Pain, fear, and circumcision in boys' adolescent initiation ceremonies

Cross-Cultural Research Vol/Iss. 2017 Sage Published In Pages: 1-29
By Schlegel, Alice, Barry III, Herbert


There will be an association between harsh male initiation ceremonies and training for obedience in late childhood, prior to adolescence


Percentage of societies with strong obedience training increases as severity (of pain and fear) on initiation ceremony increases. For societies without initiation ceremonies, the number of those with weak vs strong obedience is about equal. Thus, "strong training for obedience is a response to multiple conditions and that harsh rituals are only one way of inducing submission to elders(11)."


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Linear chi-squareSupportedp= 0.008UNKNOWNUNKNOWN