Growing Up Sexually






KURDS, KURDISTAN (Turkey, Iraq, Iran)


IndexMiddle East Kurds




Hansen (1961:p110)[1], on the Kurds of Iraq: “As the children always stayed among the adults they obtained all the sexual instruction they could understand, and became aware of all phases of life”. “[…] [T]here seems to be little effort made to conceal sexual intercourse from the children, who, however, are either too sleepy or too well aware of it to find it of much interest” (Masters, 1953)[2]. Also, “[b]oys and girls of the town may mingle freely until the veil separates them at the age of fifteen or sixteen […]. The boys and girls, however, separate into two groups even before the segregation of adolescence takes place. […] Sexual education begins early in life, and does not seem to constitute a disturbing factor until adolescence. There is no standard parental formula for masturbation, and it was said that “some parents beat their children for this, and others advise them”. It might also be noted that obscene language is freely permitted in most Kurdish households, except in the presence of the older males. One, for example, heard a mother call her daughter a “prostitute”, and a little girl, who could scarcely appreciate the meaning of the word, addressed her sister in the same fashion” (ibid.; see p126, 261-3).














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] Hansen, H. H. (1961) The Kurdish Woman’s Life: Field Research in a Muslim Society. Kobenhavn: Nationalmuseet

[2] Masters, W. M. (1953) Rowanduz: A Kurdish Administrative and Mercantile Center. [s.l.]: [s.n.]. New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1996