It has been suggested that among certain societies like the traditional !Kung of southern Africa, who were tolerant of childhood sexual activity, the concept of virginity was virtually absent. At the other extreme are societies where the honor of a family depends upon the virtue of its women, as is typical for much of the circum-Mediterranean area, where women are secluded, chaperoned, and severely restricted in their activities. In some of these societies, a woman who dishonors her family is killed (Kressel, 1981). Following Goody (1973), Schlegel (1993) explains the emphasis on virginity in certain societies as a by-product of property arrangements at marriage. Where a family must part with considerable property at the marriage of a daughter, young women are confined and restricted to prevent "male social climbing through seduction" (Schlegel, 1993, p. 133).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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