View exercise overview
Class size: Any
Source: Produced by HRAF
Does the exercise compare 2 or more cultures? Yes
Subject selection: Single subject specified by teacher
Subjects/OCMS, if applicable: pre-marital sex restrictions
Region selection: open (student choice)
Region, if applicable: Various
Culture selection: Set by teacher
Cultures/OWCs, if applicable: Trobriands, Copper Inuit, Kanuri, Libyan Bedouin, Pawnee
Instructions for navigating eHRAF included? No
Assignments for students to complete in groups? Yes
Assignments for students to complete on their own? Yes
Instructions for Microfiche version? No
Carol R. Ember, Alissa Jordan, Human Relations Area Files
Adapted from Teaching eHRAF Exercise Exercise VI. Sexuality by Carol Ember
In this activity, you will conduct basic research on the diversity of social attitudes towards premarital sexual relations across the globe.
Time: 35 minutes
- HRAF Access
- Worksheet and pen or other materials for recording answers
Student Learning Outcomes:
- At the end of this assignment, you will be able to:
- describe five distinct social perspectives on premarital sexual relations
- Critique notions that certain human sexual behaviors or attitudes are universal, and/or natural/unnatural
- construct effective and efficient search strategies in eHRAF in order to retrieve data relevant to a specific topic/assignment.
Sexual Variation Cross-Culturally
Societies vary markedly in their attitudes towards sexuality. There are innumerable social answers that human societies proffer for such questions as…
- What is sex?
- Who should engage in it, and under what circumstances?
- When, where, and between whom is sexual behavior permissible?
- What authorities manage sex and sexuality and how?
In this assignment, you will compare attitudes towards premarital sexual relations across several societies, observing and analyzing differences in general social permissiveness and restriction towards sexual behavior
Assignment Part 1
- Compare the following societies listed below on their attitudes toward premarital sex. Use subject “Premarital Sex Restrictions” and the culture names listed below in an eHRAF Advanced Search. (15 minutes)
|Society||Pre-Marital Sex Restrictions|
Assignment Part 2
Question #1. Which societies hold similar attitudes towards premarital sex? (3 minutes)
Question #2. Which societies are the most different in their attitudes towards premarital sex? (3 minutes)
Question #3. Which society is the most restrictive of premarital sexual behavior?
Question #4. What sorts of social reasons do they have for being restrictive? (e.g. moral reasons, familial reasons, pragmatic reasons?) (5 minutes)
Question #5. Which is the most permissive?
Question #6. What sorts of social reasons do they have for being permissive (e.g. moral reasons, familial reasons, pragmatic reasons?) (5 minutes)
Resources: Assignment Rubric, Tips, References
The assignment rubric is located in the attached PDF.
- For more exercises and teaching resources related to human societies past and present, explore Teaching eHRAF.
- For a more detailed version of this particular exercise with additional questions and activities check out Exercise 1.21, Exercise VI. Sexuality by Carol Ember
- Check out the Advanced Search Tutorial for detailed instructions on conducting searches in eHRAF World Cultures.