Growing Up Sexually



Father Peile[1] did some observations on the Kukatja (far south-east of

Kimberley Region of WerternAustralia, who allegedly "[...] did not

frown upon occasional sexual liaisons between a father and his

adolescent daughter, a practice they regarded as contributing to her

physical development"; here the term "taltja" is in place. When somebody

once commented to a mother about her daughter's behaviour, the lady

replied, "She got to get big". Roth (1908:6)[[2]] reports that the Tully

river Aborigines allowed a comparatively old man to sleep with a girl -

this was "deemed to make the little girl's genitalia develop all the

more speedily". "A girl might grow up big as a result of an incestuous

liaison. This is not [something] bad, it is good. [It is] not practised

nowadays." (These comments were made by two elderly ladies)." (Peile,

p104). "Rape [...], even of pre-adolescent girls, does occur on

occasion. It generally happens when a man takes by force a girl promised

to him in marriage".


On adolescent sex (p106-7) it is argued that "Girls sometimes masturbate

by themselves or with other girls. Pre-adolescent boys sometimes chase

the girls who allow themselves to be caught. the boys then fondle the

girls' breasts and genitalia. The girls take pleasure in this kind of

sexual play, [and no doubt also the boys!] Nowadays, out in the bush or

of a night, girls sometimes request boys to play with them in this way

with remarks such as "Turuparni!" (No bloomers!) or "Feel me. I've got

nothing underneath." [...] Some younger people practise mutual

masturbation, but this is not homosexuality. [...] Boys masturbate by

themselves and also with other boys. Frequent opportunity for mutual

masturbation occurs during the cold time of the year. Youths are usually

segregated from their families in the camp. They come into close bodily

contact with each other when they sleep together near their small fires.

[...] Older boys sometimes rape smaller boys.Youths also practise anal

intercourse in the prostrate or sitting positions. On occasions, young

men play with the prepuce of small boys, pulling it out like a rubber

band. Boys also do this with their own penes".










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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Peile, Anthony Rex (S.A.C.) & Bindon, Peter (Ed.)(1997). Body and Soul: An Aboriginal View. [Jointly published by Hesperion Press, Carlisle W.A and The Pallottines in Australia, Rossmoyne, W.A.

[2]Roth, W. E. (1908) North Queensland Ethnography. Bulletin No. 10. Marriage ceremonies and infant life. Records of the Australian Museum 7 (1):1–17