Sexuality

Traditionally, the Rungus are very reserved about talking on sexual matters. Discussion of sexual relations is considered to be morally sanctioned against. If men talk about sex or make sexual innuendos in the presence of females, the women ignore the men and talk among themselves about something else. Women are considered to be particularly reluctant in sexual matters. Consequently, information on aspects of coitus is almost impossible to elicit. Children are not instructed in sexual matters.

Menstruation among the Rungus is an unmarked category, both socially and culturally. There is no term specifically to refer to menstruation. A menstruating woman is neither polluting nor purifying, neither propitious nor dangerous. Thus there are no taboos, restraints, or other forms of social separation. Prior to menarche, girls are not informed about menstruation or how to handle it. At menarche a girl turns to her mother for an explanation. A female does not observe any special method of hygiene, except perhaps to bathe more frequently, and she employs no napkins or tampons. During the time of heaviest flow a woman chooses less strenuous tasks which can be performed while sitting on the longhouse gallery.

There is little evidence of sexual antagonism, aggression, tension, or conflict between the sexes and their roles behaviorally, linguistically, or in the projective systems such as are reported in male-dominated societies. Similarly, there is no evidence of aggression or antagonism between the sexes in mockery, jokes, overt statements, or the play of children. Boys do not tease girls or belittle female roles, and girls in their play do not tease boys or ridicule any of the male roles.

Critical to the understanding of gender relations is determination of the degree to which the drives of sex and aggression are intertwined or individuated. Among the Rungus these drives are highly individuated by the soci-ocultural system so that they do not overlap. The result is that the expression of sexual behavior has no aggressive component and aggression in turn has no sexual content. Instead, these drives are so individuated that sex and violence seldom, if ever, are part of the same behavioral environment. Violence and assault are lacking in instances of induced intercourse. A Rungus woman either accedes to or refuses the man's pressures. Women recognize the superior physical power of men. But if she refuses advances, it is stated, then the man proceeds no further. Women do not perceive that their volition in matters of sexual intercourse is ever taken away from them by force. If a man touches a woman's breast or if he throws his legs across her legs as they sit beside each other, these are fineable offenses.

The Rungus men do understand that forced intercourse may occur, although we were unable to collect any clear-cut jural case material on this. But women deny that it could ever happen, as they always maintain the right to refuse any attempts at intercourse. Nor is there any association of aggression in coitus in terms of bodily injury in cases of fornication, adultery, or marital intercourse. There is no evidence or discussion of marks rendered on a partner's body during passionate intercourse. Aggression in coitus was never a matter of discussion among the Rungus, and we have no observational data to suggest that it occurs. Finally, there is no term for rape in the Rungus language.

If there are no witnesses to illicit sexual intercourse but the couple are found out, it is expected that the woman will claim that she was induced to have coitus, that she was not actively inviting sexual relations, and this claim will be accepted.

While females present a reserve and reluctance to engage in discourse or action involving sexual matters, females are subject to the startle syndrome (latah) during which time all sorts of sexual exclamations are uttered. A young girl tripped and exclaimed, "The testicles of my grandfather are golden!" When a toad jumped on her forehead, another married woman shouted her son's name, saying "[his] testicles are stuck to my forehead." Her son was humiliated, as he was sitting beside her. While these actions can violate rules against referring to a person's genitals, these outbursts are not subject to a dispute case. If uttered in anger, such language would involve a fine.

Homosexuality is unknown linguistically or behaviorally.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment