Growing Up Sexually



South America

IES: Brazil


KAYAPÓ (Brazil)


IndexAmericasSouth AmericaBrazilKayapó (Ge)






Betrothal occurs at birth (Dreyfus, 1963)[1]. The bleeding at defloration is regarded as identical with menstrual bleeding, an ideology typical of the (p54-5). Defloration occurs early (“[e]lle est très jeune, elle n’a qu’une dizaine d’années, douze tout au plus”), and is observed by a girl’s parent (usually the mother). Marriage is then announced. “[…] the initiation of menarche [sic] among females [sic] of this [unmarried] age grade is thought to be a result of sexual intercourse and to chronologically follow defloration. Age at the time of menarche and first sexual experience do seem roughly to coincide” (Fisher, 2001:p126)[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] Dreyfus, S. (1963) Les Kayapo du Nord. Paris [etc.]: Mouton

[2] Fisher, W. H. (2001) Age-based genders among the Kayapo, in Gregor, Th. A. & Tuzin, D. (Eds.) Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia. Berkeley [etc.]: University of California Press, p115-40