Growing Up Sexually


West Punjabi: 3-,3-,3+,4+,4,4;2,2)

PUNJABI (Pakistan, India)



According to Eglar (1960:p92)[1], “[…] marriage is consummated only after [a girl] passed puberty and is between fifteen and eighteen years old”. Among rural Punjabi, marriage takes place on average some four years after menarche[2]. Another study, however found that the mean marriage age of 35-55 year old women was slightly higher than menarche age (mean age at menarche 14.31; mean age at marriage 14.60 years)[3].

As detailed to some extent by Rose[4], “[t]he age at which betrothal may be effected is not fixed, and it varies among different tribes and in different localities, so that it is impossible to generalize regarding it” (p417). Dehli Muhammadans would practice prenatal betrothal (Rose,1917:p53-4)[5].








Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology, Berlin

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Eglar, Z. S. (1960) A PunjabiVillage in Pakistan. New York & Colombia

[2] Fricke, Th. E., Syed, S. H., Smith, P. C. (1986) Rural Punjabi Social Organization and Marriage Timing Strategies in Pakistan, Demography 23,4:489-508

[3] Singh, L. & Ahuja, S. (1980) An estimation of reproductive performance in the women of Punjab, Anthropol Anz 37,4:266-70

[4] Rose, H. A. (1908) Hindu Betrothal Observances in the Punjab, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 38:409-18

[5] Rose, H. A. (1917) Muhammadan Betrothal Observances in the Punjab, Man 17:58-62