Socialization of Boys and Girls

The Yanomami appreciate boys and girls equally. A preference for boys is sometimes expressed verbally, but no differences can be detected in the rearing of boys and girls. If a woman has had several children of the same sex, she generally expresses a desire for a child of the opposite sex. It is considered advantageous to have children of both genders, as the balance of the sexes is essential for the group reproduction. Boys and girls are needed to provide cross-cousins to marry in the future generations—brothers and sisters who live in the same village are the parents of future spouses. Boys and girls are socialized quite similarly, as the important virtues—showing generosity, willpower, and bravery—are the same for both genders. Caretakers enhance these qualifications, by instructing the children in their rhetoric skills and in the exertion of physical strength. Even though it has been stated that girls are brought up to be submissive among the people of the Upper Orinoco (Chagnon, 1992), both girls and boys are encouraged to retaliate if other children attack them (Herzog-Schröder, 2000).

At the age of about 8-10 years boys were traditionally ordered to tie up their penis at the prepuce, as was the custom among men. This tradition is not always followed now; instead boys start wearing a loincloth or shorts.

In early childhood girls often take the responsibility of caring for younger brothers and sisters while their mothers are working. Girls frequently baby-sit collectively and they regularly join the adult women in the gardens or on trips through the forest. Young boys also accompany their mothers, but they have few duties or responsibilities so that at times they look somehow lost. They often "hang out" and are not much help to anybody. Young girls have less leisure time than boys as they are more involved in obligations connected to the family and the household. However, they are much more involved in the system which provides daily necessities, and they take pride "knowing how to do things."

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