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Ritualized Homosexuality in a Nacirema Subculture

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  • Pierre Tremblay
    Greetings! There is sometimes more to male heterosexuality than meets the eye.... This paper is available at Sage:
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 28, 2006
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      Greetings!

      There is sometimes more to male heterosexuality than meets the eye....

      This paper is available at Sage: http://sexualities.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/9/1/95

      "Ritualized Homosexuality in a Nacirema Subculture" by Michael Kimmel
      Sexualities, Feb 2006; 9: 95 - 105.

      There is no abstract but the paper begins with....

      Students of anthropology have long been aware of the esoteric customs of the Nacirema, a culture situated in the northern hemisphere in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and the Arawak of the Antilles (see Miner, 1956). According to Horace Miner, the Michigan anthropologist who first discovered them, the Nacirema exhibit a strange and almost perverse preoccupation with the body and its ritual purification, spending enormous amounts of time and exchanging significant amounts of currencies to purify what they believe is an essentially disgusting and fetid physical form. We have recently become aware of an even more esoteric subculture among the Nacirema, one more curiously preoccupied with body ritual, and especially with ritualized homosexuality. This subculture, known as the Tarfs, is the subject of this essay.

      Ritual homosexual behavior is certainly not unknown to cultural anthropologists. In perhaps the most famous example, Gilbert Herdt described the sexual rituals of the Sambia, a mountain people who live in Papua New Guinea. The Sambia practice ritualized homosexuality as a way to initiate young boys into full adult manhood. Young boys ritually daily fellate the older boys and men so that they (the younger boys) can receive the vital life fluid (semen) from the older men and thus become men. ‘A boy must be initiated and [orally] inseminated, otherwise the girl betrothed to him will outgrow him and run away to another man,’ was the way one Sambia elder put it. ‘If a boy doesn’t eat semen, he remains small and weak.’ When they reach puberty, these boys are then fellated by a new crop of younger boys. Throughout this initiation, the boys scrupulously avoid girls, and have no knowledge of heterosexuality until they are married. Neither the boys nor the older men think of themselves as engaging in homosexual behavior: In fact, when Herdt suggested that this behavior made them homosexual, or at least bisexual, they grew angry and diffident. This had nothing whatever to do with homosexuality, they assured Herdt. The older men are married to women, and the younger men fully expect to be. There is no adult homosexuality among the Sambia....
    • Christopher Ryan
      I tried to access this paper, but found that a subscription was required. I was trying to confirm my hunch that the paper is a hoax. The people are located
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1, 2006
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        I tried to access this paper, but found that a subscription was required. I was trying to confirm my hunch that the paper is a hoax. The people are located between the Cree (in Canada) and the Tarahumara (in Mexico) and their name is "American" spelled backwards? Hmmm.

        Christopher Ryan, Ph.D.


        On Mar 1, 2006, at 11:07 AM, evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com wrote:


        Message: 23        

           Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 00:21:23 -0500 (EST)

           From: Pierre Tremblay <pjtremblay2000@...>

        Subject: Ritualized Homosexuality in a Nacirema Subculture


        Greetings!


        There is sometimes more to male heterosexuality than meets the eye....


        This paper is available at Sage: http://sexualities.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/9/1/95


        "Ritualized Homosexuality in a Nacirema Subculture" by Michael Kimmel

        Sexualities, Feb 2006; 9: 95 - 105.


      • Andy Lock
        At 01:06 a.m. 2/03/2006, you wrote: Well spotted! Given the paper contains such statements that Tarfs tend to view norp collectively , and Many of the most
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 1, 2006
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          At 01:06 a.m. 2/03/2006, you wrote:

          Well spotted!  Given the paper contains such statements that 'Tarfs tend to view norp collectively', and 'Many of the most overtly homosexual rituals occur following ceremonial sporting events known as toofball.', then you are undoubtedly correct.

          Andy


          I tried to access this paper, but found that a subscription was required. I was trying to confirm my hunch that the paper is a hoax. The people are located between the Cree (in Canada) and the Tarahumara (in Mexico) and their name is "American" spelled backwards? Hmmm.

          Christopher Ryan, Ph.D.
          earlofbilgewater@...


          On Mar 1, 2006, at 11:07 AM, evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com wrote:

          SNIP
        • Pierre Tremblay
          Greetings Sin & Gary! The content of the piece is quite good and insightful! As many in evolutionary psychology have been saying, male heterosexuality on this
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 1, 2006
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            Greetings Sin & Gary!

            The content of the piece is quite good and insightful!

            As many in evolutionary psychology have been saying, 'male heterosexuality on this planet is more similar than different', and maybe in more ways than they have reported or would want to consider.

            Cheers!

            Pierre

            Ps. A note on the author: "Michael Kimmel is Professor of Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook, and the
            author of several books on masculinity and sexuality. His current book project is Guyland: The
            Inner World of Young Men, 18–26. Address: Department of Sociology, SUNY, Stony Brook, New York
            11794, USA."



            --- sinnedabq <sinnedabq@...> wrote:

            > Tarfs could also be "Farts." LOL
            >
            > And what would any of this have to do with tribe in New Guinea? If you
            > find no connection, perhaps you'd want to spend some time considering why it
            > is that you don't.
            >
            > Always, Sin, Ph.D.
            >
            >
            <Snip>
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