From Oral to Vaginal Sex: Transformation of Gender and Sexual Persons Across 40 years of Sambia Societal Change

Professor Gilbert Herdt

This paper examines the radical transition from traditional to modern sexual culture among the Sambia of Papua New Guinea, an animistic tribal people studied by the author since 1974. Traditionally, the sexual debut of males was via same-sex oral ritualized homosexuality, while the sexual debut of young women was oral sex in which they fellated their fiancé or husband, before advancing on to vaginal sex a few months later. Huge change has occurred over two generations. Historically, Evangelical Christianity entered Sambia sociality in the 1960s through Seventh Day Adventist preaching and disparaging of local social and ritual practice, resulting in erosion of traditional culture.



The 22nd Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health
Recorded in Singapore, July 25-28, 2015
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Gilbert Herdt
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VideoFrom Oral to Vaginal Sex: Transformation of Gender and Sexual Persons Across 40 years of Sambia Societal ChangeGilbert Herdt22'30"
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Professor Gilbert Herdt

PhD; Founding Director and Professor, Graduate Program in Human Sexuality, California Institute for Integral Studies. Emeritus Director, National Sexuality Resource Center & Professor of Sexuality and Anthropology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States

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