Growing Up Sexually











Premarital freedom is granted provided no pregnancy results (LeBar & Suddard, 1960:p69)[1].

Information about adolescent sexual and reproductive health is scarce, but large-scale surveys show that early marriage and teen pregnancy are common[2], factors contributing to a high risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. Early sexual activity is accepted at the village level, if pregnancy leads to marriage. Many adolescent girls marry as early as 16 years of age and start childbearing soon after. However, in remote districts with ethnic minorities, many girls marry between the ages of 14 and 16. In most cases, marriage is immediately followed by pregnancy. Currently, “[…] marriages before 15 years of age correspond to only 6.8 per cent of the total number of marriages. […] First sexual intercourse at an age younger than twelve is rare [0.5% M, 0.7% F]. The highest percentage for first sexual encounter for both men and women is at age 17-21. The number declined at age 21 or older”[3].




Nya Heun, Nya Hön (Laos)


Wall (1975:p56)[4]: ”Le pénis du petit garçon suscite les amusements habituels. Chaque adulte semble avoir le droit de tirer dessus pour ensuite faire de grosses plaisanteries qui finissent dans un éclat de rire général. Jusqu’à l’âge de la puberté, filles et garçons jouissent d’une liberté relative”.










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] LeBar, F. M. & Suddard, A. (1960) Laos. New Haven: HRAF Press



[4] Wall, B. (1975) Les Nya Hön. Vientiane: Vithagna. Also cited by Duerr, H. P. (1988) Nacktheit und Scham. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp. Vol. 1 of Der Mythos vom Zivilizationprocess. 2nd ed., p201