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This cultural and psychological study of gender identity and sexual development in a New Guinea Highlands society includes rich material on initiation rites and socialization studies, and contrasts the Sambia with other societies, including the United States. For example, Sambia boys experience ritualized homosexuality before puberty and continue this practice until marriage, after which homosexual activity is prohibited. The implications are developed cross-culturally and contextualized in gender literature.
Introduction. 1. The Behavioral Environment. 2. Warfare and Social Organization. 3. Ordinary People. 4. Gender and Socialization. 5. The Men's Secret Society. 6. Ritualized Gender Development - Continuities and Discontinuities. 7. Sexuality and Social Change. Afterword. Glossary.