SIOUX(North-American Natives)


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See also: North-America Non-Natives



Data on actual behaviours are few, perhaps because there is “great restraint about mentioning sexual matters to outsiders (MacGregor, 1946:p194)[1][49]. Sioux fathers would lean their sons to masturbate and encourage them to do so on a regular basis (Sarlin, 1975:p377)[2][50] yet this statement seems dubious. Hassrick (1964)[3][51] states: “Even little people’s games such as the Packing Game, First Love and Elope. These games “involved playing as make-believe lovers and parents” (p112), and received “direct impetus by the elders” (p277). They were played at ages 8 to 11, whereas they probably stopped after strict sex segregation soon after age 11. However, Erikson (1945 / 1949:p215)[4][52] observed that boys were allowed more bodily freedom than girls before this age.


“When a girl experienced her first menses, she notified her mother, who took her to a separate wigwam or small tipi. Isolated there for four days, the mother would ceremoniously teach her the art of quill embroidery and moccasin-making. […] After girls reached puberty and were recognized by such rites as the Ball-throwing Ceremony or the Buffalo Sing, they were taught in earnest the arts of tanning and quilling and instructed in the female attributes expected of wives and mothers. Parents were careful to see that their daughters were well informed and well behaved. An outstanding girl brought honor to her parents and commanded a high bride-price”[5].


“"Throwing One Up Like a Ball," played by adolescent girls at the expense of some younger boy, would seem to have been out of place in a prudish culture like the Sioux's. Sanctioned by everyone and involving an obvious, though vicarious, sex satisfaction for the girls, the game may have exhibited the emergence of repressed sexual activities for closely guarded girls in a society where premarital chastity was stressed”[6].



The White Buffalo Ceremony celebrated girl’s pubescence[7].







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][49] MacGregor, G. (1946) Warriors without Weapons. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

[2][50]Sarlin, Ch. N. (1975) Masturbation, Culture and psychosexual development, in Marcus, I. M. & Francis, J. J. (Eds.) Masturbation. New York: International Universities Press, p349-80

[3][51] Hassrick, R. B. (1964) The Sioux. Norman: OklahomaUniversity Press

[4][52] Erikson, E. H. (1945) Childhood and tradition in two American Indian tribes, Psychoanal Study Child 1:319-50. Reprinted in Haring (1949 [1956:255-86]), op.cit.

[5]Hassrick, 1964, p137-8, 323

[6] Ibid., p318

[7]Anderson, J. A.; Hamilton, Henry W.; Hamilton, Jean Tyree (1980) The Sioux of the Rosebud : A History in Pictures. Norman, Okla. University of Oklahoma Press, p149