally technologically developed societies. Adolescent peer subcultures here are well-defined and variably assume initiatory, critical, revolutionist and creative identities in pursuit of conceptualising and organising dyadic affiliations not unambiguously operationalised or organised by the parental generation. Such pursuits are organised and to some degree monitored within established age-graded institutions (schools, clubs) defining the boundaries of these formative processes, and shedding scholastic (public institutional) from extrascholastic (extra-institutional) social/gender interactions. As opposed to nonambivalent modes, the creation of a sexual behaviour identity is variably, and relatively, one e vacua (nonoperationalisation), one that rebels against some partial, negative principle, or one that claims some partial, positive principle. From a structuralist perspective, the e vacua possibility is most theoretically intriguing, requiring an assimilation de novo from lateral concepts and principles. In practice, however, the vacuum left by the parental generation is readily filled with a (still considerably age graded) learning hierarchy within school curricula and through commercial communications.

n       Negative / Enforced Negative. The response to negative operationalisation cultures, when consistently effected, one of erotic underdevelopment or retardation, however culturally relative. Subcultural tasks will include elements of those encountered under the enforced and ambivalent modes. Within this general orientation, as in the ambivalent mode, phase dynamics are most salient. In some (mature) phase or another, and on some basis or another, a negative attitude acquires definitely positive principles (though perhaps within ambivalent terms) and ensures reproduction. The negative category, thus, is a spurious one, or at least a subcategory of positive socialisation characterised by censoring unwanted products to arrive at the wanted product. Similar to the situation in the enforced positive mode, the creation of a sexual behaviour identity that deviates from established norms is not one e vacua, as theoretically in nonoperational situations.


3.3 Sex, Trajectories and Cultural Agenda [up] [Contents]


In a literature review of structuralist studies on sexual socialisation (Appendix I), a range of factors was found to be associated with measures of socialisation "severity". However arguable the scale and theoretical underpinnings of these measures, one is to conclude that societies do generate curricula on the basis of a commune telos, hence the concept of "cultural agenda" informing the shaping and politicising of imminent trajectories. A discussion of the control strategies in the context of paternal interests in reproduction was offered by Paige and Paige (1981)[48]. Pedagogical agendas, as conveying political / economic / aesthetic mottoes, embody the performance of interest relations, relations that are modified through the changing of subsistence levels, and respond to religious doctrines.


3.4 "Developmental" Sexologies: Cross-Cultural Appraisal [up] [Contents]


The following paragraphs identifies theoretical disciplines governing sexological principles for different cultures. Exploring along two dimensions, it is observed that pedagogical cultures, as a whole, may uniformise and institutionalise paradigmatic entries to developing sex, or rationalise practices in a less organised, more individualised fashion (§3.3).



3.4.0 Cultural Legitimisations and "Developmental" Sexology [up] [Contents]


Only in selected cases it was noted that parents do not have a clear definition of their socialising efforts; as a consequence, lay theories on sexual development may be indefinite. It was observed that "[t]he majority of the Guajiro seem to act as passive carriers of their tradition and do not question, to any appreciable degree, the reasons why they socialize sex the way they do" (Watson). Sears et al.[49] observed that mothers apply curricular arguments, but remark: "As far as we could tell, […] most of the mothers had not rationalized their antipathy for masturbation. They simply said it was something they did not like to see; they felt it was not "nice"; and they were embarrassed when their child did it, especially in the presence of others". This raises the hypothesis that the formation of (lay) theories of sexual development is subject to cultural determination.



3.4.1 Drive-Centered (Biologist) "Developmental" Sexology [up] [Contents]


In both negative and positive structural-functionalist terms, sexuality is commonly seen as an idiosyncratic agent to be contained by a larger cause and agenda. The Nubia, for instance, argue that the only way to blunt the "inherent sexual wildness of girls" and to preserve their chastity is through clitoridectomy and infibulation (Kennedy). In liberal settings, too, the parental generation downplays its role in shaping sexuality: "Sometimes we say, "Why do it now? Wait a little". But the children grow excited, so what should they do?" (Baiga). Thus, negotiations are given up in the perspective of biological determinism. A reliable indicator for this fatalism commonly is illustrated by the idea of pubertal libidarche. Thus, Pakistan villagers were convinced that puberty was synonymous with "maturity" and a mature girl had to have her sex urge satisfied. It was "folly to ignore this". This may be associated with traditional patterns of age asymmetric marriages with consummation with a "very young" bride (Lindholm). Similarly, "[a Kwoma] girl's menarche in itself removes her from the status of child and puts her into a class of "sexy" persons, children of either sex being considered both uninterested in sex and uninteresting sexually" (Williamson; ital.add.). The Kwoma traditionally married at pubescence (Bowden). The narrator of Rennewart stated that "[w]hen a maiden is about to come of age and her small breasts begin to form, she is overcome by a nascent desire that slips into her heart and that, on account of the pain of the desire, upsets her spirits and teaches her the ways of her mother". Discussing the Indian case for child marriage legislation, Mayo, as cited by DeMause, reported numerous testimonies that "blamed the little girls for their rape", claiming that early marriage was an absolute necessity, since "Cupid overtakes the hearts of girls [...] at an early age [...]. A girl's desire for sexual intercourse is eight times greater than that of males […] When there is appetite, it is the best time for giving food". The downplaying of social factors is generally noted for nonoperationalising societies, as a legitimisation for nonintervention. In Western settings, maturation is seen as an idiosyncratic, biological process indirectly to be shaped by noninterference, rather than having it fit into a productive framework, and used for productive purposes.



3.4.2 Theonomic-Biologist "Developmental" Sexology [up] [Contents]


An alternative to biologist theories on sexual development is the attribution of sexological control to a divine institute. This institute would provide for, promote, redirect or revenge given developments. A Baganda boy, raised in a fairly "liberal" setting[50] conceptualises his libidinal nature at the interface of Devine mediation and the naturalised body:


"If you look at it critically, this thing is in the blood. God created it in us. For example you might watch a young kid that only crawls touching funny areas and covering them shyly. That thing is in the blood".


Equally, it was argued that Santal "[c]hildren are equipped with a complete phallic knowledge by Cando Bo[.]nga (Supreme Deity)". A specific agenda seems to be in play: "It is ordained by him as to whether a man will have progeny or not; so we find some men are denied children, although they mate like others", said an old Santal to us. They want children; they like children. Overpopulation, a dismal apprehension to the educated middle-class, does not act as a nightmare to their primitive minds" (Mukherjea).


Devine mediation of the sexual process provides occasion for culturally established morals to be judged, facilitated or revenged. The most richly documented examples are located within the history of Christianity (see also Francoeur, 1990). Among the Anlo Ewe (Ghana) prepubertal sexuality is "an affront to the spiritual powers" (Dovlo), and among the Tshi-speaking people (Gold Coast), family tutelary deities appoint a spirit to walk behind each girl to safeguard her chastity; at puberty its duties end (Ellis). Among the Cewa, it was believed that full intercourse with an uninitiated girl led to sickness "of a supernatural origin".



3.4.3 Constructionist / Interactionist-Centered "Developmental" Sexology [up] [Contents]


The Xhosa boy is rather a "bull" (unsocialised) than an "ox" (socialised sexuality) (Mayer and Mayer, 1990:p37)[51]. The bull/ox analogy pervaded Xhosa concepts of the life span. As becomes apparent from the Dogon case[52], societies may try to control sexual maturity be means of redefining its essence via the means by which it is cultivated (and regulated): language. The Dogon sexual curriculum is a linguistic curriculum, and sexual maturity equals linguistic maturity. As in many African societies, the emphasis in sexual developmental issues is directed to actively shaping bodies, attitudes and motives, thereby locating meaning and significance in objects and activities.



3.5 Highlights and Summary [up] [Contents]


Concluding, it was hypothesised that when specified for gender, phase and categorical specificity, sexual behaviour socialisation cultures, characterised by (a) their orientation to intervention and (b) when intervening, their inclination to focus on stimulating positive principles (rather than stressing the prevention or punishment of negative principles), create distinct, curricularised subcultural orientations to sexual behaviour as measured in assumed forms, tasks (agendas), and identities, and as governed by distinct theoretical baselines (sexologies). The concept of ambivalent orientation was identified as the most illustrative for an interactionist perspective. The absolutist concept of negative socialisation cultures was rejected and replaced by a positivist curricular perspective.



Notes [up] [Contents]







[1] Price, D. A. (1996) Inner child work: What is really happening?, Dissociation 9,1:68-73. Discussed p74-9

[2] Wacks, V. Q. (1994) Realizing our inner elder-child: Toward the possible human, J Humanistic Psychol 34,4:78-100

[3] Kiefer, K. S. (1993) Healing the wounded inner child, Med Hypnoanalysis J 8,4:125-38

[4] Benton, C. L. (1990) "Scripting" the Inner Child in Adult Children of Alcoholics: An Approach for Rehearsing Recovery. Paper presented at the 76th Annual Conference of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, IL, November 1-4

[5] Esslinger, K. (1999) [Making peace with the inner child], Krankenpfl J 37,6:228-33

[6] Kincaid, J. (1998) Erotic innocence: the culture of child molesting. London: Duke University Press

[7] Money, J. & Walker (1971) Psychosexual development, maternalism, promiscuity and body image in 15 females with precocious puberty, Arch Sex Behav 1,1:45-60

[8] Money, J. (1991) [Interview], Paidika 2,3:2-13

[9] Money, J. (1997) Principles of Developmental Sexology. New York: Continuum. 1999 ed.

[10] For a discussion of Money's developmental views, see Gijs, L. (2001) De Illusie van Eenheid: Een Kuhniaanse Analyse van de Seksuologie van John Money. PhD Dissertation, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, p221-52

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

[12] Herdt, G. (1991) Commentary on status of sex research: Cross-cultural implications of sexual development, J Psychol & Hum Sex 4,1:5-12. Cf. Herdt, G. (1990) Cross-cultural issues in the development of bisexuality and homosexuality, in Money, J. & Musaph, H. (Eds.) Handbook of Sexology, Vol VII. Amsterdam [etc.]: Elsevier, p51-63

[8] Money, J. (1991) [Interview], Paidika 2,3:2-13

[9] Money, J. (1997) Principles of Developmental Sexology. New York: Continuum. 1999 ed.

[10] For a discussion of Money's developmental views, see Gijs, L. (2001) De Illusie van Eenheid: Een Kuhniaanse Analyse van de Seksuologie van John Money. PhD Dissertation, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, p221-52

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

[12] Herdt, G. (1991) Commentary on status of sex research: Cross-cultural implications of sexual development, J Psychol & Hum Sex 4,1:5-12. Cf. Herdt, G. (1990) Cross-cultural issues in the development of bisexuality and homosexuality, in Money, J. & Musaph, H. (Eds.) Handbook of Sexology, Vol VII. Amsterdam [etc.]: Elsevier, p51-63

[13] Mohammed, P. (1997) The idea of childhood and age of sexual maturity among Indians in Trinidad: A sociohistorical scrutiny, in Roopnarine, J. L. & Brown, J. (Eds.) Caribbean Families: Diversity Among Ethnic Groups. Advances in Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 14. Greenwich: Ablex Publishing Corporation, p115-46

[14] Schindele, E. (1997) Übergange im Frauenleben- Medikalisierung und Stigmatisierung durch die westliche Medizin, Curare 11:263-8

[15] Hufnagel, G. (1999) A cultural analysis of the evolution of menarche and menstruation: Implications for education, DAI-A 60(6-A):2256.

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

[17] Janssen, D. F. (July, 2001) Paradoxia Sexualis. Bio-Othering and Psychopathia Sexualis of the Child. Unpublished literature study. University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Dept. of Medical History, Philosophy and Ethics

[18] Barry, H. III & Schlegel, A. (1984) Measurements of adolescent sexual behavior in the standard sample of societies, Ethnology 23,4:315-29

[19] Currier, R. L. (1981) Juvenile sexuality in a global perspective, in Constantine, L. L. & Martinson, F. M. (Eds.) Children and Sex: New Findings, New Perspectives. Boston: Little, Brown, p9-19. Reprinted in McDermott, L. J. (Ed., 1996) Culture and Sexuality. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Chapter 1. An earlier version was published as Currier, R. L. (1979) The forbidden game: juvenile sexuality in cross-cultural perspective, Forum 8,5:62-5

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

[21] Reynolds, P. (2000) Citizenship, sexuality and youth: some conceptual considerations, in Crawford, K. & Straker, K. (Eds.) Citizenship, Young People and Participation: Conference Proceedings. Leicestershire: JPC publishing, p16-29. See also Evans (1993), as cited in § See further Treacher, A. (Febr., 2000) Children, Agency and Responsbility: Whose Responsbility? Paper presented at the 'Responsibility' seminar in the Affect Ethics Citizenship series, University of East London

[22] 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

[23] For an application, see Jose. J. (1998) Sex Education, The Family and the State in Early Twentieth Century South Australia, Hist Educ Rev 27,1:33-52

[24] DeMause has classified Foucault's "pedagogical" child rearing mode as "socialising" replacing its "intrusive" antecedent. DeMause's negativist bias, which renders it of appeal to a limited academic circle, his historical account of sexuality to one being either oppressed, abused, denied or "aided". This is in conflict with ethnographic and historical accounts, and based on generalisations and essentialisations not supported by basic scientific codes.

[25] Wurtele, S. (1993) Enhancing children's sexual development through child sexual abuse prevention programs, J Sex Educ & Ther 19,1:37-46; Krivacska, J. J. (1990) Designing Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs: Current Approaches and a Proposal for the Prevention, Reduction and Identification of Sexual Misuse. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas

[26] Besharov, D. (1990) Designing Child Sexual Abuse Programs, p213-7

[27] Finan (1997) Promoting healthy sexuality: guidelines for infancy through preschool, Nurse Pract 22,10:79-80,83-6,88,passim; Rew (1989) Promoting healthy sexuality, in Foster et al. (Eds.) Family-Centered Nursing Care of Childhood, p687-99; Smith (1993) Pediatric sexuality: promoting healthy sexual development in children, Nurse Practitioner 18,8:37-8; 41-4

[28] Whitlock, K. & Gillman, R. (1989) Sexuality: a neglected component of child sexual abuse education and training, Child Welfare 68:317-29


[30] Plummer, D. C. (2001) The quest for modern manhood: masculine stereotypes, peer culture and the social significance of homophobia, J Adolesc 24,1:15-23

[31] On the basis of careful hormonal assays, Udry et al. claim an independent role for biology in the chronology of behavioural milestones. It could, however, be argued that this biosocial pathway is a rather general effect instead of a peculiarly psychosexual condition. Cf. Paradoxia Sexualis.

[32] Money, J. (1980) Love and Love Sickness. Baltimore [etc.]: Johns Hopkins University Press

[33] Transgenerational proceptivity is said to be counteracted by "age-avoidancy", a "socially dictated constraint on personal disclosure to people of a different age group than oneself affecting erotic/sexual behavior and communication". Parents would be protected from incestuous arousal and proceptivity by the Coolidge effect, and indirectly by the Westermarck effect in their offspring (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1990:p163; Wolf, 1970, 1995). Parental attraction to their own offspring is sometimes referred to as the Inverse Oedipus Complex, or counter-Oedipus (Fine, 1993). Named after King Lear's pathological attachment to his daughters, especially to Cordelia, a reverse "erotic fixation" is called the Lear Complex or "adult libido" or reversed Oedipus complex (Pauncz, 1933, 1951, 1952; Patricolo, 1994). The Lear-complex is an incestuous fixation of fathers upon their daughters. While the Oedipus complex depends exclusively upon the unconscious, the Lear-complex involves rather the conscious (Pauncz). The concept was never elaborated upon, either clinically or theoretically. A comparable syndrome is named after Oedipus' father, Laius (see Atlas, Greek Love). By the Laius Complex, named after Oedipus's father, Ross (1982,1985/6; Ross and Herzog, 1985) means the "pederastic and filicidal inclinations that I [Ross] believe to be universal among fathers". This complex, too, is not generally recognised among psychoanalysts.

[34] Murdock, G. P. (1949) Social Structure. New York: Macmillan, p318-9. spoke of the "positive gradient of appropriate age". A positive or attractive gradient [also including propinguity and kinship] was defined as to "exert steady pressure against the […] negative or repelling gradients" [including ethnocentrism, exogamy, adultery, and homosexuality]. Murdock deals with age-disparate eroticism only in the (Freudian) context of "incest" (p291-5), while his concept of "appropriate age" seems applicable only to marital selection.

[35] Bryant, C. D. (1977) Sexual Deviancy and Social Proscription. New York: Human Sciences Press. Thus, "inappropriate age is an important consideration in the social control of sexual behavior and merits detailed examination".

[36] Sears, R. R., Maccoby, E. E. & Levin, H. (1957) Patterns of Child Rearing. Evanston, Illinois: Row, Peterson

[37] Francoeur, R. T. & Francoeur, A. K. (1976) The Pleasure Bond: Reversing the Antisex Ethic, Futurist 10, 4:176-80; Money, J. (1991) Epidemic Antisexualism: From Onanism to Satanism. Paper presented at the 10th World Congress of Sexology, Amsterdam, June. Cf. Money, J. (1992) Epidemic antisexualism: from onanism to satanism, in Bezemer, W. et al. (Eds.) Sex Matters. Amsterdam [etc.] : Excerpta Medica, p201-9

[38] Krivacska, J. J. (1991) Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs: The Prevention of Childhood Sexuality? Paper presented at the 7th Midcontinent Annual Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, June 9. Cf. Krivacska, J. J. (1992) Child sexual abuse in programs: the prevention of childhood sexuality? J Child Sexual Abuse 1,4:83-112; and Krivacska, J. J. (1993) Antisexualism in child sexual abuse prevention programs, Issues Child Abuse Accus 5,2; Underwager, R. & Wakefield, H. (1993) Antisexuality and Child Sexual Abuse, Iss Child abuse Accus 5,2:[72-7]

[39] E.g. Carpenter, L. M. (2001) The Ambiguity of "Having Sex": The Subjective Experience of Virginity Loss in the United States, J Sex Res 38,2:127-39. "Male and female teenagers receive different and often conflicting messages about sexuality from diverse sources; their parents' lack of frankness about sexual intercourse contrasts sharply with the media's emphasis on sex and with highly rationalistic discussions about sexuality in schools, complicating adolescents' decisions about entering and continuing sexual relationships". Brooks-Gunn, J. & Furstenberg, F. F., Jr. (1990) Coming of age in the era of AIDS: puberty, sexuality, and contraception, Milbank Quart 68, Suppl. 1:59-84. " "Ambivalence" is a good word to describe the feelings that women reported. While at least half of the women who talked about this issue were pleased that their bodies were developing, that they were transitioning from child to adult status, these positive feelings tended to be accompanied by strong negative feelings of self-consciousness and embarrassment. This ambivalence seemed to center on the fact that menarche represented emerging sexuality". Lee, J. & Sasser-Coen, J. R. (1996) Memories of Menarche: Older Women Remember Their First Period, J Aging Stud 10,2:83-101. Condom use is affected by "deep ambivalence regarding sexuality in general, women's sexuality in particular, and adolescent girls' sexuality in specific"; Rostosky, Sh. S., Galliher, R. V. & Welsh, D. P. (1998) Gender-Roles, Power, and Condom Use in Adolescent Dating Relationships. Paper presented at the 106th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 14-18. "In modern industrial societies the dominant frameworks of meaning have fractured and hence the menarche is experienced in complex and ambiguous terms. The transition is ambiguous as it relies on cultural representations of being a child and an adult at the same time". Britton, C. J. (1996) Learning about "the curse": An Anthropological Perspective on Experiences of Menstruation, Women's Stud Int Forum 19,6,12:645-53. Cf. Moore, S. M. (1995) Girls' understanding and social constructions of menarche, J Adolesc 18,1:87-104

[40] Africa: Chaga, Kikuyu, Hausa, Dakarkaki, Nyakyusa, Xhosa, Tebu, Swazi, N'Jemp, Amazulu, Kipsigis, Venda, Pedi (debated), Bemba; U.S. (humping)

[41] See for instance a sketch by Martinson, F. M. (1974) The Quality of Adolescent Sexual Experiences. St. Peter, MN: The Book Mark, p10-22. Also Fine, G. A.(1987) With the Boys: Little League Baseball and Preadolescent Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, esp. chapter "Sexual and aggressive themes of preadolescent boys".

[42] E.g., Mitchell, W. E. (1966) The baby disturbers: Sexual behaviour in a childhood counterculture, Psychiatry 29,4:367-77. Reprinted in Bryant, C. D. (Ed.) Sexual Deviance in Social Context. London: New Viewpoints, p65-81

[43] Cf. for instance, Plummer, K. (1984) The social uses of sexuality: Symbolic interaction, power and rape, in Hopkins, J. (Ed.) Perspectives on Rape and Sexual Assault. London: Harper & Row

[44] E.g., Mac an Ghaill, M. (1996) Deconstructing heterosexualities within school arenas, Curriculum Stud 4:191-207

[45] Dietrich, L. C. (1998) Chicana Adolescents: Bitches, 'Ho's, and Schoolgirls. Westport, CT: Praeger, esp. chapter "Sex and Love"; Hillman, Ph. L. (2000) Negotiating the Dominant Sexual Script: Middle-Class Black Girls Tell Their Story, DAI-A 60, 7, Jan,2698-A

[46] Raffaelli, M, Campos, R, Merritt, A. P. et al. (1993) Sexual practices and attitudes of street youth in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Soc Sci Med 37,5:661-70

[47] Renold, E. (2000) "Coming Out": Gender, (Hetero)Sexuality and the Primary School, Gender & Educ 12,3:309-26

[48] Paige, K. E. & Paige, J. M. (1981) The Politics of Reproductive Ritual. Berkeley (etc.): University of California Press

[49] Sears, R. R., Maccoby, E. E. & Levin, H. (1957) Patterns of Child Rearing. Evanston, Illinois: Row, Peterson

[50] Kinsman et al. (2000) provided an interview based study of Baganda adolescent sexual socialisation. In rural Masaka, parental coitus is observed by children due to the narrow living confinements. Weddings, commonly identified as sexarchic events, provide another opportunity; apart from hide-and-seek and "mother and father", weddings games are played where the children "smooch or fondle each other".

[51] Mayer, Ph. & Mayer, I. (1990) A dangerous age: from boy to young man in Red Xhosa youth organizations, in Spencer, P. (Ed.) Anthropology and the Riddle of the Sphinx. London & New York: Routeldge, p35-44

[52] The author points out that "[t]he Dogon express the idea of sexual maturity in two ways: [...] "he who knows speech" and [...] "he who knows shame". Mastery of speech and decent behaviour are prerequisites to marriage according to Dogon rules. This is why the child's acquisition of language, particularly that of the little girl, is supervised so carefully". This also relates to verbal sexual instructions. A puberty, the girl receives her "hidden speech" or "speech of the bedroom". Later, when she goes to the "house of the old woman", the girl receives another education called "outside speech".