essay

Sexuality and social control among the Garifuna (Belize)

in her prime : a new view of middle-aged womenS. Hadley, Mass. • Published In 1985 • Pages: 86-98

By: Kerns, Virginia.

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.
Subjects
Ethnophysiology
Sex
Reproduction
culture
Garifuna
HRAF PubDate
2005
Region
Middle America and the Caribbean
Sub Region
Central America
Document Type
essay
Evaluation
Ethnographer-5
Analyst
Ian Skoggard ; 2003
Coverage Date
1974-1976
Coverage Place
Belize
Notes
Virginia Kerns
Includes bibliographical references (p. 98)
LCCN
84014671
LCSH
Garifuna (Caribbean people)