Sexuality

Given the strict rules defining appropriate etiquette, it is very difficult to discuss these topics with people, and rare to hear such topics being discussed. Sexuality is publicly referred to mostly through humor, with each gender joking about sexuality in its own way. When members of both genders know each other very well, jokes or stories about sexuality have a hilarious effect.

The k'aan, or hamaca, hammock, of the couple, is where sex takes place, so jokes about sexuality often include references to the hamaca. Given that most Maya homes consist of one room, it is therefore normal for parents to have sexual relations in their hamaca when the children are sleeping. In other words, there is not much privacy, and it does not seem to matter. Sex is therefore seen as "natural." The ideal time to have sex seems to be after marriage. Although this is not followed all the time, women are expected to wait more than men to have sex after marriage. Female sexuality is a topic mainly for women. Sexuality and issues pertaining to one's body are not openly discussed. For example, it is a sin to discuss menstruation with a young girl before her first menses (Elmendorf, 1976). Older women living alone, or widows, can be visited by young men seeking sexual training. If the young man, usually visiting at night, is allowed inside, the implication is that the woman accepts his advances.

It is not clear how Mayas view what Westerners call homosexuality, although it seems to be considered "one's destiny" if one happens to be born with that sexual orientation. A term that is used is ki u chi, "delicious to his or her mouth."

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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