Growing Up Sexually






IndexAmericasNorth-America Non-NativesSerbian Americans

See also: Serbs


Also featured: Mormons, African Americans, North American Hasidic Jews, Italian Americans, North American Armenians, North American Hmong, Chinese Americans, Mexican Americans


Simic (1983)[1][188] notes:


“Perhaps one of the areas of most acute conflict between Serbian immigrants and their children was that of courtship, sexuality, and marriage. On the one hand, parents attempted to exert influence on the selection of a mate and to impose what were by American standards strict codes of sexual morality; while on the other, their children were often attracted by the freedom American young people enjoyed to openly associate with the opposite sex and to choose their own marriage partners. For example, among the narratives collected from American-born Serbs in California a number of middle-aged female informants reported that they had experienced almost complete chaperonage until marriage, while others related that they had led “double lives”, with one standard for Serbian contexts and another for American” (p30-1)[2][189].













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][188] Simic, A. (1983) The Serbian family in America: cultural continuity, syncretism, and assimilation. [eHRAF] [Chicago, Ill.]: North American Society for Serbian Studies, 1,4:21-35

[2][189] It is noted that parental conservatism was apparently not unsuccessful. “In fact, parents often succeeded in at least partially imposing their customs and standards on their American-born children. Sometimes they were so successful in this that, in the words of a Serbian parish priest, “their children were just like the old-timers from Yugoslavia”. It is significant that the inculcation of conservative sexual and social values is inexorably tied to the perpetuation of filial and ethnic sentiments, and those who are most alienated from their parents also appear to be those who are most estranged from their national heritage. Thus, while many individuals have been lost to the Serbian community because of generational and cultural conflict, at the same time there has been a continuity from generation to generation of core ethnics who have maintained parental values and identity”.