Growing Up Sexually



South America

IES: Brazil


TENETEHÁRA (Central Brazil)


IndexAmericasSouth AmericaBrazilTenetehára





Wagley and Galvão (1949:p78-9)[1] state the Tenetehara children know all, girls from the women in households, boys from playmates. “Small boys invariably know of all extramarital affairs in the village”, in short, “All of them know everything”. There is some masturbation, despite discouragement (“the head (glans) of your penis will stick out and the foreskin will stretch as far as your feet if you do not stop”) and some sex play, in which boys invite girls to come to self-made houses near the village. The girls soon retire, and little boys of five years would be used “as the girl”.








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]Wagley, Ch. & Galvão, E. (1949) The Tenetehara Indians of Brasil. New York: Colombia University Press