Parental genital reference in infancy is well documented.
that infants’ “penises were kissed and stroked […] grandparents and parents
fondled their genitals and repeated: “You are male, you are male” ”. Blowing
on the penis is done to encourage urination. Female genitals and masturbation
are ignored. Olsen (1981:p108) saw her
daughter’s “sugar box” “kissed lovingly” by a Turkish maid/nurse and was
urged to do the same “as a part of appropriate “mothering” ”. Olson-Prather
that a teenage neighbour girl of the elite class expressed verbal but not
physical admiration. Bilge, another American researcher told Olson that
this was common among recent and earlier Turkish immigrants near
As can be examined in a revealing article by Unal (1994; 2000) on Turkish children, clinicians are apparently still out to “identify children who could be at risk of developing CM [childhood masturbation], such as children with a history of insufficient breastfeeding, sleep difficulties in the infancy period, and genito-urinary diseases” [ital.add.].
Observers of 19th century Istanbul mention prenatal betrothal, while the occurrence of pubescent marriage, (although some mention marriage ages for girls of twelve and fourteen) was found to be dubious by Duben (1990:p420). Among the Black Sea Turks, there is mention of female infant betrothal, the practice of the groom’s family rearing the betrothed female infant, the wearing of corsets by virgins and their removal by the groom on the wedding night (Meeker, 1971:p330, n1). Pelin (1999) discussed the custom of virginity tests.Among a range of other authors, Pearson (2003) also discusses the practice of virginity testing in Turkey, beginning with an overview of the then repealed law which permitted the virginity testing of schoolgirls suspected of having pre-marital sex. Female virginity testing emerges as a practice developed to ensure that girls/women were virgins, because women/girls must remain chaste in order to uphold their family ‘honour’ and to ensure their marriageability.In 2002, the Turkish Government has rescinded a controversial law that allowed school girls suspected of having pre-marital sex to be given virginity tests.
While 50.8% of female Turkish students believed their knowledge about sexuality was adequate, on evaluating the results, this did not live up to researchers’ standards. Girlfriends were found to be the most important source of sexual knowledge. The study indicated that 88.8% of the girls wanted to have sexual education at schools and 60.5% of those preferred to take such a lecture together with boys.
“According to Islam, puberty is a stage when a child is ready to take
on some adult responsibilities. As a part of this, while adolescent girls are
expected to behave and dress as mature women, every male child should be
circumcised before he reaches puberty as a step into manhood. In the
traditional context, sünnet (circumcision) is usually performed by a
“sünnetçi,” always a male, who has been trained and is experienced in
circumcision but does not have a medical degree. During the operation, which
usually takes place at home, the kirve (a close friend of the father or a
male relative) holds the child, and the sünnetçi conducts the operation,
usually without any anesthetics if performed in the traditional way. Great
importance is attached to this ritual in traditional
Although circumcision is an obligation for males according to Islamic rules, it is also seen in many pre-Islamic cultures and religious practices. The age of circumcision in Islam varies from birth to adolescence, while Turkish boys are mostly circumcised between 3 and 6 years of age (Öztürk 1963). As is well known, this period has been regarded as a critical stage in terms of psychosexual development, and circumcision at this age might be deleterious for later stages of development. Öztürk, who studied this phenomenon in Turkish males, found no evidence to support the hypothesis that circumcision at an early age (or during the phallic stage) might have a negative effect later on. […] Case histories of psychiatric patients sometimes reveal homoerotic activity during childhood, although empirical studies for this period are not available. On the other hand, a number of retrospective studies with late adolescent male homosexuals and transsexuals imply that, in both groups, the first sexual experience occurs at an early age. Most transsexuals and about a third of homosexuals reported that they had their first sexual experience before age 12 (Gülçat et al. 1988; Inci 1993). These studies also show that sexual intercourse is mostly initiated by the youths, that is, without being forced, which seems particularly to be the case for transsexuals”. (read in full: IES)
D. F., Growing Up Sexually.
Last revised: Aug 2005
 Delaney, C. (1991) The Seed and the Soil.
 Olson, E. A. (1981)
Socioeconomic and psychocultural contexts of child abuse and neglect in
 Cited by Olson (1981:p108), op.cit.
 Olson (1981:p108n), op.cit.
 Cited by Olson (1981:p108), op.cit.
 Unal, F. (2000) Predisposing factors in childhood masturbation in Turkey, Eur J Pediatr 159:338-42. The author also refers to a 1994 article in Turkish.
 Duben, A. (1990) Household Formation in Late Ottoman Istanbul, Int J Middle East Stud 22,4:419-35
 Meeker, M. E. (1971) The Black Sea Turks: Some Aspects of Their Ethnic and Cultural Background, Int J Middle East Stud 2,4:318-45
 Pelin, S. Th. (1999) The question of virginity testing in Turkey, Bio-Ethics 13,3-4:256-61
 See further Parla, A. (2001) The “honor” of the state: virginityexaminations in Turkey, Feminist Studies 27,1:65-88; Decker, D. C. (1998) A broken promise: the continued use of virginitycontrol examinations in Turkey, Buffalo Human Rights Law Rev 4:317-40
 Pearson, M. L. (2003) A Blemish on the Modern Face of Turkey: The Historical Background and Social, Legal, and International Implications of Virginity Testing in Turkey, North Carolina J International Law & Commercial Regulation 28,3:663-99
 Vicdan, K., Kukner, S., Dabakoglu, T., Ergin, T., Keles, G. & Gokmen, O. (1996) Demographic and epidemiologic features of female adolescents in Turkey, J Adolesc Health 18,1:54-8
 Aydin, H. & Gülçat, Z. (2001)