YARUROS (Venezuela)


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Petrullo (1939:p230-2)[1] excuses himself of not knowing “anything” about the sexual development of the Yaruro boy and girl. He “does not know what secret sexual play the children may indulge in, nor does he know whether the unmarried girl has any sexual relations. He thinks that the unmarried do. He also thinks that there is some kind of homosexuality among the boys, and even the men”. The sexes are kept apart from infancy, and the girl is geared toward future marriage. “The children are not kept in sexual ignorance. At least the boys seem to learn something of the sexual functions at an early age. From what I have observed of Yaruro camp life, it seems that no attempt was made to keep knowledge of sex and sexual functions away from the children. In the first place, there is no sense of modesty so far as the sexual parts are concerned […]. Even if there were stronger interest in sex than seemed to exist, there would be little opportunity for the youngster to indulge in any sexual relations, since their playmates tend to be parallel cousins and very often playmates are lacking altogether”. Upon reaching puberty, boys and girls marry if a mate is available, regardless of “considerable” age difference. “Premarital romantic love life may be entirely absent on this account […]”.








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] Petrullo, V. (1939) The Yaruros of the Capanaparo River, Venezuela. Washington: Government Printing Office