Growing Up Sexually







Featured: Swahili, Wanguru, Turu, Kwere, Shambala, Ngindo, Chagga, Bena, Nyamwezi, Luguru, Kaguru, Sukuma, Subiya, Ngulu, Hehe, Barabaig, Nyakyusa, Gogo, Baraguyu;® Kuria, ®Masai


Dooley[1]: “Vigoli (girls who have not yet arrived at puberty) and young boys before they reach the age of puberty are more or less free from all sexual taboos with one another. When a boy reaches puberty he is forbidden to play any more with vigoli” (p2-3). During the ngoma, Wali (girls who have reached puberty), are “taught all matters of sex. […] During the ngoma the makungwi and all other visitors to the lago, the large grass initiation hut built outside the village, have full permission to discuss sexual matters with the wali. Matters concerning marriage with birth, wives and concubines, and in general all the wali wish to know, are part of the instruction” (p2, 6). Male circumcision at age 8 or 9. MacVigar[2]: “Instructions are given to boys and girls during the respective puberty rites. These rites for the boy generally take place before puberty; for the girl they begin the day first menstruation starts”.












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] Dooley, C.T. (1936) Child-training among the Wanguru. III. Moral education, Anthropol Quart 9,1/4:1-12

[2] McVicar, T. (1934) The relations between religion and morality among the Wanguru, Anthropol Quart 7,1/4:1-5, at p4