“But effective clitoral stimulation, though intensely pleasurable, does not necessarily occur during sexual intercourse.  Female pleasure, far more than male pleasure, is a function of erotic learning and cultural expectations.  Among human societies the most advanced orgasmically are purported to be the women of Mangaia, a southern Cook Island in central Polynesia.  Mangaian females reach orgasm two or three times during intercourse.  Upon entering puberty at thirteen or fourteen years of age, Mangaian boys go through a series of initiation rites into adulthood.  Part of the initiation includes being instructed in methods of stimulating women to maximum sexual pleasure.  Indeed, Mangaian women are expected to attain orgasm during intercourse each time; if not, the Mangaian man who fails to please her loses his status in the island’s society.  Two weeks after a manhood initiation ritual involving penile mutilation, an experienced older woman begins to practice boys in the arts of conferring female sexual pleasure.  According to their ethnographer, D.S. Marshall, Mangaians probably know more about female anatomy than most European physicians.  The Mangaians, with no semblance of a Puritan heritage, do not consider female sexual pleasure an indulgence.  They consider it a necessity.  High cultural expectations for female orgasm have led to high rates of female orgasm.”  (Margulis, L. & Sagan, D. (1991) Mystery Dance, On the Evolution of Human Sexuality: Summit Books, New York, p. 62)

Folks following this blog over time will notice my seeking not obvious connections to inform subtle understandings.  For example, I’ve been playing with the suggestion that since both Hopi and Trobriand Islanders display languages with less a sense of tense and are both matrifocal then maybe this is a pattern that can be explored to support my hypothesis that societies display an evolution that can be traced by following the transformation of several aspects or variables.

Variables we are tracking include:

Matrifocal tendencies or matrilineality
Language tense structures emphasizing the present (suggestions of enhanced primary process)
Brain structure
Anomalous dominance (both hemispheres the same size)
Large corpus callosum
Maturational delay and acceleration
Uterine hormonal levels
Migration patterns
Latitudinal extremes (and mountainous)
Menarche and pubertal onset
Homosexuality
Epicanthic fold
Classic neotenous features
Various disease and condition tendencies
Various personality disorder tendencies
Atopic disorders:  asthma, eczema, allergies
Lankiness
Handedness and ambidexterity
Female infanticide
Aboriginal and contemporary social trends in horizontal, diverse and transparent directions
Uninhibited sexuality

The quote that began this entry refers to a society in the Cook Islands, the Mangaia.  I would assume from their behavior that they are matrilineal, and a quick Google check confirms this to be the case.  I wonder if there are language conventions that carry across matrifocal societies that could be used to form conclusions on how societies have evolved?  It seems that sexual practices might be an indicator of social structure.

For many years, I’ve been watching the Teaching Company videos of lectures, coming up on a thousand videos of lectures I’ve watched while sweating in the morning.  Right now I’m watching linguistics courses.  Absolutely fascinating stuff.  The last four lectures were on pidgins and creoles with several references to Bickerton.  I’m enthralled by how languages evolve, by how creoles are formed and by possible correlations between language structure and social structure.

There are places that can form barriers to easy conclusions.  For example, a creole displays few of the complications of older languages and may even show little awareness of tense, but that does not reflect a potential allegiance to primary process manifesting in an ancient matrifocal context, but only reveals evidence of a language so early in its development it has not had time to embellish with the usual frills.

It feels satisfying to feel around for how trends through time can evidence themselves through the various features we are exploring.  Sexuality seems a reasonable variable to add to the list of illuminating features.  Perhaps it being so obvious is why I didn’t notice it before.  Or, maybe because I’m a prudish, white, middle-aged Western male.


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