South America




JIVARO (Ecuador)


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Among the Jivaro, “premature sexual intercourse is prohibited to a youth until he has passed through the initiation for manhood to become what is called a tsémbraca” (Karsten, 1935:p216; Ford and Beach, 1951:p182)[1]. If this rule is violated, he may die (Ford, 1945 [1964:p20]). “Very frequently immature girls of 8 or 9 years of age are purchased as wives. […] Sexual intercourse does not take place, however, until puberty” (Stirling, 1938:p108)[2].







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] Karsten, R. (1935) The Head-Hunters of Western Amazonas. Helsingfors: Centraltryckeriet

[2]Stirling, M. W. (1938) Historical and Ethnographical Material on the Jivaro Indians. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office