Attitudes toward sexuality in Kyrgyz society are generally natural and healthy, but highly private and modest. Attitudes toward practices of premarital sex and extramarital sex differ for males and females. It is generally expected that men might have premarital and extramarital sex, but it is not necessarily accepted, especially by women. There are definite negative attitudes for women having premarital or extramarital sex, but nevertheless it does occur. To some degree, as men and women age there is more acceptance about extramarital sex, but neither gender expects it in their own marriage. In other words it is done, illicitly. Little expression of sexuality is allowed in childhood, and it depends to some extent on whether a child is growing up in an urban or rural environment; the latter is a little more relaxed about innocent experimenting.

Modesty is shown by women who cover their hair or wear a scarf, especially after marriage. In more traditional regions, it is considered immodest for a woman or a man to show their legs, but this is changing as Western influences infiltrate the younger generation. Overall, the Kyrgyz have very few outward expressions of cross-sex identification, nor are male and female homosexuality publicly acknowledged, although it does exist.

Sexuality is also perceived in relationship to producing children. During the intensive Soviet campaign after World War II, Kyrgyz women were encouraged to produce larger families. This campaign was embraced wholeheartedly by the Kyrgyz, since children are considered a sign of great prosperity as well as security for one's old age. The pressure placed on a Kyrgyz woman to have a large family has always been great, since the fertility of a woman—especially the birth of sons—is considered a sign of good fortune for an extended family (Tabyshalieva, 1997).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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