Growing Up Sexually




IndexAmericasCaribbean, Middle / Central AmericaMexico Mixtecans




“Handling of a child’s penis buy other children or an adult is expected to have a calming effect” (Ravicz and Romney, 1969:p397)[1]. Children learn about conception “at an early age by asking about cattle that are brought together for breeding purposes. There is little secrecy about the matter although there may be some jesting by the men” (Romney and Romney, 1963:p634-5)[2].


“Socialization of various kinds of sex behavior, including such things as modesty and imitative sex play and masturbation, is handled in a rather casual way during early childhood. There are no specific or severe rules concerning any of these activities at the beginning of early childhood. […] there is a gradual learning process regarding modesty during early childhood. Masturbation and imitative sex play between small children are treated with equal casualness. Parents and caretakers tend to be very permissive concerning these activities at the beginning of early childhood and gradually extinguish such activities, mainly through ridicule, toward the end of that stage. The observations of these activities indicate that masturbation and imitative sex play are not particularly common although by no means unusual” (p659-60).








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] Ravicz, R. & Romney, A. K. (1969) The Mixtec, in Wauchope, R. (Gen. Ed.) Handbook of Middle American Indians.Austin: University of Texas Press. Vol.7, p367-99

[2] Romney, K. & Romney, R. (1963) The Mixtecans of Juxtlahuaca, in Whiting, B. B. (Ed.) Six Cultures: Studies of Child Rearing. New York: Wiley, p545-691