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Cultural Differences between the male and female adolescent experience

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In permissive societies, the change into adulthood is more continuous and starts at an early age. Examples of societies which are more permissive of teenage sexuality are the Pukapukans of Polynesia and Trobiand girls and boys (Cote et al., 1996). Rituals are also a part of the adolescent experience in some cultures, and these rituals are different between females and males.
Female adolescents in Sri Lanka may be isolated immediately following her first menstruation. This period of menstruation is thought to be evil and is remedied by keeping her in isolation for the next three days. On the fourth day, a ritual bath is given by the mother or a washing woman (redi nändà), who is paid to take away the dirtied clothing, and clear the house of "vas", the evil eye (Winslow, 1980). The Dipo rituals which are carried out by the Krobo in Ghana consists of two separate rituals of both a public and private nature (Simmons, 1987). The private ritual continues for three weeks and is intended to impart knowledge about "the finer points of personal grooming, female conduct, domesticity, and, finally, the arts of dance and seduction. Following this, the girls must succeed in a test which involves a ritual encounter with Tekpete, a stone which is sacred; it determines the status of their virginity and their ability to perpetuate the traditions of Krobo womanhood. Following these events, the women dance for men and potential husbands. The males have also had to participate in certain rituals for their own rite of passage.
A male specific ritual can be witnessed within the Maasai. Different ceremonies form the basis for the learning of brotherhood and how to be a true warrior or husband. The most significant ceremony is the "Emuratare". The "Emuratare" is the circumcision act that is mandatory before Maasai boys become warriors, this occurs between the ages of 14-16. Prior to the ritual, they are must herd cattle for seven days to show they are worthy of being called a warrior.
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