Growing Up Sexually


SAN ILDEFONSO (New Mexico; North-American Natives)


More: Arapaho, Assiniboine, Athabascans, Blood/ Blackfoot, Cajuns, Cherokee, Chipewyans, Apache Chiricahua, Comanches, Crow, Dakota, Flathead, Gros Ventre, Hopi, Huron, Ingalik, Copper Inuit, Iñupiat, Iroquois, Kaska, Kiowa-Apache, Klamath, Kwakiutl, Lakota, Mohave, Navajo, Nootka, Ojibwa, Omaha, Point Barrow, Pomo, Powhatans, Qipi, Quinault, Shoshone, Shuswap, Sioux, Tinglit, Walapai,Yokuts, Zuñi

See also: North-America Non-Natives



In New MexicoHammond saw coital play encouraged by adults of both sexes (1913, VI:p36-7, as cited by Brongersma, 1987:p124). Whitman (1963:p423)[1][132]: “Children do not joke about sex or play sexual games. About the age of nine the sexes tend to separate [sic]”. Whitman (1947:p51-2)[2][133] states: “On questions of sex the people of San Ildefonso are extremely reticent. Children are taught at an early age not to ask about it. They are told that they are too young to know about such things. In general we found comparatively little interest in the subject expressed either in word or action. Upon careful observation we learned that from about the age of six to the age of ten or eleven small boys do not discuss sex among themselves or refer to their own genitalia or to those of others. Few jokes in relation to sex are made by adult men […] The exposure of the genitalia of little boys and girls appeared to be taken for granted by older groups […]. We were told that when girls reach the age of thirteen, probably at the time of puberty, conception is explained to them by their mothers. Fathers council their sons of about the same age. From the age of twelve, girls who show any interest in boys are said to be “crazy” about them. I have heard the same expression applied to boys who took an interest in girls”. In general, children are told “when they are big”, and shielded from anything that might horrify them. Even in adolescence, “[b]oth boys and girls evince little interest in each other” (p64). They were both “usually virgins until about the age of sixteen, when they “run around” with partners of about their own age” forming “liaisons” that are “brief, and though tolerated […] not approved, especially in the case of girls. […] Older men do not run after young girls, nor do older women solicit young men” (p70-1).














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][132] Whitman, W. (1963) The San Ildefonso of New Mexico, in Linton, R. (Ed.) Acculturation in Seven American Indian Tribes. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smit, p390-62

[2][133] Whitman, W. (1947) The Pueblo Indians of San Ildefonso, a changing culture, in Whitman, M. W. (Ed.) New York: Colombia University Press