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Culture and sexuality

Phillips Stevens, Jr.

State University of New York at Buffalo, United States

Human sexuality is about much more than procreation; indeed, it is central to culture. It can be
argued that all of social organization rests on the
recognition and regulation of two fundamental
biological capacities: sociality and sexuality. And
the biologically-based sex drive and cultural
responses to it both shape and are manifested in
many dimensions of cultural belief, expectations,
and behavior. The most comprehensive understanding of sexuality is through perspectives
offered by anthropology.

Anthropological perspectives
First, culture needs some explanation. Popularly,
it means a societys current trends and fashions,
the sense conveyed in the quarterly journal
Sexuality & Culture (Springer). In its anthropological sense, culture is the capacity for symbolic
thinking and communication, which is revealed
through knowledge, beliefs, behavior, and
products, and which distinguishes people from
other animals. It is human, and biologically
based. Anthropology studies culture ethnographically, focusing on the cultural system of a specific
society; and ethnologicallycross-culturally,
comparing ethnographic data across a region and

between regions, ultimately to arrive at general

statements about humankind. Culture is a system,
and a premise of anthropology is that no single
part can be fully understood without examination of its interconnections with other parts of
Anthropology itself is a cultural endeavor,
and the questions anthropologists pose reflect
the current concerns of their own culture. For a
long time sexuality was tacitly considered private, and anthropological investigations were
sporadic. Indeed, it was not until the middle of
the twentieth century, with the intensification
of scientific investigation of sexuality in EuroAmerican countries, that anthropology began
to examine sexuality; but even by 1987 two
anthropologists stated that it was not yet a
recognized focus within the field (Davis and
Whitten 1987). This encyclopedias editors
have tried to rectify this delay through a comprehensive basic textbook (Bolin and Whelehan
2009). Anthropology has shown that what is
considered sexual has very different ranges of
meaning across cultures. Most importantly,
anthropological studies of sexuality reveal that
whereas sexuality is biologically constant, sexual behavior and meaning differ considerably
cross-culturally. This entry discusses some of

The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, First Edition. Edited by Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin.
2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/9781118896877.wbiehs110

c u lt u r e a n d s e x u a l i t y

the cultural dimensions of this most basic

function of humanity.

Societal regulation of sexual behavior:

Sexuality is clearly at the very foundation of
human society. In most societies, sexual
maturity the ability to procreatemarks

entry into adulthood, although often a cultural

ceremony of initiation occurs much later. In
most cultures social adulthood is distinguished
by some permanent alteration of physical
appearance, in physiology and/or dress. In
about a third of the worlds cultures a form of
surgical alteration of the genitals is performed
at such ceremonies of passage from one social
status into the next. Male circumcision and any
of the forms of female genital surgery are associated with rites of passage; both seem to be
conducted more frequently at puberty than in
infancy or preliminary to marriage. In a few
areas of the world, notably aboriginal Australia,
the radical practice of penile subincision was
performed. This practice is often cited as evidence of male envy of female reproductive
capacity and the efforts of men to acquire some
of that power through the magical principle of
similarity. The subincised penis resembles the
vulva, and the subincised male must squat like
a woman to urinate. (Contraception, valuable
among hunter-gatherers who can support only
small numbers of people, has been suggested as
a latent function of subincision.) Male envy of
womens ability to create and deliver life has
been offered as a psychoanalytic explanation
for both male genital blood-letting, which has
been documented in parts of New Guinea and
tropical Africa, and for the severe misogyny of
late medieval Europe.
Although a minority of the worlds peoples
conduct any form of genital surgery, such operations have been very controversial for some
centuries. Their origins, health, possible symbolic
meanings, and socio-political implications have
been hotly disputed. Male and female genital
surgeries are firmly linked with social status and
with eligibility for marriage and procreation, but
they are extremely complex issues and will not be
discussed extensively here.

The process of initiation into adulthood may

be lengthy, involve separation of the initiates
from society for a time, and involve active instruction in and experimentation with sexuality.
Menstrual blood may be a focus of such activity
for both girls and boys. For girls, the first menses
signifies the beginning of the transition; universally, menstrual blood is intimately associated
with reproduction, and hence it is extremely
powerful. In the desire to enhance their own
adult reproductive powers, in some societies,
notably in New Guinea, boys mutilate their own
genitals to cause blood to flow. Anthropologists
Ian Hogbin (1996) described menstruating men
in Wogeo, and Gilbert Herdt (1993) described the
role of self-mutilation, and also of homosexual
behavior among Sambia initiates. (Sexual power
and homosexuality will be discussed in further
detail later.)
Sexual attraction is a feature of puberty; it too
is biological, although scientists acknowledge
that the exact nature of hetero- (or homo-) sexual
attraction is not clearly understood. It is recognized that specialized sensory communication is
involved, as in all animals; among primates, the
females estrus cycle generates both visual and
olfactory stimuli which trigger gonadal, emotional, and behavioral responses in the male.
Among monkeys and apes, sexual activity is seasonal, hence births occur around the same time,
and the social structure of the group varies
accordingly. The group coalesces for the protection and provision of mothers and infants; juveniles mature quickly, and the group disperses
again. Among humans, estrus has evolved into
menses, and sexual attraction and activity are
continuous. Hence, children are born throughout
the year, childrens dependency is greatly lengthened, and the social structure cannot vary. The
relevance of sexuality in cultural issues of romantic love, and of monogamy vs. polygamy, are
other areas of scholarly dispute.
Early anthropologists, influenced by nineteenthcentury evolutionism and by the behaviors of
non-human primates, postulated a period in
human history before marriage was instituted,
called primitive promiscuity. A principal function
of marriage is legitimation of sexual relations, and
the definition of incest is primary in cultural identification of marriageable partners; both were deemed
essential in the civilizing process. The definition of

c u lt u r e a n d s e x u a l i t y

incest varies across cultures, but everywhere it is a

serious taboo. So important is the avoidance of
nuclear family incest that some metaphors may
parallel it, for example, eating and seeing. In old
Judaism sexuality is at the basis of many prohibitions. The puzzling commandment, You shall not
boil a kid in its mothers milk, repeated three times
(Exodus 23: 19, 34: 26; Deuteronomy 14: 21), may
relate to the commandments against intra-familial
sexual relations, as expressed in Leviticus 18, where
the euphemism to uncover the nakedness of is
used. Thus is explained the curse of Ham, who saw
the nakedness of his father, Noah (Gen. 9, 2027).
The Negroid peoples were considered descendants
of Ham; and this enduring belief justified the
European institution of African slavery. In
Deuteronomy 27 the curses of Shechem are
explicit, four of them condemning sexual relations
with the mother (in this strongly patriarchal
society, fathers wife, v. 20); and animals (v. 21;
because Dinah was raped by Shechem, son of
Hamor, which means ass in Hebrew; see Genesis
34), sister, v. 22, or mother-in-law, v. 23. For similar
prohibitions in Islam, see Quran 4: 23.
Anthropological data indicate that sexual
relations within the nuclear familybetween
parents and children, and between siblingsare
universally forbidden (in spite of the apparent
exceptions of certain monarchies in which mate
selection was governed by pride of blood, as in
early Polynesia or classical Egypt, where the rulers
consort might be his sister); but wider marital
relations (e.g., between cousins) are variously
regulated. Commission of incest violates very
serious supernaturally sanctioned laws of nature
and may result in a terrible catastrophe in the
family and in the wider community. Incest is
potentially socially disruptive, as are adultery and
homosexuality, and it is likely the need for social
stability that first generated prohibitions against
such acts.
The social regulation of sexuality is at the basis
of the current Islamic and earlier Hindu and
Persian institutions of purdah (the seclusion of
women) outside the home by various degrees of
veiling, and at home in the harem, the womens
quarters. In fundamentalist Islam, as in medieval
Christian Europe, the allure of female sexuality
was regarded as a powerful distraction from
devotion to God by both genders, and as a favorite
channel for Satans work of subversion.

Cross-culturally, sexuality is frequently strongly

associated with social status. In many traditional
areas of the world sexuality is a vital component
of adulthood, and fertility is a measure of fulfilling ones adult potential. Barrenness can be a
cause of deep shame in women and greatly pitied
by the wider society; the same is true for impotence and/or infertility in men. This widespread
sentiment can explain the often puzzling fact of
the continued production of large families even
in situations of dire and obvious poverty.
Deprived of other opportunities to display adult
success, men and women may eschew free contraception and utilize their only remaining status
marker: fertility.

Cosmology and supernaturalism:

Sexual power
In traditional societies sexuality is frequently
central in myths of cosmogony. There are many
variations on an idea of a Great Mother who was
inseminated by the Supreme Being and gave birth
to the gods and to the first people. This is common
in Asian religions, but also in sub-Saharan Africa
and elsewhere. The primal sex act may feature
strongly in peoples ritual observances; see, for
example, depictions of the Great Mother with
huge distended vulva, in Australian aboriginal
rock art; the prominent vulvae on many African
shrine sculptures; and the many sculptural variations on the yoni/lingam complex in Tantrism.
The ancient Sanskrit text Kama Sutra, the
celebrated and misunderstood guide to Hindu
sensuality, is a detailed guide to the achievement
of kama, sensual satisfaction, one of the goals
of the fulfilled Hindu life. The text is roughly
2,000years old and apparently has a human scribe,
Vatsyayana, but its origin is in a much older myth.
That story says that Nandi the bull, the mount of
Lord Shiva and gatekeeper to Shivas residence,
was so moved by the sounds of Shivas love-making
with his wife, Parvati, that he emitted the sacred
utterance which was to become the Kama Sutra,
to benefit humankind. Sexual energy is sacred,
the basis of life itself. Semen, containing the male
life force, is finite in quantity, and a purpose of
Tantrism is to achieve the divine ecstasy while
conserving semen. The sacred sexual energy is
the basis for kundalini, fundamental to the yoga

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experienceindeed, yoga originally focused on

ritual sex; Hatha Yoga, the early parent form, was
a branch of Tantra. These roots, long forgotten
and unknown to Euro-American enthusiasts,
emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, resulting in
widespread sex scandals and lawsuits against
prominent gurus and ashrams; and again in
Anusara yoga in 2012.
Cultural representation of parallels between
cycles of human and natural fertility is probably
universal, certainly in horticultural societies, and
such representation can structure the conduct of
religious and magical ritual. The calendar year
progresses in a regular cycle of birth, growth,
death, reproduction, and rebirth. Fertility of the
earth, always feminine, results from her union
with sky elementssun and rainconceptualized as masculine. Male and female symbolic
elements are often evident in the layout of ritual
areas and the construction of temples, and in the
conduct of many calendrical rituals.

Taboo and pollution

Everywhere there are restrictions on contact
between men and women, and sexuality is at their
root (Gilmore 2001). The process of reproduction
is everywhere miraculous and powerful, and
hence the female and male sex organs are the sites
of extraordinary and potentially dangerous power
of a supernatural, mystical sort. From time to
time in various parts of the world, rumors spread
about murderous gangs involved in a trade in
body parts, especially sexual organs, sold and
used magically for personal gain. In Nigeria in
2003 some instances of examination of boys genitals and virginity testing of schoolgirls as part
of public health efforts to curb the spread of STDs
and HIV/AIDS, led to brief rumor panics.
Sexual power is a form of a vital energy that is
universally believed to be present in nature, in
varying forms and intensities. Such energy is often
in, or closely associated with, vital life components
like blood and breath. The power increases with
social and cosmological status; priests, monarchs,
and spiritual beings may have so much of it that
they are potentially dangerous to ordinary people,
and are ritually avoidedtabu in Polynesia and
Melanesia. Menstrual blood and semen are
especially potent. Such restrictionstaboosare

necessary to avoid ritual pollution, the mixing of

two strong types of power, which can severely
interfere with personal fortune or the broader
social order. Menstruating women, and women
and men who have had sexual relations, are
subject to varying restrictions; see the several
descriptions of sexual uncleanness in the Bible,
especially in Leviticus 12 and 15.
For late medieval Christians, guided by the
ancient divine commandments in Leviticus, contact with sexual activity was dangerously polluting. An official explanation for the enforced
celibacy of the Catholic priesthood was that the
priest must not risk being contaminated by contact with sexual activity, which could mar his
most important ritual acthandling the sacred
elements of the Eucharist during their miraculous
Transubstantiation (although historians have
noted the Churchs potential problem of control
of inheritance for married priests).
In many areas of the world, nudity in adults is
potentially polluting; people who associate with
food or human health or religious ritual must be
certain their genitals are fully covered.
Most instances of such genital pollution are
inadvertent, but in some areas, best documented in
Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, people know
full well the mystical power in their genitals.
Menstruation diminishes female genital power; so
the power is greatest in children or post-menopausal women, and it has been widely believed that
venereal disease in men can be cured by sex with
children or elderly women. Belief in the virgin
cure for AIDS has been a problem in Africa. And
the threat by a large group of women of exposing
their genitals, potentially releasing terrible power,
has been recorded as a last-ditch effort in political
negotiation. A well-documented modern (2002)
example was the successful occupation of a
Nigerian offshore oil rig by 600 unarmed postmenopausal women who persuaded company
administrators and their armed guards to back
down and make concessions regarding employment, education, and environmental degradation.

Sexuality, magic, and supernatural evil

Probably universally, people believe that sexuality
can be enhanced through magical aphrodisiacs,
such as John the Conqueror root (St. Johns Wort)

c u lt u r e a n d s e x u a l i t y

in the American south (the root resembles a

scrotal sac) or rhinoceros horn in Asia (phallic).
The power in the male and female reproductive
organs is so strong that it can be transferred
symbolically for either personal aggression or
defense. Homeopathic magic with sexual symbolism has been utilized for millennia, from
representations of male and female genitalia
found in Upper Paleolithic sites, including the
famous Venus figurines with exaggerated breasts,
hips, and genitals, to modern instances of sexual
magic, such as ethnographic instances of intercourse between men and women at the edges of
newly plowed and sown fields, or the folklore
motif of a pregnant woman walking naked behind
a plow, perhaps by moonlight. The small cowry
shell (Cypraea moneta), introduced into Africa by
fifteenth-century Portuguese traders and widely
used as special-purpose money, is magically used
as a charm or amulet for personal defense in
Africa and elsewhere because of its resemblance
to the vulva; and in prehistory and around the
world horns, inspired by the erect phallus, are
similarly used.
Similarly, aggressive or protective hand gestures incorporating sexual symbolism have long
been used situationally in Europe and the Middle
East. Common examples are the horned hand, a
fist with pointer and pinkie fingers extended; the
phallic arm jerk (or the middle finger jerk in
America), conveying insult or contempt; the fig
hand, the fist with tip of thumb protruding
between the first two fingers, representing the
vulva, and others. Small sculptural representations of some of them are worn or displayed as
protection against the evil eye in the Middle East
and Mediterranean countries.
Alternatively, ones sexuality can be the target
of evil mystical power inflicted by jealous
competitors through sorcerylearned magical
practice or demon invocation. Anthropologist
Phillips Stevens (1982) recorded the example of a
woman who left her native Barbados to take a job
as a nanny for a family in Canada. In a subsequent
affair with a man she experienced sexual discomfort and blamed her jilted boyfriend who had
kept a pair of her panties as a memento, which
she became convinced he was using in sorcery, in
a clear example of contagious evil magic.
Far more dreadful sexual damage can be
caused by witchcraft, the term anthropologists

use for an innate and sometimes involuntary

power which compels people to work in selfish
and anti-social ways. A belief in flying, transforming, child-stealing witches, motivated by
sheer spite, existed in most settled, complex societies and persists in many traditional areas today.
Witches embody the opposite of positive social
values, and grossly distorted sexuality is everywhere a feature. They violate all sexual prohibitions; they go about naked; they engage in
whatever sexual activities society abhors and
forbids, such as bizarre sexual positions, or pedophilia and pederasty, homosexuality, bestiality
and always incest. In the Bible most such sexual
transgressions are clearly designated as capital
offenses (Leviticus 20; some laws against incest
and bestiality are repeated in Deuteronomy 27:
20, 21, 22, 23, wherein offenders are cursed).
The sexuality of witches victims is a favorite
target. Witches are frequently blamed for impotence and barrenness; and also for the occasional
waves of hysteria characterized by penis-retraction, or even penis theft, which have been recorded
throughout history and around the world, usually
correlating with times of extreme social stress.
The Malleus Maleficarum, the medieval European
inquisitors handbook, tells of witches propensity
to steal mens penises and store them in birds
nests in trees. Culturally institutionalized
instances of mass hysteria characterized by such
fears, a syndrome widely known as koro, have
been recorded in such numbers, even in modern
times, that they constitute a separate genitalretraction taxon in the classic work, The CultureBound Syndromes (Simons and Hughes 1985).
In late medieval Europe sexuality was officially
considered repulsive, evil, and even the domain
of Satan. Satan himself often appeared as a handsome man to young peasant girls, in order to
seduce them and make them his servants. Witches
were Satans human agents; but he also had sexual
demons at his command. Eroticism was a sure
sign of the devils interest. Sexually arousing
dreams were evidence of nocturnal demonic
visitation by an incubus (pl. incubi), a male
demon that sexually attacked sleeping women; or
a succubus, a female demon who aroused sleeping men. These were Satans agents; or perhaps
were manifestations of Lilith. In medieval Jewish
folklore Lilith, the first wife of Adam, defied
Gods plan that she be subservient to Adam and

c u lt u r e a n d s e x u a l i t y

departed and roamed the world as a tormenting

demon. Some scholarship has suggested an old
Assyrian class of female demons, lilitu, as the
origin of this idea.
Obscene sexual activity at the witches Sabbat,
a periodic gathering of the witches in a community, was a favorite subject of late medieval and
Early Modern artists. Men and women engaged
in sexual intercourse with each other and with
demons. Satan often appeared at the Sabbat as an
adult male goat, the embodiment of sexual randiness. The final act of initiation of a new witch was
The Obscene Kiss, made by the neophyte on
Satans anus. Some representations of Satan show
a face on his buttocks, as if he could return the
kiss! At some time in the late Middle Ages popular elements in the Sabbat and the Catholic Mass
coalesced into the legend of the Black or Satanic
Mass, which seems to have reached its fullest
form in late seventeenth-century France, during
the reign of Louis XIV. Witches, agents of Satan
and arch-enemies of Christ and God, performed
an obscene parody of the Mass in which elements
of liturgy were reversed or replaced. The ultimate
acts of blasphemy were the murder of babies and
the ritual consumption of their flesh and blood,
the obscene Eucharist performed on the spreadeagled body of a naked young woman as the altar,
and the priests sexual congress with the woman.
Many elements from the witchcraft scares of
the Early Modern period emerged again in the
Satanism scares that panicked many parts of the
world from 1980 to around 1995, especially illicit
sexual behavior. The old legend of the Black Mass
reappeared, and a new phenomenon, satanic
ritual abuse of children, became such a common
allegation in popular psychology that it was
referred to by its initials, SRA. Variations of
accounts of SRA featured a great variety of alleged
sexual abuses of children performed by adults in
satanic worship. These allegations were shortly
followed by elaborate revelations of repressed
memories by middle-aged men and women of
their own sexual abuse as children by their parents and their parents cult-mates. The combination of the two ancient allegations of illicit sexual
behavior and torment and murder of children
with the accusation of child sexual abuse so
enrages people that standard patterns of social
justice, like the presumption of innocence, are
overturned, and mob reaction and witch-hunting

can result. A modern illustration is the extremely

harsh penalties for child pornography given by
Euro-American courts.

Other sexualities
Homosexuality is universal, found in all human
groups and in many animals as well; but its cultural treatment has been mixed. Public attitudes
in Europe and the United States were generally
negative, influenced by the unequivocal commandment in Leviticus 20: 13 (New Revised
Standard Version): If a man lies with a male as
with a woman, both of them have committed an
abomination; they shall be put to death, their
blood is upon them. Because sexuality was not a
common topic for investigation by scholars in
other areas of the world, it is difficult to know
what traditional attitudes were. There is considerable evidence to indicate that prior to Christian
incursions many societies were traditionally
tolerant of homosexuality, even sometimes giving
homosexual people special societal accommodations. In aboriginal North America male and
female homosexual, transsexual, and berdache
(cross-gendered and transvestite) people, generally called two spirit people, had a variety of
respectable roles before their intolerant and even
cruel treatment following European contact
(Jacobs, Thomas, and Lang 1997; Roscoe 1998).
Similarly, Africa (Epprecht 2008) had a range
of sexualities up to about the last two centuries
when European and U.S. agencies promoted the
image of a universally heterosexual African
identity, and homophobia, sometimes virulent,
developed along with modernization into proposals for death penalty legislation in Nigeria,
Uganda, and elsewhere.
Although sex researchers from Victorian times
had noted the regularity of different sexualities, it
was not until the late twentieth century that
they became widely recognized. The term
homosexuality is of nineteenth-century origin.
Heterosexual first appeared only at the end of
the nineteenth century and remained seldom
used until Gay Rights and other anti-discrimination
movements forced the wider recognition of a
normal range of human sexualities: lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender. Feminism and the Pill
further expanded public sophistication about

c u lt u r e a n d s e x u a l i t y

sexuality. From the pioneering cross-cultural

studies of Clellan S. Ford and Frank A. Beach in
1951, then later by M. Kay Martin and Barbara
Voorhies (1975), anthropological studies increased
in quantity and sophistication, and ethnology
made further contributionssuch as the wide
range of variant sexualities and widely differing
cultural attitudes toward them, and identification
of so-called third gender roles in some Asian
societies. By the twenty-first century some universities had developed degree programs in LGBT
and Queer Studies.

Sexuality in other areas of culture

Prostitution, called the worlds oldest profession
(though some anthropologists contend that
shamanism would vie for that label) and other
forms of sex work have viable economic roles in
some areas of the world; and sex trafficking and
sexual slavery are serious problems in many
industrializing areas in the twenty-first century.
Pornography is probably timeless and universal,
but has exploded via the Internet and may be
partly responsible for the increasing sexualizing
of moral panics, as Gilbert Herdt (2009) has
Human sexuality probably always has had
political implications, from the case of Lysistrata,
the fifth-century B.C.E. character in a comedy by
Aristophanes who organized the women of
Athens and Sparta to withhold sex from their
husbands and lovers until they agreed to end the
wearying Peloponnesian War; to modern cases of
sexual bribery, seduction, and abuse of personal
power that result in scandals that are ruinous to
established political careers; and sexual violence
rapeas a political tool. Control of sexuality has
been a common feature of political and religious
leaders, from the medieval jus primae noctis
demanded by baronial lords of their betrothed
peasant tenants, to ritual defloration by some
priests or shamans, and similar prime rights to
women demanded by leaders of communes in
modern times. John Humphrey Noyes of the
Oneida Community of New York in the midnineteenth century; David Koresh of the Branch
Davidians of Waco, Texas, in 1993; and Warren
Jeffs of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints of the early

twenty-first century, are modern examples. The

use of sexuality by conniving people has forever
been a favorite theme in literature. The accusation
of engaging in unnatural sexual acts has been a
powerful motivator of persecution, especially in
times of general stress, and has been a favorite
theme in conspiracy theories. And, because
sexuality is such a sensitive topic, allegations of
sexually deviant behavior, such as promiscuity,
seduction of minors, adultery, using public funds
for personal sexual purposes, among others, are
perennially politically effective.
The age of the Internet has seen rapid change
in sexual attitudes. Gay marriage, previously
unthinkable because of divine commandment
(Genesis 2: 24, Matthew 19: 46, Mark 10: 69)
is increasingly acceptable, and the probable
biological basis for sexuality is being more

widely recognized. But because sexuality is so

fundamental to humanity, and because real
change must be systemic, across the world cultural attitudes will remain very slow to change.

SEE ALSO: Bisexuality; Circumcision, Female, as

Sexual Therapy; Circumcision, Male; Genital

Power, Mystical; Heterosexuality, Invention of;
Homosexuality Cross-Culturally; Incest; Pollution,
Sexual; Reproduction; Tantric Sex; Third Gender

Bolin, Anne, and Patricia Whelehan, eds. 2009. Human
Sexuality: Biological, Psychological, and Cultural
Perspectives. London: Routledge.
Davis, Dona L., and Richard G. Whitten. 1987. The
Cross-Cultural Study of Human Sexuality. Annual
Review of Anthropology: 6998.
Epprecht, Marc. 2008. Heterosexual Africa? The History
of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of
AIDS. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press/Scottsville,
South Africa: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
Ford, Clellan S., and Frank A. Beach. 1951. Patterns of
Sexual Behavior. New York: Harper.
Gilmore, David D. 2001. Misogyny: The Male Malady.
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania
Herdt, Gilbert, ed. 1993. Ritualized Homosexuality in
Melanesia. Berkeley, CA: University of California
Herdt, Gilbert. 2009. Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and
the Fight over Sexual Rights. New York: New York
University Press.

c u lt u r e a n d s e x u a l i t y

Hogbin, Ian. 1996. The Island of Menstruating Men:

Religion in Wogeo, New Guinea. Prospect Heights, IL:
Waveland Press.
Jacobs, Sue-Ellen, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang,
eds. 1997. Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender
Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality. Urbana. IL:
University of Illinois Press.
Martin, M. Kay, and Barbara Voorhies. 1975. Female of
the Species. New York: Columbia University Press.
Roscoe, Will. 1998. Changing Ones: Third and Fourth
Genders in Native North America. New York: Palgrave
and St. Martins Press.
Simons, Ronald C., and Charles C. Hughes. 1985. The
Culture-Bound Syndromes: Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric
and Anthropological Interest. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.
Stevens, Phillips, Jr. 1982. Some Implications of Urban
Witchcraft Beliefs. New York Folklore, 8(3-4): 2945.

Further readings
Buckley, Thomas, and Alma Gottlieb, eds. 1988. Blood
Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation. Berkeley,
CA: University of California Press.

Gregersen, Edgar. 1996. Sexual Behavior; and Sexual

Orientation. In David Levinson and Melvin Ember,
eds., Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology,
pp. 11611168 and 11731178. New York: Henry Holt.
Lyons, Andrew P., and Harriet D. Lyons. 2006. The New
Anthropology of Sexuality. Anthropologica, 48(2):
Macmillan series on Critical Studies in Gender,
Sexuality, and Culture.
Markowitz, Fran, and Michael Ashkenazi, eds. 1999.
Sex, Sexuality, and the Anthropologist. Urbana, IL:
University of Illinois Press.
Middleton, DeWight R. 2002. Exotics and Erotics:
Human Cultural and Sexual Diversity. Prospect
Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Stephens, Walter. 2002. Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex,
and the Crisis of Belief. Chicago, IL: University of
Chicago Press.
Suggs, David N., and Andrew W. Miracle, eds. 1999.
Culture, Biology, and Sexuality. Athens, GA: University
of Georgia Press.
Weston, Kathy. 1993 Lesbian/Gay Studies in the House
of Anthropology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 22: