Growing Up Sexually



IndexPacificsMelanesiaSolomon Islands

Tikopia, Kurtatchi, Shortland Isl., Siuai



I could not substantiate Ronhaar (1931:p338) citing Elton (1888:p93) in “children, when comparatively young, seem to have improper intercourse with others”. Somerville (1897:394)[1] states that chastity is no virtue, women and men “as soon as they are of age to do so, may have connection promiscuously, just as they desire”.


Buchanan-Aruwafu and Maebiru (2001)[2] [refs omitted]:


“In Malaita most people would say that talking about sex is taboo. We found that the comfortability people have in talking about sex is contingent on the context, gender, age, and relationships of the people involved in the conversation. Kastom [“Kastomcan be glossed broadly in Solomon Islands Pijin as cultural traditions and beliefs”] does not promote free conversations about sexuality and sexual health between men and women, and parent’s lack of knowledge and confidence does not promote discussions between themselves and their children (Buchanan, Konare and Namokari, 1999; Buchanan - Aruwafu, 2001). We found that only 10 out of 300 young people surveyed in Auki had ever spoken to their parents about sex or reproductive issues. The primary reasons for not talking to parents about sex were fear (49%), possible criticism (21%) and shame (14%); kastom and religion were at the basis of these reasons. Young people’s sources of information around sex were their friends and peers, relatives, partners and school, while health workers were not identified as a source of information about sex and sexual health (Buchanan - Aruwafu, 2001)”.












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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1]Somerville, B. T. (1897) Ethnographical notes in New Georgia, Solomon Islands, J Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 26:357-412

[2] Buchanan-Aruwafu, H. R. & Maebiru, R. (2001) Stiki Lole: Mediating Hidden Desires and Pleasures in Auki Malaita, Solomon Islands. Paper for presentation at the 3rd IASSCS Conference in Melbourne, 1-3 Oct. 2001