TITLE

"SECRET SEX": YOUTH, AGENCY, AND CHANGING SEXUAL BOUNDARIES AMONG THE DANI OF PAPUA, INDONESIA

AUTHOR(S)
Butt, Leslie
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
Ethnology;
SOURCE TYPE
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In contemporary Papua, eastern Indonesia, young men and women are increasingly exploring novel sexual practices enabled in part by rapid economic development in the province. In particular, indigenous Dani youth are engaging in "secret sex," a highly structured set of clandestine activities. Young Dani women also practice transactional sex with migrant Indonesian men. This article argues against the use of the term agency to describe these new sexual patterns. Using results from a large survey on sexuality and from in-depth interviews, the data suggest multiple constraints shape youthful behavior. The combination of cultural codes, kin, and parental intervention, alongside the disempowering effects of the commodification of sex in a frontier economy, together create conditions of relative powerlessness. Youth are primarily reacting to conditions around them, rather than acting with intention, when they transgress sexual norms. (Sexual practice, youth, West Papua, agency, frontier economy).
ACCESSION #
33723716

 

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