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Money-Kyrle, R. (1934). Childhood: G. Róheim. 'Women and their Life in Central Australia.' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1933, Vol. LXIII, pp. 207–266.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 15:471.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Childhood: G. Róheim. 'Women and their Life in Central Australia.' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1933, Vol. LXIII, pp. 207–266.

(1934). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 15:471

Childhood: G. Róheim. 'Women and their Life in Central Australia.' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1933, Vol. LXIII, pp. 207–266.

Roger Money-Kyrle

Dr. Róheim describes the sexual life of Central Australian women from the time of puberty only; for he has already discussed the infantile manifestations of libido in this JOURNAL (xiii, p. 40).

When a girl arrives at a marriageable age among the Arunta, her vagina is enlarged with a stone knife (p. 234). The meaning of this rite is explained by a myth about a group of women. Each had three long chelea (clitores) like para (penises), 'one in the middle where the clitoris is, and two where we find the labia to-day. Then an old woman called Nyipitya ("she comes"), who was the chief of all the women, cut all the male genitals off with her stone knife, and made them short. After this the women were mara (good)' (p. 236).

The future husband entrusts the act of defloration to the two men who have enlarged the vagina with the stone knife, and this he does partly in order to escape his wife's castration wishes (p. 237) and partly in order to give the first place to a father figure (p. 238).

These details have been selected almost at random, for Dr. Róheim's paper contains too great a wealth of interesting material to be adequately summarized here.

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Article Citation

Money-Kyrle, R. (1934). Childhood. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 15:471

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