Kerns, Virginia, 1948-. Sexuality and social control among the Garifuna (Belize)

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Title: Sexuality and social control among the Garifuna (Belize)

Published in: In her prime: a new view of middle-aged women [edited by] Judith K. Brown, Virginia Kerns, and contributors ; foreword by Beatrice Blyth Whiting

Published By: In her prime: a new view of middle-aged women [edited by] Judith K. Brown, Virginia Kerns, and contributors ; foreword by Beatrice Blyth Whiting S. Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, 1985. 86-98 p.

By line: Virginia Kerns

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2005. Computer File

Culture: Garifuna (SA12)

Subjects: Ethnophysiology (827); Sex (830); Reproduction (840);

Abstract: In this article, Kerns examines how middle-aged women, who are past their childbearing years, control the sexual behavior of young women by enforcing 'rules' around the reproductive cycle. Although women are free to engage in premarital sex and do not need any kin's consent to marry, some restrictive rules do apply with regard to the reproductive cycle. For example, a menstruating woman should stay close to home. Also, a pregnant woman must stay in the home and avoid contact with strangers, and must remain faithful during pregnancy. 'Playing around' creates an uncertainty about paternity and therefore denies a child a full set of kin. In general, the rules promote female fidelity and limit contact between men and young women.

Document Number: 20

Document ID: sa12-020

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 98)

Field Date: 1974-1976

Evaluation: Ethnographer-5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 2003

Coverage Date: 1974-1976

Coverage Place: Belize

LCSH: Black Carib Indians

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