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Peruvian Tribe’s View Of Sexuality And Protection

I’ve been staying with a Shipibo tribe in Peru and I found their culture fascinating in many ways. One thing that struck me is how well behaved and at the same time completely free the children are. They don’t have many toys, but they have nature and a community and when I asked about their parenting style, there aren’t any set rules. I never saw the parents telling their kids what to do or any fighting between the children, which considering there were 5 kids 8 and under is kind of a miracle.


When the girl first gets her period, every mother in the village gives her a special plant formula each month just after she bleeds. This plant makes it impossible to get pregnant during that month. The girls are then free to have sex with whenever they choose. There’s no pressure to have sex but there’s also total freedom. Once the girl is old enough and finds the right partner and decides to have a child, she stops taking the monthly concoction and gets pregnant. They have no teenage or unwanted pregnancy in the village. Every child is planned and wanted.


Seems wise to be honest that teenagers generally have sex. And rather than saying NO, making them sneak around and hide, just take control. No slut shaming, no creating a gigantic mystery around it so that it seems like another exciting drug to try. No future issues of guilt and wounding. It’s just a perfectly normal human expression. No one is saying you need to have sex, but the mothers make sure their daughters are protected. No toxic birth control pills that cause all sorts of problems. Just nature. Marriages seem happy and couples generally stay together once they are married.


I’m not sure if this translates to our culture where sexuality and disease and relationships have become so complicated. I also don’t want to project that they have some utopia when I’ve only been there a short time. But it certainly seems like a logical and free way to raise children to be adults without so much of the trauma and programming and shaming that we often see in our world.

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