Boys are secluded for three years at age 12,
girls at menarche (Gregor, 1977). A father of a boy who was having
a romance, would say: “That will keep him away from her; I don’t want him to
grow up stunted”.
Children may “play at seclusion” (p114, 226).
Other games require privacy: “women’s sons” (tenejuitãi),
“Mariage” (kanupai), and “jealousy” (ukítsapi) (p113). In one
variation of marriage, “[…] the husbands and wives pair off and go to hidden
areas around the village to engage in casual sex play or, if they are
capable, actual intercourse. The Mehinaku are
sexually free, and most children have had some degree of experience by the
time they are adolescent”. In playing Jealousy, “the boys and girls take
lovers while their spouses are away. When the cuckolded partner returns from
a fishing trip, he discovers his wife and his friend together in the same
hammock. In a fury he pretends to beat his wife while his friend runs off”. Thus,
the children “not only imitate their parents but their parent’s mistresses
and lovers as well” (p114). “There is even a game in which a girl violates
the privacy of the men’s house and the little boys in retaliation pretend to
gang rape her” (p114). “[…] some prepubescent girls enter into casual lesbian
relationships. Since the participants in these experimental affairs are
mercilessly teased if they are exposed, village children must become
acquainted at an early age with the arts of concealment they will employ in
adult life” (p116).
freely discuss sexual matters in their children’s presence and even
incorporate children in their sexual intrigues as bearers of messages or
gifts” (Gregor, 1995:p339).
D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin:
Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology
revised: Sept 2004