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excite her, partly from his small penis, partly from his rapidity of
emission; the black man, on account of his blunter nervous system, takes
three times as long to reach emission as the white man. Among the
Mohammedan peoples of West Africa, Daniell remarks, as well as in central
and northern Africa, it is usual to suckle a child for two or more years.
From the time when pregnancy becomes apparent to the end of weaning no
intercourse takes place. It is believed that this would greatly endanger
the infant, if not destroy it. This means that for every child the woman,
at all events, must remain continent for about three years. Sir H.H.
Johnston, writing concerning the peoples of central Africa, remarks that
the man also must remain chaste during these periods. Thus, among the
Atonga the wife leaves her husband at the sixth month of pregnancy, and
does not resume relations with him until five or six months after the
birth of the child. If, in the interval, he has relations with any other
woman, it is believed his wife will certainly die. "The negro is very
rarely vicious," Johnston says, "after he has attained to the age of
puberty. He is only more or less uxorious. The children are vicious, as
they are among most races of mankind, the boys outrageously so. As regards
the little girls over nearly the whole of British Central Africa, chastity
before puberty is an unknown condition, except perhaps among the A-nyanja.
Before a girl is become a woman it is a matter of absolute indifference
what she does, and scarcely any girl remains a virgin after about 5 years
of age." Among the Bangala of the upper Congo a woman suckles her
child for six to eighteen months and during all this period the husband
has no intercourse with his wife, for that, it is believed, would kill the
Among the Yoruba-speaking people of West Africa A.B. Ellis mentions that
suckling lasts for three years, during the whole of which period the wife
must not cohabit with her husband.
Although chastity before marriage appears to be, as a rule, little
regarded in Africa, this is not always so. In some parts of West Africa, a
girl, at all events if of high birth, when found guilty of unchastity may
be punished by the insertion into her vagina of bird pepper, a kind of
capsicum, beaten into a mass; this produces intense pain and such acute
inflammation that the canal may even be obliterated.
Among the Dahomey women there is no coitus during pregnancy nor during
suckling, which lasts for nearly three years. The same is true among the
Jekris and other tribes on the Niger, where it is believed that the milk
would suffer if intercourse took place during lactation.
In another part of Africa, among the Suaheli, even after marriage only
incomplete coitus is at first allowed and there is no intercourse for a
year after the child's birth.
Farther south, among the Ba Wenda of north Transvaal, says the Rev. R.
Wessmann, although the young men are permitted to "play" with the young
girls before marriage, no sexual intercourse is allowed. If it is seen
that a girl's labia are apart when she sits down on a stone, she is
scolded, or even punished, as guilty of having had intercourse.
Among the higher races in India the sexual instinct is very developed, and
sexual intercourse has been cultivated as an art, perhaps more elaborately
than anywhere else. Here, however, we are far removed from primitive
conditions and among a people closely allied to the Europeans. Farther to
the east, as among the Cambodians, strict chastity seems to prevail, and
if we cross the Himalayas to the north we find ourselves among wild people
to whom sexual license is unknown. Thus, among the Turcomans, even a few
days after the marriage has been celebrated, the young couple are
separated for an entire year.
All the great organized religions have seized on this value of sexual
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