Talk:The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia

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North Western[edit]

The original title doesn't hyphenate "North Western".

Sentence on fatherhood removed[edit]

I think it's good that an article has been started for this important book, and it will be good to see it take shape. However, I have removed the following sentence:

Further from teenagers freedom to experiment with sex, there are many other aspects, like that women rarely know the father of their children, and during the yearly Yam Festival groups of women rape men.

I think the claim about "rape" needs contextualisation, and can only be made with reference to the text, so I have removed that. Also, I have removed the statement that "women rarely know the father of their children". I have recently been writing about Malinowski in the article on kinship, so I hope you won't mind me copying what I've written there: what is significant is this book is Malinowski's observation that the Trobrianders did not believe pregnancy to be the result of sexual intercourse between the man and the woman, and they denied that there was any physiological relationship between father and child. Nevertheless, while paternity was unknown in the "full biological sense", for a woman to have a child without having a husband was considered socially undesirable. Fatherhood was therefore recognised as a social role; the woman's husband is the

"man whose role and duty it is to take the child in his arms and to help her in nursing and bringing it up"; "Thus, though the natives are ignorant of any physiological need for a male in the constitution of the family, they regard him as indispensible socially".

It therefore is a misrepresentation to say that they don't know the father of the children; the full picture is that they deny that the men have a role in getting the women pregnant, however, there is strong social censure attached to having a child without having a husband (and the husband is father to the child in the sense that he is the caregiver. Robotforaday (talk) 18:29, 9 February 2008 (UTC)