Change in Attitudes Beliefs and Practices Regarding Gender

Telecommunication has not stopped at the gates of Upper Xingu. Three of the nine longhouses have a television set, but only one of them is regularly used provided that permission is obtained from the generator's owner. The generator and the television set belong to different people who have to agree to and be recompensed for their use. When there are no ritual performances, a group of young men and women gather to watch the news, football, and/or the "telenovela" (daily soap). Some men translate the series for their wives, and news from the outside world is sometimes intensely discussed. Watching television seems to compete with the gatherings at the men's house. The influence of the telenovela together with experiences of Mehinako men outside the Xingu region is likely to lead to some changes in interpersonal relations within the younger generation. Some of the young men express their discontent about the strict separation of gender spheres and the common rule not to show affection, as well as the strong influence of the parents in marriage decisions. However, Western-style romantic love is still considered to be ridiculous.

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