"Low sex" cultures, religious moral traditions, and evolutionary theory: Cultural mechanisms for influencing male sexual behavior

Kathryn Coe, Craig Palmer

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    1 Scopus citations


    In 1976, Heider claimed that Dani males had a low sex drive, and in 1971, Altschuler argued that Cayapa/Chachi males are among the world's most sexually repressed people. We use these ethnographies to point out inconsistencies in their arguments and ask, since there is no basis for thinking these males were uninterested in sex, why such talk would be common in these and other social groups. We resurrect Malinowski's claim that sex can be a disruptive force and build the argument that religious moral systems can shape the expression of sexual behavior, that restrained sexual behavior has social effects, and that coercion is not inevitably involved.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)557-572
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Anthropological Research
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2011



    • Cultural traditions
    • Ethics
    • Ethnographic evidence
    • Modern darwinian theory
    • Religion
    • Sexual behavior

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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