Growing Up Sexually



IES: Russia



YAKUT (Siberia)



There is reason to consider that betrothal of young children was almost general among the Yakuts (Kharuzin, 1898)[1]. The Yakut betroth their children when only one of two years old (Czaplicka, 1914:p108)[2]. “[…] [S]ome Ykut Mothers are reported to masturbate their infants to calm them” (Ford, 1945 [1964:p20]). Popov (1946:p12-3)[3]:


“The Dolgani [ethnologically, comprised of Yakut and Tungus clans Dolgan, Dongot, Edjan or Edzhen, and Karanto or Karóntuo] thought that devka abasy [an evil spirit] would visit boys at night and would attempt to enter into sexual intercourse with them. In former times a shaman would then be called upon to mend matters by conducting a religious ceremony. In conducting it the shaman would use rotten wood to construct an image of a woman and upon sucking the devky abasy with his lips out of the child would blow the spirit of the woman into the image. The shaman would then go through the gestures of having a sexual intercourse with the image, after which the latter was sent into the subterranean world. This was achieved by burying the woman into the ground after the ceremony was over”.


Sieroszewski ([1896]:p887)[4]:


“[…] it is not without interest to note that a boy is fed separately from his sisters once he reaches the age of ten or twelve. At this age he stops sleeping in one bed with them; he is given a bed of his own. This involves a certain expense, and is caused, I think, not so much by a feeling of shame as by an ancient prohibition, ai. It happens sometimes that these same sisters walk about completely naked, unembarrassed at the presence of grown brothers, and without any formality sometimes carry on such conversations and jokes with them as would embarrass the most cynical European”.











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] Kharuzin, A. N. (1898) The Juridicial Customs of the Yakut. Moskova: Obshchestvo Liubitelei Estestvoznaniia Antropologii i Etnografii, Etnograficheskoe Otdelenie

[2] Op.cit.

[3] Popov, A. A. (1946) Family life of the Dolgani people.[eHRAF]. Moskva: Izd-vo Akademii nauk, p50-74

[4] Sieroszewski, W. ([1896]) [The Yakut: An Experiment in Ethnographic Research]. Moskva: Assotsiatsiia 'Rossiiskaia Polit. Entsiklopediia' [eHRAF]