IÑUPIAT, INUPIAT (
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“In general, there was no aura of shame or secrecy about excretory functions, and no reticence in discussing them. During the course of her field work, young girls might say to Jean Briggs “don’t look”, but girls under four and all boys urinated unconcernedly anywhere out of doors”.
Boys and girls in their early teens rarely paired off, most social contacts being sought with the group rather than a given individual. Youths might tease each other with the comment, "You interested in him, right?" but it was not until the age of fifteen or sixteen that Inupiat young people developed a strong interest in members of the opposite sex. At this time, boys began to seek out a particular girl, pay special attention to her, talk with her more than with others, sit beside her in church, and in other ways let her know of his interest. However, except in the most sophisticated segment of the Barrow teenage world, physical demonstrativeness in front of others was deemed improper. And even in Barrow, putting an arm around a girl's shoulder or giving her a squeeze was done in a joking manner - for any open evidence of affection would embarrass both the girl and her friends. Boys rarely visited girls in their homes unless older family members were there; and it was even less common for a girl to visit a boy's home. But as male youths became older, they attempted to arrange clandestine meetings by passing notes at school suggesting a time and place. By the middle teens, girls were very much aware of boys' attentions. Their conversations centered around boys and their activities; they dressed for them, giggled about them, and showed each other secret pictures of their favorite boy friends. The late teens brought more sexual experimentation. Girls did not regularly solicit such involvement, but once initiated, frequently continued. Finding a secluded meeting place presented problems, particularly in winter. Homes of young married couples were often available, although privacy was limited. Parents sometimes expressed concern over this kind of activity, but seldom voiced such opinions openly or directly. Religious precepts did not condone premarital sex, but this seemed to have little effect on the youth's behavior. In earlier times, no clearly defined restrictions were imposed. At infancy, children soon became aware of others sexual activity. By puberty, young men and women occasionally travelled together away from the village, at which time they might contract a quasi-married relationship. Trial marriages were also common - although unbridled promiscuity was viewed with disapproval”.
D. F., Growing Up Sexually.
Last revised: Sept 2004
 Chance, N. A. (1990) The Inupiat