Cultural patterning of sexual beliefs and behavior

Ethnology Vol/Iss. 8 Published In Pages: 301-318
By Minturn, Leigh, Grosse, Martin, Haider, Santoah


This paper is concerned with the variation in sexual behavior in humans. Authors test hypotheses regarding the relationships between sexual behaviors and beliefs concerning sex.

Hypotheses (12)

"Marriages will be arranged in societies where adolescents are segregated into same sex groups" (304)Not Supported
". . . the scales for marriage arrangement and ease of divorce are not significantly related to any of the sex practices scales . . . [adolescent sex segregation, sex anxiety, sex charms, attitude toward homosexuality, frequency of homosexuality, and punishment and frequency of rape]" (307)Supported
"Marriages tend to be arranged where homosexuality is accepted and frequent" (307)Supported
"[There is easier divorce in] societies without monetary arrangements . . . in societies with extended family households . . . and in societies with matrilocal residence" (308)Supported
"As predicted, societies which favor homosexuality and have frequent homosexuality are high on the sexual anxiety scale" (308)Supported
"Societies in which homosexuality is a relatively accepted form of behavior for men have a higher incidence of homosexuality than do societies in which such behavior is condemned" (308)Supported
"Marriages are arranged by the couple where independence training is early" (309)Supported
"Homosexuality is more frequent and more accepted in societies with a low initial indulgence of sex in children and a high severity of sex training" (309)Supported
"Societies having male genital mutilations as part of the initiation ceremonies condone or encourage homosexuality. . . . They also have more frequent homosexuality . . . and severely punish rape" (309)Supported
". . . the rape and homosexuality scales show no relationship to Whiting's measure of the length of the postpartum taboo" (309)Supported
"Both rape and homosexuality show significant relationships with the custom of male genital mutilations during initiation ceremonies" (309)Supported
"As predicted, homosexuality is prevalent in societies with . . . low incidence of rape" (309)Supported

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:mas Megan Farrer