IES: Philippines






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Barton (1919:p18)[1] states that marriage took place “at any age”. This encompasses trial marriages (including “primitive sexual mating”) in the dormitories and contract marriage, usually arranged for when the children are “quite small”.

Lambrecht (1935)[2] also stated this was the case with prepubertal children, “although cohabitation and some particularities of secondary importance may be postponed until the spouses have grown up; the crime of adultery has become possible […], and real divorce negotiations must be entered into in order to nullify such a marriage”.

An autobiography (Barton, 1938:p99-100)[3] reveals: “A boy is ashamed to attempt sexual intercourse before puberty, because he fears that when the girl discovers his organ to be small, she will ridicule him or scold him. On the other hand, if a girl is being courted by an unwelcome suitor, she may be glad to have an immature boy sleep with her: when the unwelcome one comes around and tries to get her to leave the side of the immature boy, she can answer, “Málamok! Bokun lalaki dumduma?” [What’s the matter? Isn’t this a male, also?]”. Boys enter the agamang dormitory at age 4 to 7. Masturbation and sex perversions would be absent (“at least I am sure about the latter. There is no positive evidence for the former and no word for either”). Little girls in the mixed dormitory receive a “complete education long before they require it” (p9-10).

Lambrecht (1935:p171)[4] also states that preadolescents may accompany their adolescent “elder aga'mang-mates (ma-iaga'mangcha, “they share the sleeping place of the girls”; ma-iha'ludcha, “they flirt with the girls” […]). One must not however think that boys always go to the sleeping places of the girls to have sexual relations with them: they often go only to talk and to joke with them, and after a certain time go back to sleep in their own aga'mang, or may just sleep there”[5]. The dormitories are entered as early as three or four (Goldman, 1937:p170)[6].









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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Barton, R. F. (1919) Ifugao Law. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press

[2] Lambrecht, F. (1935) The Mayawyaw Ritual, Part II. Washington, D.C.: Catholic Anthropological Conference

[3] Barton, R. F. (1938) Philippine Pagans. The Autobiographies of Three Ifugaros. London: George Routledge & Sons

[4] Op.cit.

[5] See also Ford, C. S. & Beach, F. A. (1951) Patterns of Sexual Behavior. New York: Harper & Row, p190

[6] Goldman, I. (1937) The Ifugao of the Philippine Islands, in Mead, M. (Ed.) Cooperation and Competition among Primitive Peoples. New York & London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., p153-79