Growing Up Sexually



Eastern Pomo: (3-,3-,3-,3-,2,2;7,5) eHRAF

 POMO (North-American Natives)


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See also: North-America Non-Natives



Among the Pomo Indians, child betrothal was common (Bean, 1978; Essene, 1942:p29; Gifford and Kroeber 1937:p148–9, 190-1)[1][36]. Before the Ghost ceremony, a boy must not have had sexual intercourse (Loeb, 1926)[2][37]. Loeb: “Before puberty [the girl] was allowed to play with boys, but after this period she was carefully watched. Some families allowed their girls to be promiscuous with young men after puberty, but these families were the exceptions. It was some years after puberty before girls married”. Powers (1877)[3][38]:


“One matter is notable among these Eel River Indians—I observed it more especially among the Kai Pomo—and that is the extreme youthfulness of both sexes when they arrive at the age of puberty. In the warm and sheltered valley of South Fork (however bleak the naked mountain-tops may be in winter), it was a thing not at all uncommon, in the days of the Indians' prosperity, to see a woman become a mother at twelve or fourteen. An instance was related to me where a girl had borne her firstborn at ten, as nearly as her years could be ascertained, her husband, a white man, being then sixty-odd. For this reason, or some other, the half-breeds on EelRiver are generally sickly, puny, short-lived, and slightly esteemed by the fathers, who not unfrequently bestow them as presents on any one willing to burden himself with their nurture”.












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][36] Bean, L. J. (1978) Western Pomo and Northeastern Pomo. Washington: Smithsonian Institution

[2][37] Loeb, E. M. (1926) Pomo Folkways. Berkeley: University of California Press

[3][38] Powers, S. (1877) The Pomo, in Tribes of California. Washington: Government Printing Office, p146-95, 204-17, 491-517