Socialization of Boys and Girls

Adults express no gender preference but welcome a male or female equally. Although men spend more time with boys, women spend slightly more time with girls, so that overall there is not a significant difference in how much care young children get (Marlowe, 2002a). Both boys and girls are reared with very little discipline. During the "terrible two's" children throwing tantrums will pick up sticks and beat adults with impunity. The adults will simply fend off the blows and laugh or, at most, make some noise of disapproval rather than take away the stick. However, when the 2-year-olds hit slightly older children, those children do take revenge. Once children have reached 4 or 5 years of age, they are in play groups with similar aged and older children and it is probably those older children who teach the younger ones that they cannot get away with spoiled behavior. By age 5, all children are well behaved and wait on adults without even being asked; for example, when seeing a man getting out his pipe and tobacco, a child will grab an ember from the fire and take it to the man to light the pipe.

Boys usually go naked until the age of 4 or 5 but girls are given a pubic apron or skirt around 3 years of age. They may also be taught modesty, for example, to cross their legs so others cannot see beneath their skirt. Otherwise, there is not much difference in the ways boys and girls are treated by adults, but differences in their behavior begin to emerge nonetheless. For example, while 3 or 4 years old, boys and girls often play together. By age 6 or 7 they more often play in same-sex groups. By age 8-10, boys go foraging or playing with other boys, while girls begin to go foraging with their mothers. Young girls do more work, such as food processing and tending younger siblings.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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