Anthropology

Recent posts

Promiscuity As Strategy

One of the topics that kept coming up in the class I taught on non-monogamy this fall semester was slut-shaming. We had many a fruitful discussion about how rape culture and slut-shaming intersect to create an environment full of sex-negativity, virgin/whore complexes, and misogyny. Research on female promiscuity tends to whole-heartedly condemn it or ignore it. This is not, as you might imagine, a useful approach to sexual behavior that often happens regardless of whether it is stigmatized. Hence I’m a big fan of evolutionary anthropologist Eric M. Johnson’s new Slate post on female promiscuity in humans and other primates. Continue Reading →

Semen-Eating in Papua New Guinea

This semester, I took an anthropology seminar called Anthropology & Sexualities. We spent each three-hour class meeting discussing various practices around the world that have to do with sex, sexuality, gender identity, and rituals. So, when Kate announced to us that we were jumping back into our theme weeks with a “Sex Around The Globe” theme, I was pumped! It took a pretty serious process of elimination to figure out what I wasn’t going to write about, and finally, I settled on the fascinating rituals of male rites of passage in Papua New Guinea. The Sambia of Papua New Guinea are one of many cultures that practice rite of passage rituals. Continue Reading →