Sexuality

While sexuality is accepted as a natural healthy aspect of life, Navajo people maintain that it must be carefully controlled due to the danger of individuals allowing sexual desire to go awry. The libidinous acts and excesses practiced in the last underworld rendered certain forms of menstrual blood and game animal blood polluting and dangerous in the contemporary world, resulting in strict rules for containment and control of these substances.

Both men and women are believed to have sexual drive, and either gender can initiate a sexual encounter. Sexual interests are associated with visual cues. Navajo people normally avoid direct eye contact in day-to-day associations. To look a member of the opposite sex directly in the eyes is a sexual overture. In addition to cautions against holding hands with, kissing, or fondling a sexual partner in public, Navajo people are taught that it is inappropriate to dance with a clan relative in ceremonial or social contexts (Kluckhohn & Leighton, 1946/1974, p. 201). Sexual avoidance dictates relations amongst cross-sex siblings, sons-in-law and mothers-in-law, mothers and sons, as well as fathers and daughters. In addition to using formal means of address, individuals in these relationships must not make direct eye contact, pass things directly to each other, or be found alone together. Extreme personal modesty is the ideal, with emphasis on concealment of body parts, especially the genitalia. Even among sexual partners, exposure of the sexual organs is considered shameful and embarrassing. Sexual relations are to take place during the hours of darkness, to guarantee privacy, and protect personal modesty (Kluckhohn & Leighton, 1946/1974, p. 91). Furthermore, it is deemed improper for Navajo people to engage in oral sex or to use certain positions during sexual intercourse.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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