Citation
Precocious pregnancies

Material Information

Title:
Precocious pregnancies patterns of sexuality among white adolescent women in the rural South
Creator:
Fischer, Kay Pamela Justman
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
ix, 223 leaves : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Adolescents ( jstor )
Gender roles ( jstor )
Human sexual behavior ( jstor )
Infants ( jstor )
Men ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
Parents ( jstor )
Pregnancy ( jstor )
Strawberries ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF ( lcsh )
Sexual ethics for youth ( lcsh )
Teenage pregnancy -- Southern States ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 209-222.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Pamela J. Fischer.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
023340439 ( ALEPH )
06560943 ( OCLC )
AAL2857 ( NOTIS )
AA00004910_00001 ( sobekcm )

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Full Text













PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES: PATTERNS OF SEXUALITY
AMONG WHITE ADOLESCENT WOMEN IN THE RURAL SOUTH












By

PAMELA J. FISCHER


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY









UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1979




PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES: PATTERNS OF SEXUALITY
AMONG WHITE ADOLESCENT WOMEN IN THE RURAL SOUTH
By
PAMELA J. FISCHER
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1979


Copyright 1979
by
Pamela J. Fischer


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
It is difficult to adequately thank those persons without whose
aid this study could not have been contemplated. Of course, the people
of the fictive Strawberry Junction cannot be named anymore than the
community itself identified despite the great need to acknowledge
their contributions to the research effort, but they will recognize
their part.
Key community figures such as school administrators and teachers,
ministers, public health personnel, social welfare and law enforcement
personnel, and community political leaders were not only generous
with their time, but enthusiastic in their response to the request for
information. These persons were cognizant of the problems attendant
on early sexual expression in their community and were interested
and cooperative in the investigation of aspects of adolescent sexuality.
They proved to be an invaluable source of "inside" information and
were extremely useful in identifying informants.
The residents of Strawberry Junction graciously accepted ray
daughter and me into the community and an especial debt of gratitude
is owed to the congregation of the Methodist Church who became our
extended family. These residents of the community, who represented
the parental generation, by and large, not only shared their knowledge
of the adolescent sphere, but also generously permitted their daughters
to participate in the study as informants.
iii


Daughters of Strawberry Junction were recruited ns informants but
ultimately became friends. They revealed intimate and confidential
details of their world and shared their hopes. Their acceptance of me
removed much of the stigma usually attached to adult intruders and their
candor allowed me to view adolescent life from their perspective.
One can view the academic institution which sponsors the research
as a symbolic homea place somewhat opposite to the field situation
which represents the physical home for the duration of the reserach,
yet nevertheless remains essentially foreign. The most intimate
relations to the home institution occur through the persons of the
research committee, who not only prepare their student for conducting
research but provide continuous scholarly and psychic support during
the process. The members of the research committee were peerless in
their support of my efforts to cope with the demands of field research.
I want to extend my gratitude to the members of the committee
Dr. Charles Mahan, Dr. Normal Markel, Dr. Theron Nunez, and Dr. Carol
Taylor, for advising me with intelligence, patience, and humor.
Dr. Gary Shannon, although excused from the committee upon leaving
the University of Florida, maintained an active interest in the project
in absentia.
It would be impossible to fully thank Dr. Otto von Mering, who
directed the research, for his efforts on my behalf. Suffice it to say
that he proved himself more than equal to every challenge which surfaced
during the troublesome process of graduating a student, displaying his
formidable insight and acting always wisely and with incomparable wit.
His unique intellect and remarkable sensitivity prove him to be a mentor
of unparalled mettle and I will always feel privileged to have been one
of his students.
iv


Finalizing a dissertation provided problems which were only solved
through the good offices of friends and colleagues at the University of
FloridaCarol Albert and Gwen Wells. They provided essential help
with preparation and submission of the manuscript, the details and
frustrations of which were legion. Lydia Deakin not only was invaluable
in untangling last minute snags, but provided the assistance of her
remarkably cool head and unequalled skill at cutting through bureaucratic
snarls throughout the period of my appreticeship at the University of
Florida.
Finally, my family has been helpful in ways they little suspected
when I embarked on a graduate program. My mother, Lora Sanders, and
brother, Bill Sanders, were pressed into typing the draft of the
dissertaion along with my daughter, Carrie Fischer, much to her chagrin
at the content. My father, formerly a champion softball catcher, was
called upon for surreptitious coaching to enable me to join the local
team, but found the material he was given laughably lacking in talent.
Their joint support during the research was unfailing.
v


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 11
ABSTRACT vi
CHAPTER
IPRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES AND ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PATTERNS:
AN OVERVIEW 1
II RESEARCH METHODS: INQUIRY INTO THE HIDDEN SPHERE 10
III THE SETTING: COMMUNITY AND COUNTY IN CONTEXT 31
IV THE GENERATIONS: PARALLEL LIVES 64
VSEX ROLES: MALE AND FEMALE 83
VI THE SEXUAL EXPERIENCE: SEXUALITY, ETHNOCONTRACEPTION
AND PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCY 122
VII DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS 180
APPENDIX
I HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY ON SKIPPING 197
II ADOLESCENT SEXUAL COMPOSITIONS 199
IIISEX EDUCATION QUESTIONS FROM A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN
FLOIRDA, 19 72 202
IV EFFECTIVE CONTRACEPTION TO MINORS 208
BIBLIOGRAPHY 209
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 223
vi


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Require
ments for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES: PATTERNS OF SEXUALITY
AMONG WHITE ADOLESCENT WOMEN IN THE RURAL SOUTH
By
PAMELA J. FISCHER
December 1979
Chairman: Otto von Mering
Major Department: Anthropology
Adolescent pregnancy has been noted as a social phenomenon capable
of affecting population trends relatively recently in America. However,
patterns of early birth have long been recognized as contributors to
dense populations in developing countries.
Sexuality among adolescents has been explained primarily as a
variant of deviant behavior and pregnancy as the result of either con
traceptive incompetence or psychological forces. Study populations have
commonly been derived from urban settings and often are black and/or
lower socio-economic class. Clinic populations are frequently utilized.
Surveying techniques have been the most prevalent investigative methodology.
Adolescent sexuality represents a complex behavioral issue that can
significantly affect health status and has been investigated from
multiple viewpoints. The theoretical context for this study was compiled
from research in human sexuality, adolescence, sex roles, demography and
social anthropology.
Strawberry Junction, a community in north central Florida, was
selected as the study site on the basis of a field trial and demographic
investigation as conforming to the typical southern rural pattern: land-
based economy, religious fundamentalism, racial segregation, kin-based
vi I


social organization, and complementary sex roles. The town accounts
for approximately one-third of the 15,000 county residents and serves
as the county seat. It contains the only high school in addition to
a middle and vocational school for adolescents which together enroll
about 2,500 students.
The study group included one hundred white women aged 13 to 19
and drawn primarily from the schools and seventy-five adults judged
as having insight into adolescent concerns, e.g. parents, young marrieds,
teachers, ministers, social agency personnel, and so forth. A small
number of males (fifteen) were included as corroborative informants.
A natural historical approach was used for this study in order
to avoid bias inherent in a clinical population of medically-assisted
contraceptors. Information was elicited via structured and informal
interviews and participant observation during the period of community
residency from September 1974 through June 1976.
The study provides contextual information about adolescent sexuality
and contraceptive behavior of white rural adolescent women. The following
findings of the study are significant in understanding the behavior of
these teenagers.
Sexual relations are important to adolescent life and begin early.
Expression differs between boys and girls. Girls' sexual aggressiveness
is not intrinsically sexual but is related to achievement of social goals.
Adolescents are ineffective contraceptors due to the inadequacy of
their knowledge base and difficulties in accessing medical services.
Folk techniques are often relied upon.
Intergenerational interaction is minimal with generational insularity
maintained by parents as well as teenagers. Adults do not educate their
vii i


young in sexual matters and covertly allow adolescent sexual activity
by according teenagers a high degree of social autonomy. The failure
of adults to provide sexual instruction to youth is due in part to
religious sanctions and in part to their own inadequate knowledge base.
Due to sex role differentiation in the rural south adolescence
is a period of apprenticeship for males but a period of deviance for
girls which will terminate upon marriage. This female role-deviation
is described as "male-mimicking."
Marriage and childbearing are ultimate female goals; alternate
role models for women are rare in the community. Precocious pregnancy
is not tragic but rather begins the preordained course early.
Community religious tenets and social structure prescribe the
options for pregnant girls. In order of preference, they are marriage,
adoption, raising by the unwed mother, or abortion. Abortion appears
to be rare.
Choice of sexual partners appears to be different than described
for urban settings. The pattern is often young girls partnered by
older men, occasionally in incestuous relationships.
ix


CHAPTER I
PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCY AND ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PATTERNS: AN OVERVIEW
Girls who become mothers before shedding their own childhood present
an especially poignant contemporary phenomenon as they are forced to
precipitously abandon the carefree days of their adolescence in order
to assume awesome responsibilities for which they may be ill-prepared.
The consequences of these early births reach far beyond the marred
girlhoods and may affect generations.
While not an entirely new phenomenon in the biosocial scheme,
adolescent pregnancy has recently acquired a high visibility due to
its social unacceptibility in American life and because it has been
described as reaching epidemic proportions relative to past experience
and current expectations.
In American society, peak childbearing years for the female fall
between the twentiety and twenty-ninth years with the 20-24 cohort
having the highest yield in terms of natality; childbearing prior to
the twentieth year is defined as precocious and inappropriate, particularly
in the early adolescent years. Nevertheless, the birth rate for this
group is rising in contrast to dropping rates for other age cohorts.
Illegitimacy rates are also rising, particularly among white adolescents.
This trend toward early or illegitimate births has many adverse implica
tions related to the physical and sociopsychological well-being of young
mothers and their children as well as for the generations which succeed
them.
1


2
Investigators have probed the problem of illegitimacy and high
birth rates principally from two related points of view: as a phenomenon
of black cultural patterns, e.g. matrifocality (Gonzalez 1964); and
as a cultural pattern arising from imperatives of the urban ghetto
(Rainwater 1966). Exploration of the problem as an element of the white
cultural milieu in a non-metropolitan setting has not received equal
attention.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship
between cultural factors and the expression of adolescent sexuality
and its outcome among young white women in a southern rural community.
The rural south was chosen as an appropriate context for a study of
adolescent pregnancy because this type of problem has not been
thoroughly investigated in this setting. Moreover, the barrenness
of the medical establishment in rural areas has made many communities
particularly open to input which has the potential to expand health care.
The clandestine nature of sexuality among adolescents and its lack
of adequate investigation coupled with the prudery and insularity of
the community made traditional anthropological approaches to field
research, i.e. participant observation as a community resident, a most
appropriate method of investigation as well as one most likely to yield
valid results.
Suspicion of and hostility toward academicians reduced the primacy
of statistical analysis of questionnaires as the conservatism of the
community would prohibit such an open approach to sexual aspects of
community behavior which are ideally considered forbidden topics. The
smallness of the community, approximately 5,000 population, made it
preferable for the researcher to establish credentials first at the


3
level of personal acceptability and from that basis proceed to conducting
low-profile investigations.
Strawberry Junction, a community in north central Florida, was
selected as the research site on the basis of observations during a
summer research project and background research into its demographic
composition. It conforms to the typical southern rural pattern: land-
based economy, religious fundamentalism, primarily kin-based social
organization, and complementary sex roles. Its small size made it a
desirable study site. Moreover, it is the county seat of North Central
county, and so had the only high school in the founty. Approximately
2,500 students are enrolled in both the middle and high school.
Another aspect of the community which gave it priority as a research
site was its poor health climate. Medical facilities and personnel
were scarce and health services, particularly for women, were miniml.
Gynecologic services were available from general practitioners or the
health department but no obstetrical services were available. Deliveries
had to take place outside the county, primarily at the University of
Florida medical center through a special service project of the Department
of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This project sent staff into the county
to deliver family planning and prenatal services and represented a link
between the researcher and the university, thus providing invaluable
sources of information about the study group and the community. In
addition, this cooperation made clinical observations possible. The full
cooperation of the county health department and the school system were
also extended and greatly facilitated the research in terms of access to
informants.
Subjects were drawn primarily from the adolescent or young adult
portion of the community although a sampling of the parental peer group


4
was also included. The sample consisted of 100 white women aged 13
to 19, selected from the community. Most of the subjects were students
at the middle and high schools, but some were attending the Vo-Tech
school or had terminated their education.
In addition, informal interviews were held with young men designated
as behaviorally typical by knowledgeable community source persons.
Some young adults recently out of their adolescence and parents of
adolescents were also included.
Relatively formal, i.e. structured, interviews were conducted with
key persons in the community including school administrators, public
health personnel, community agency staff, and others who were revealed
as having specialized knowledge of adolescent behavior.
Direct observations were made as a consequence of residency in the
community: informal and formal participation in daily life including
normal use of schools, churches, civic and voluntary associations, and
community activities. All participation was with informed consent,
strictly confidential, and voluntary.
Content analysis of newspapers, school materials and government
publications as available was used to provide the wider social context
of belief, orientation, ideology, and custom which exemplify the community.
The investigation examined issues related to sexual activity patterns
among adolescents, contraceptive behavior, ethnocontraceptive lore,
communication networks as reflected by interaction patterns, sexual
knowledge base, pregnancy patterns including community and personal
solution responses, utilization of health care, and female-male role
expression and its development within the community context. While
taking adolescent girls as the focus of the study, the discussion


includes nn analysis of inter-Ronerational interaction and its impli
cations for adolescent behavior.
Literature pertaining to the culturally and personally expressive
significance of adolescent sexuality remains peripheral to the identifi
cation of certain salient questions. To establish a context for examining
white adolescent sexuality and its concimitant effects on natality,
we must bring together salient findings in four pertinent areas:
(1) factors contributing to fertility, (2) patterns of contraception and
birth control, (3) adolescent sexuality and ethnocontraception, and
(4) sex role definition and differentiation.
Fertility is the outcome of the variable interplay of biological
and socio-cultural factors. The universal desire for children and
concern with barrenness conflicts with the universal motivation to avoid
the pain and personal sacrifice attendant to having and raising children
(Ford 1945, 1952; Ford and Beach 1951).
Current analytic frameworks for identifying and evaluating the
factors contributing to fertility break down the reproductive process
into intercourse, conception, and gestation and parturition. Outcomes
of this process tend to vary at thses three levels, e.g. frequency of
coitus and contraceptive technique, length of lactation and diet, age
at marriage, abortion, and celibacy rules.
Psychologists such as Pohlman (1969) point to the variability of
individual motives in achieving pregnancy including proof of femininity,
escape from freedom, hostility toward parents or opposite sex, or as a
means of grasping security through dependence. Motherhood may also
represent achievement of adult status, i.e., it is a critical female
rite de passage (van gennep 1960).


Tlie antiquity and universality of attempts to control fertility
Is well established (Himes 1963). Magical or manipulative methods,
e.g. post-coital sneezing or thrashing movements and coitus interruptus,
pre-date efficient mechanical contraceptive technology and persist in
its presence in both rural and urbanized societies. Coitus interruptus
is probably universally the most commonly depended upon contraceptive
practice. Abortion remains universally prevalent as an alternative to
contraception as a mechanism of birth control (Devereaux 1953) The
importance of technological advances is the development of coitus-
independent contraceptive methods which allow separation of sexual
behavior from reproduction (Newman 1972).
Incidence of adolescent sexual activity is widespread and its
natural outcomes, i.e. pregnancy and venereal disease, are significant
problems in terms of population (Commission on Population Growth
and the American Future 1972) and epidemiology (Deschin 1961). Kantner
and Zelnik (1972) report that sexual acitvity is beginning at earlier ages
and is increasing in extent but this assertion is questioned by Cutright
(1972) who suggests that sexual activity levels have probably remained
fairly stable but that increased incidences of pregnancy due to improved
nutrition, lowered menarche, and lowered incidences of spontaneous abortions
have merely made the acitvity more visible.
Adolescent sexual expression has its roots in non-sexual motivations.
It may be an attempt to discover identity by creating a counterpoint
situation or a reaction to authority (Gadpaille 1970), It also serves
as a cohesive mechansim within the peer group. Teenagers are notoriously
poor contraceptors due to their limited information base and their
tendency to dissociate reproduction from sexual activity (Calderone 1965,
Furstenburg 1973, Presser 1974).


Aggression has been defined as the pivotal determining factor in
the development of female and male sex roles and as such has critical
ramifications for the characteristics of the dominant-submissive behavior
that is its concomitant (Mead 1935, Brown 1970, Michaelson and Goldschmidt
1971, Oakley 1972). Literature dealing with the Latin pattern of
machismo-marianismo as male-female role ideals (Fromm and Maccoby 1970,
Paz 1971, Stevens 1973, Paul 1974) are particularly salient as analogues
in certain aspects to the ideal male-female interactive patterns in
the American south.
Adolescence can be defined as the liminal period during which girls
and boys learn to become social men and women as defined by their culture.
Conflict arises between the prescriptions of the social order and
personal needs gratification which produces a stress situation which
must be resolved if the transition into adulthood is to be successful.
Sexuality as expressive behavior reflects an attempt of the female and the
male to define their personal identities in conformance with or in
opposition to culturally established norms of femininity and masculinity.
Sexuality may be seen as a period of deviance from the ideal role.
In order to examine the meaning of sexual activity in the adolescent
phase of life the following areas must be examined:
(1) To what extent does religious fundamentalism shape the
expression of sexuality and its outcome?
(2) To what extent are women's roles defined in terms of the life
cycle and to what extent developed as contrapuntal to the male
role in their structural features? How are cultural expressions
of femininity and masculinity defined in terras of dominant/
aggressive behavior and subordinate/passive behavior?


8
(3) What behavior patterns can he considered as stress-reducing
mechanisms during the period of transition into adulthood
and to what extent are these in conformance or conflict with
overt community prescriptions of appropriate behavior?
(4) Does the liminal period represent the same modes of expressive
behavior for the female as for the male or does the transition
from girl to woman differ from that of boy to man?
(5) What is the nature of intergenerational interaction in a
community of this type and to what extent does it retard
information exchange concerning sexual topics?
(6) What part does sexual activity and its culmination in pregnancy
play in the transition to social adulthood? Can this rite de
passage mark entrance into the adolescent peer group as well?
Consideration of these issues results in the general suggestion
that adolescence is a period of liminality in which anomalous behavior is
covertly allowed by the adult community and overtly accepted by the
adolescent peer group. Adolescent sexual expression in the female is
deviant in terms of her socially prescribed role as a girl and is
inconsistent with social womanhood although not necessarily incompatible
with the expression of femininity thus a situation of stress is produced
which must be resolved in culturally approved ways. Female behavior
during this period approximates that assigned to the male: it includes
a degree of female aggressiveness not allowed to women at other points
in the life cycle and may be designated as a male mimicking role. This
behavior is discarded with progress through the life cycle, particularly
upon marriage. Adolescent sexual expression in the male is consistent
with his adult role. Therefore, the life cycle is a greater determinant
in the development of the feminine role than in the male.


9
The desired outcome of this research is to extend the existing
knowledge base concerning patterns of teen sexuality and contraceptive
techniques. Although this research is confined to exploring the
relationships of cultural elements of southern rural society to sexual
behavior among young white women, it will reveal lines of inquiry
which may be pursued in different settings to test whether they can be
extrapolated to other areas.
In addition, this study will attempt to furnish documentation of a
community problem that is currently recognized as significant only by
certain key personnel who must deal with it in their professional
capacities, e.g. school counselors and public health caregivers. They,
however, are even ignorant of its pervasiveness. Outside this coterie
of involved persons, the existence of adolescent sexual activity is not
only ill understood by the adult community, but is denied.
Though the key to eliminating the problem lies in changing the entire
fabric of social life by improving the role selection alternatives for
women and as such is neither feasible nor desirable, it is not unrealistic
to initiate low-level but potentially significant alleviative changes
into the system by offering suggestions for improving the quality of
the information base and demonstrating the need to create a program of
social activities appropriate for adolescents.


CHAPTER II
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: INQUIRY INTO THE HIDDEN SPHERE
The relation of methodology to the research problem and the situa
tion chosen for its illumination is an intimate and reciprocal one.
Initially, methodological decisions are made on the basis of the impera
tives of the research question imposed on the field setting: on the
basis of acquired information about the site, projections are made
concerning which techniques and rationales may be most effectively used
to elicit the desired data.
Subsequently, as the research progresses in situ, the nature of
the research context may temper previous carefully made decisions:
methodological approaches forecast as suitable may be reviewed resulting
in discarding certain techniques, refining others, and developing more
appropriate new methods, perhaps serendipitously. Thus a reciprocal
adjustment process occurs which produces a context-sensitive battery of
methods gleaned from the armamentarium of research tools used by anthro
pologists. In describing the particular methodology used to gather data,
therefore, it is necessary to discuss the basis on which initial
decision-making was formed and also describe the evolution process
through which the research context refined the methodology.
Particular approaches to social study must both conform to the
ethical, theoretical and pragmatic guidelines established by diciplines
and be tailored to the conditions imposed by the setting and the problem.
Implications of the nature of the setting for research techniques hinge
on the question of definition of particular research strategies with
10


II
particular forms of social conditions, e.g. the development of urban
methodologies distinct from those appropriate to rural or primitive
settings has been the focus of much debate among anthropologists
(Arensberg and Kimball 1965, Eddy 1968, Pelto 1968).
The rural setting seems one in which traditional anthropological
techniques are most appropriate: participant observation coupled with
judicious use of available documentations yields the truest picture of
rural patterns (Hill 1973). These techniques also seemed most adaptable
to the problem which was one of an intimate and covert nature not
readily revealed without the reassuring personal contact with and know
ledge of the researcher. Therefore, the selection of methodological
approaches was made to mitigate the fact that the private nature of the
topic forseeably made disclosure difficult and risky to the informant
in terms of possible exposure and censure and that the extremely con
servative social texture of the community made open and public discussion
of sexual matters unlikely.
Parameters of the problem, i.e girls' sexual behavior in a natural
population rather than in a biased portion of that group such as clinic
patients, demanded a natural history approach to data gathering. The
most appropriate theoretical orientations for exploring the problem
were derived from the community study method (Arensberg 1961, Arensberg
and Kimball 1965) and network theory (e.g. Barnes 1954, Bott 1957,
Mitchell 1966). If the community represents the basic unit of cultural
organization and transmission and is the "locus of patterning in culture
and of structure in society" (Arensberg and Kimball 1965:XI), then care
ful attention must be paid to its configuration in order to assess its
socializing influence with respect to role formation for young women and


12
men and their subsequent socio-sexual expectations and behavior. Net
works were judged to be important for analysis of social interaction,
dating patterns, and sexual behavior. Of particular importance as a
research target was the investigation of the nature of information flow
so that sexual lore could be compiled and an assessment made of the level
of sexual and contraceptive knowledge and its sources traced.
The bulk of the data was to be gathered through the fundamental
tasks of anthropological fieldwork: watching, asking, listening, some
times doing, and recording (Langness 1965) Participant observation
during the period of residency for the research, September 1974 through
June 1976, was to be augmented by structured interviews, including life
history compilation, with informants chosen from the ranks of adoles
cent women who were the focus of the research as well as those persons
peripheral to the adolescent sphere but integral in terms of under
standing factors contributing to the adolescent station in the community,
e.g. parents, boyfriends, and key community personnel such as health
providers, school administrators and teachers, agency personnel, minis
ters, and others identified in the course of the research as pivotal in
adolescent affairs.
The sample of adolescent informants was based on and derived
primarily from the population of approximately 2500 students attending
the middle, high, and vocational schools. One hundred girls between
the ages of thirteen to nineteen were interviewed and observed, with
approximately twenty of these becoming primary informants. Roughly
two-thirds of informants belonged to the early-middle phase of adoles
cence, i.e. thirteen to sixteen years. The majority of adolescents in
the study were from low to middle income families typical of the


economically disadvantaged community with less than 20 percent represent
ing the families which by community standards formed the higher income
stratum. The educational background of the girls' families was con
sistent with established descriptions of this economic group: education
of parents typically terminated at high school. Some 10 to 15 percent
of fathers were college-educated and only about 5 to 10 percent of
mothers.
The sample of adults included in the study numbered roughly
seventy-five. Two-thirds of adults were women and one-third men. The
adult informants were divided into three categories of approximately
equal proportions, key community persons, parents, and young adults
(post-adolescents).
In addition to the adolescent girls who were the subjects of the
study and the adult members of the community judged as having special
insights into adolescent concerns, a small number of teenage boys, about
fifteen, were included. These boys were selected as the male counter
parts to the girls in the study and were characterized by similar socio
economic attributes. A small sampling of adolescent boys were deemed
appropriate because while young men were not the focus of the study,
their viewpoints were felt to be necessary to corroborate and complete
the information given by girls. Often, but not always, these young men
presented themselves for notice by virtue of a relationship to a girl
in the informant group, e.g. a boyfriend or husband. Others were
selected through the researcher's networks as being young men who
were likely to be active enough in the adolescent social scene to be
good relaters of their personal experiences and observations.


14
Following the definition of the research problem, selection of a
site in which it might be explored was the next step. The dimensions
of the problem, i.e. sexuality of white adolescent women in the rural
south, determined the characteristics of the site to the extent that it
must be a southern rural community. Strawberry Junction was chosen on
the basis of observations during a previous summer pilot project conduc
ted as part of a larger technical assistance survey contracted by the
Board of County Commissioners for planning purposes, and background
research into its demographic composition.
The community was found to conform to the typical southern pattern:
land-based economy, religious fundamentalism, primarily kin-based social
organization, and complementary sex roles (Dollard 1937, Davis, et al.
1941, Morland 1971). It is a small community akin to Redfield's little
community (1955): the small size, approximately 5,000 population living
in a circumscribed space, made the social system more "visible" and the
adolescents under scrutiny more easily available for observation than
would be possible in a larger community.
The community is characteristically distinctive, having apparent
limits not only to the observer but as expressed in the group conscious
ness of its denizens. The community is homogeneous in that similar
activities obtain for persons in corresponding sex and age positions,
generational life patterns cycle similarly to those of the preceding
one, and the overall tone of life is conservative and unchanging. In
the main, the community is self-sufficient. Because of these Redfield-
ian traits, the community would be classed as more "folk" than urban
(Foster 1953), particularly with respect to an interdependence of
component parts, face-to-face personal relations, sacred sanctions for


13
conduct, relative social immobility, and importance of kinship exten
sions in institutional structure.
The fact that Strawberry Junction is the county seat furnished
additional reasons for its selection as the study site. It contains
the only school facilities for secondary education and houses most of
the county's sparse medical resources. Like most rural areas, the
medical climate is poor; personnel and facilities are minimal and
community residents must seek the bulk of their health care from non
community resources. In the case of women's health services, particu
larly obstetrical, most care is delivered through the auspices of a
federally funded project administered through the University of Florida.
This project thus provided an invaluable system of linkages into the
community for the researcher as well as a usable body of information
which could be tapped.
The community was initially approached by using available statis
tical documents and local materials to interpret the trend of adoles
cent natality patterns and analyze the community structure in terms of
demographic composition, economic status, health profile, and social
organization from a non-observational point of reference. Relevant
available materials included such documents as census data, health
summaries, school records and publications, economic reports, and
community-compiled references such as club rosters, business and service
directories, and Chamber of Commerce brochures.
Other published or prepared documents which were particularly
useful were planning surveys, compilations of materials derived from
various other sources and cast in a county-specific format; local
reference materials which were service-oriented and had been prepared


16
for the use of agency personnel, e.g. community mental health area
profiles, and public records, such as marriage license applications,
which gave valuable information concerning under-age marriages, often
including disclosure of premarital pregnancy.
In addition, the local newspaper was faithfully followed for its
wealth of social news, announcements of events for observation, and
items noteworthy for analysis of the local community social system.
Moreover, the back issues of the newspaper, particualrly the anniversary
and centennial editions, represented the most complete account of local
history. Fortunately, the editor of the newspaper had become the local
historian and has amassed an extensive and quite diverse collection of
historical materials to which he granted access.
The major part of the fieldwork process consisted of various
levels of participant observation including interviewing techniques.
All observations of the community made while resident in it may be
classified as participant if one has the distinction of belonging, in
some fashion to the phenomenon being observed or some discernible
relationship to the informant being interviewed; however, levels of
belonging in any particular situation vary and affect the quality of
the information thus derived. Hence, even though one is a participant
in the sense of living in the town being studied, the observations made
with this minimal degree of involvement are more formal and one observes
from the outside. Little or no interaction is required to observe
events of a public nature or interview a community leader.
Participant observation done under circumstances where one has an
active part in the happenings, however, yields a different quality of
information. This can be advantageous in that an "inside" view may be


17
obtained, but the drawback is that more is required from the researcher
in terms of rapport-building to achieve the necessary acceptance. In
order to gain the most complete picture of the adolescent milieu, I
decided to observe public community events, or "spectator" observation;
interview key persons in the community; and contrive means by which to
become a participant observer in the stricter sense.
Spectator observation was used throughout the period of research,
but was initially more heavily relied upon because it represented a
means of becoming familiarized with the community and identifying
future routes of inquiry and probable contacts. In addition to learn
ing the physical set-up by driving and walking about it, spectator
observation of events such as parades, rodeos, fairs, movies, high
school football games, church services, and so forth, revealed much
about social patterns, e.g. age/sex-discriminated social interaction.
These events provided opportunities to informally interview persons
participating in the event by assuming the role of a curious stranger,
an advantageous role "provided it is the role of objective and friendly
stranger rather than authoritarian, critic or pestiferous interloper"
(Langness 1965:34).
Becoming a spectator had the additional advantage of making the
anthropologist familiar to the townspeople and thus increasing accepta
bility in later, less easily arranged situations. Identification as a
community resident was enormously instrumental in achieving success in
arranging interviews, receiving introductions to sought-after indivi
duals, and entree to groups.
As familiarity with the community and its social order increased,
the choice of spectator events became more specialized. While spectator


18
observation at first served the purpose of getting to know the
community and establishing reference points within it, the technique was
used later to trace social networks, observe specific behavior, and
corroborate information from other sources.
Albeit more relied on in the initial phases of the research, and
in fact preceding residency in the field, interviewing of key persons
in the community also spanned the research period. Persons were selected
for interview on the basis of their accessibility either to information
concerning some aspect of adolescent sexuality, or to other persons of
interest, be they information sources or adolescents themselves.
Persons judged to be information sources were both those directly
concerned with adolescent problems, including sexuality, e.g. school
counselors, teachers, health caregivers, and social service agency
personnel; and those whose concerns, while not necessarily peripheral,
nevertheless rendered less direct access to informational sources, e.g.
mothers, "volunteer mothers" chaperones, club sponsors, and others in
special adult-teenager non-kin fiduciary relationships, and various non-
categorizable persons who stood in confidante relationships to young
persons by virtue of their structural position or due to personality
characteristics which accorded a measure of rapport. Naturally, identi
fication of these latter individuals stemmed from growing familiarity
with the system rather than an immediate judgment.
The interview situation was conducted rather formally. An appoint
ment was made ahead of time and the interview usually scheduled to occur
during working hours at the office, or residence in certain cases, of
the informant. In all cases, the purpose for the interview was care
fully explained, e.g. gathering information for later incorporation in


19
written report, along with the means of guaranteeing source confiden
tiality. Consent was obtained before proceeding.
At the outset, it was decided to use key persons as an introduction
into the mainstream of adolescent social realms; the rationale for this
approach was that persons in positions of authority over adolescents and
having access to information about them not accessible to the ordinary
person would be better able to identify those active in socio-sexual
interaction sets and affect an introduction. This working from the top
down, hierarchically speaking in terms of age/sex categories and social
structural positions, achieved only a modest degree of success and so
was discarded in favor of reaching informants from the bottom up, e.g.
on the recommendation of a peer or through identification via the net
work formed by means of participation in adolescent behavior.
For example, girls would "pass" the researcher on to a friend
either by arranging a meeting or giving their permission for their
names to be used as an introductory gambit. In this way, anthropolo
gist-informant contact was verified in both directions: the anthropolo
gist was assured that the informant would be informative and cooperative
and the informant was assured that the anthropologist could be trusted
with confidences. Without express permission, identities of informants
were never revealed to other informants by the anthropologist.
Participation in adolescent affairs was effected by joining as
many interactional groups as possible which could be characterized as
constituted largely by adolescents or which had some primary relevance
to teenage concerns. These groups were diverse, including ones found
at activities such as a women's softball team, the Girl Scouts, girls'
club functions, dances, and, most productive of information, "cruising.'.'


20
jto
mm
Cruising consisted of driving around the town, following established
routes and acting in prescribed ways to meet other young people who
were in the circuit, and it furnished first hand experience of the
adolescent method of socio-sexual recruitment. In addition, the
anthropologist made it known that an "open house" policy would be
maintained so that adolescents could feel free to drop in without
specific invitation. Thus, girls often visited the house spontaneously.
To augment the information derived from participant observation,
interviews were conducted with selected informants. Most of these were
women: mothers as well as girls because in order to understand the
presenting behavior of girls it is necessary to recognize the effect of
the "more rigid cultural milieu of her mother's girlhood" (Mead 1928:
189), but men were also included for their knowledge of the sexual
sphere. Formality of the interview varied according to the personal
qualities of the informant, the nature of the information sought, and
the situation. Informant qualities affecting the interview were
articulateness, willingness to disclose information usually confined to
their peers, and trust of the researcher's ability to maintain confiden
tiality.
Strauss and Schatzman (1960) pointed to cross-class differences in
interactive and communicative styles which can effect the interview
situation; lower class informants tend to be less verbal and need
directing whereas middle class informants are more able to verbalize
their experiences without frequent prodding and understand the larger
implications of the interview, e.g. that an ultimately wider audience
is being addressed.


21
Hence, in situations where an articulate and motivated informant
was involved, an open-ended interview was used. In cases where the
informant was not especially verbal, as well as in instances where the
purpose of the interview was to elicit specific information, e.g. to
corroborate previous information or hypothesis, or to compile a life
history, a more structured interview was used. The question of trust
of the interviewer was often resolved by the passage of time and the
word of mouth from other informants if they had suggested that a friend
might "like to talk.'.' Group sessions also affected the nature of the
information offered in terms of selection of statements to be made in
the presence of friends.
Most of these interviews were conducted in the home of the
interviewer, in cars while riding around, or at local hangouts. In all
cases, strict privacy was maintained to accord with the needs of the
informant. Some girls, for instance, preferred to relate on a one-to-
one basis and others did not feel the need to avoid identification with
the researcher or maintain secret relationships. Referral of friends
or providing introductions to others in the peer group was left to the
discretion of the informant. In addition, consent was obtained from
adult guardians when the informant was unable to furnish legal consent.
Regardless of legal consent, however, the nature and purpose of the
research was painstakingly explained in every case to the informant
and any questions answered before proceeding.
As is usual in anthropological studies, non-probability sampling
was employed (Honigman 1973); selection was made on the basis of avail
ability, willingness, fortuitousness, and so forth rather than in
accordance with principles for assuring a random sample. Survey


22
methods were ruled as being incompatible with the nature of the research
problem and the characteristics of the site; "the method of approach is
based upon the assumption that a detailed intensive investigation will
be of more value than a more diffuse and general study based upon a
less accurate knowledge of a greater number of individuals" (Mead 1928:
189). Moreover, the type of data needed is not the sort which readily
lends itself to quantitative treatment:
As the physician and psychiatrist have found it necessary
to describe each case separately and to use their cases as
illumination of a thesis rather than irrefutable proof such
as it is possible to adduce in the physical sciences, so the
student of the more intangible and psychological aspects of
human behavior is forced to illuminate rather than demonstrate
a thesis. (Mead 3928:190)
After the selection of a site that is reasonably representative
based on criteria following from the research problem and accompanying
theory (Arensberg and Kimball 1961, Honigman 1973), individuals were
selected using a combination of judgment sampling, according to speci
fied criteria, such as age, sex, and status; and opportunistic sampling,
"chunk" sampling, or utilizing any handy chunk of the universe likely
to yield relevant information (Honigman 1973). The study was cross-
sectional rather than linear.
A description of the field experience itself is essential for
understanding the development of a viable methodology and, in this case,
valuable in terms of revealing problem areas in doing research for those
whose interests may induce them to attempt fieldwork, particularly in
the American setting. A great deal has been written by anthropologists
about the field work mystique. Its importance as a rite of passage
(van Gennep 1960) has been noted and rules have been laid down for its
successful accomplishment (e.g. Freilich 1970, Spindler 1970, Mead 1935).


23
The potential for physical and psychological damage to the fieldworker
has been explained along with the means for combating it. However, with
few exceptions, field work is assumed to be synonymous with foreign
research, with the result that few guidelines for conducting field work
in a non-foreign cultural setting have been established.
Freilich (1970) defines field work as consisting of two distin
guishable, if overlapping stages: passive research and active research.
The passive research stage consists of the adaptation period in which
"the anthropologist must learn how to survive physically, psychologically,
and morally in a strange setting" (1970:18). Solving the pressing
problems encountered in conducting the research involves dealing with
at least four types of problems which shade into the active research
stage, or data collecting stage, as well: physical survival, psychologi
cal comfort, everyday pragmatics, and moral dilemmas. Whereas Freilich,
of course, addresses his discourse to the foreign field situation,
problems surrounding these same concerns arise with equally frustrating
regularity, albeit perhaps a different magnitude, in the field setting
within one's own presumably familiar turf. Leaving aside for the moment
the theoretical problems raised by anthropologists concerning observa
tions of one's kind, can one assume that locating research within a non-
foreign setting eliminates certain kinds of problems, e.g. food, shelter,
medical care, safety, language, and gaining acceptability? In the case
of this study, the emergence of these kinds of problems went contrary to
expectations and may therefore have been more difficult to resolve than
had their appearance been expected.
The initial problems encountered were physical survival-oriented.
Successful entrance into the community depended upon establishing


24
residence in a way that assured a modicum of physical comfort, safety,
and accessibility, while remaining within restrictions imposed by budget,
availability, and locally established socio-geographic patterns, i.e.
local customs decreed that middle class white persons live in prescribed
ways. Rental property is scarce in rural areas and it was difficult to
find accomodations which met the criteria.
After moving in, it took a long time to arrange for certain services.
An example of this was telephone service: it was almost two months before
a telephone was installed and several months afterwards before a private
line could be assigned. Use of a telephone was essential in terms of
arranging contacts and having a private line seemed critical for assuring
confidentiality while conversing with informants because the gossip-
disseminating properties of the small town party line were well-known.
Psychological comfort was connected to seemingly trivial circum
stances as well as to the major contributor: acceptance into the
community. Certain circumstances which later seemed of little conse
quence, initially loomed large. For example, living as a solitary woman
in the midst of a cultural group well-known for its violence without the
reassuring presence of family and friends or even the connection via
telephone to the outside world, created considerable stress and feelings
of insecurity.
The potential trauma of the field situation in terms of feelings of
loneliness and inadequacy to complete the assigned task in the face of
difficulties perhaps unforeseen has been noted to the extent that "field
work can cause emotional and psychological stress to the point that an
individual may question his commitment to anthropology and the beliefs
underling this activity" (Hill 1974:408). To assume that this stress


25
occurs only under primitive deprivation is erroneous; removal from the
familiar sphere into an unfamiliar and, in certain respects, hostile one,
produces strain on even the independent personality, at least in the
beginning stages of the field work.
The real crux of the field situation, however, and the most anxiety-
ridden due to the penalties attached to failure on this score, is the
achievement of acceptance into the community. It is difficult to
establish a role for oneself that is both identifiable and understandable
to the community at large as well as tenable in terms of one's culture of
orientation. Factors defining the researcher role and serving as the
criteria for labelling by the informants are cultural distance, sex/age,
lack of blood or marriage relationships to local persons (Kluckholn 1940),
and status (Gusfield 1960).
Most anthropologists bent on doing participant observation assume
the role of uninformed but curious stranger desirous of being socialized.
Freilich (1970) likens this position to that of a "marginal native", a
role that "is not an easy one to play, for the real natives are often
suspicious of the anthropologist for although his credentials appear
legitimate, his goals honorable, and his behavior friendly, his work is
of a kind that few, if any, have ever heard of before" (1970:2).
Suspicion of the researcher springs from and perhaps unaccountable
most commonly recognized one being the differentness of the researcher.
Liebow (1967:252) presents a graphic account of his informants' percep
tion of him:
They saw or knew many other things as well, any one of
which relegated me to outside status. Those with whom I was
in regular contact knew, for example, that I was with them
because it was my job to be with them, and they knew, accor
ding to their individual comprehension and my ability to


2b
communicate, just what my job was. They knew that I lived
outside the area. They knew that I was a college graduate,
or at least they associated an advanced education with the
work I was doing. Moreover, it was apparent, certainly to
me, that I was not fluent in their language. Thus, I was an
outsider not only because of race, but also because of occupa
tion, education, residence, and speech.
My experience was similar to Liebow's although the differences
between researcher and study population were ostensibly less noticeable:
we were, after all, the same race and I was actually living in the same
community and thus, involved in many common pursuits with my informants.
However, that I was an outsider was immediately apparent to everyone: I
lacked the most important shibboleth: the southern accent. My background
is "Yankee," a term commonly used to denote derision or hostility, and
presented itself in my dialect. The most commonly asked question at an
initial encounter was, "Where are you from?" The answer that I had
grown up in the South was a mollifying factor, but I nevertheless
revealed myself as not being adept in the acceptable language, making
many gaffes as a result, and creating barriers.
Moreover, my verbal style also indicated an educational schism
between myself and most of my informants. Education, particularly for
women, is not highly valued in the rural south. Other attributes, such
as rugged individualism, are deemed more conducive to achieving success
and status; hence the intellectual life is often viewed as either
pretentious or escapist, and the academic community is felt to be
composed of eggheads who are not equipped with practical abilities and
are more often regarded with hostility than awe. I often found
myself the butt of jokes on this behalf. People were quick to suspect
patronism, and I became well aware of the "detrimental effects of a
suspected attitude of superiority and condescension" (Kluckholn 1940:339).


27
The second most frequently asked question, "What does your husband
do?" also pointed to my anomalous position in the community. This not
only increased my horizons in terms of contacts, but also branded me as
a "good woman," a label that was absolutely vital in terras of being
allowed access to intimate details of adolescent life.
Rural southerners are well-known for their insularity - outwardly,
they are honeyedly courteous to the stranger and I was quickly recognized
and treated with flowery effusion by shopkeepers. However, the in-out
dividing line is rigid, and insiders do not readily accept a stranger
into the more personal aspects of their lives. As an example of this,
I was extremely disheartened over the initial lark of success of a ploy
to become accepted into social aspects of the community. I had joined
a women's softball team and had been practicing at least twice a week
with them for several months before anyone initiated a conversation with
me or even seemed to be in any way aware of my presence. The real
turning point was in joining a church. After that, I found my accep
tance almost unquestioned.
As the active stage of the data gathering progressed, questions of
acceptance paled in importance and other issues became paramount. Prag
matic arrangements, e.g. scheduling my time, locating informant encounters,
and so forth, presented few problems. Moral dilemmas, however and
perhaps inevitably, emerged. The major consideration was, of course,
to maintain standards of confidentiality regarding not only the subject
matter discussed in an interview, but also the identity of the informant.
I was careful to never use a person's name to acquire an "in" with
another person unless I had expressly received permission ahead of time
to do so. The question of reciprocity in field work arose and, like Wax


28
1960), I felt that the fieldworker was under an obligation to reciprocate
the good will and confidences of the informants in whatever fashion
seemed appropriate and feasible (Mauss 1954), ranging from reciprocal
self-disclosure and satisfying the curiosity of the informant about
events of my life and experience, to a more practical reciprocity. For
example, chaperoning dances not only furnished me with data but also
met a real community need as adults willing to do this were not abundant.
In other cases, I offered to act as the chauffeur for a group of girls
desirous of cruising around, but lacking the means of doing so.
In other instances, I offered to perform services, e.g. taking
notes at a medical meeting that the county health department personnel
had wished to attend but were unable to. However, I also was occasion
ally put in a difficult position by being asked to condone or initiate
behavior of which the adult portion of the community could not approve,
e.g. buy liquor for girls or allow them to smoke or drink in my house
or car, and which I could not ethically do while being responsible for
the persons with me. In cases where my presence was not the key factor,
i.e. I was not asked to provide the means by which adolescents acquired
and/or consumed alcoholic beverages, I did not feel responsible for
curtailing the behavior as it was occurring within my observation but
not under my jurisdiction.
The problem I found most difficult to deal with within my personal
and professional ethical framework was brought about by virtue of the
confidence I was able to establish and the rapport created with my
informants. In order to get the data I needed, I had established
relationships of trust with the girls in order that they would feel
comfortable about confiding intimate details of their lives to me and I


29
had reciprocated in the ways in which I thought appropriate. Naturally,
as I came to know these informants and had discovered aspects of their
socio-sexual system of behavior, I began to feel an attachment to them
and empathized with their several predicaments. In the course of the
information-seeking, it was normal to inquire into the state of their
sexual and physiological knowledge and learn details of how they put
their system of information into practice. It became common for them to
reveal that they needed to know more in order to maintain their lifestyle
without mishap but had no one to whom they could turn for information but
me. I did not feel that it was within professional ethical standards for
me to stand as sexual advisor to these girls.very much at risk, nor did
I feel that I could suggest other avenues they might explore and still
maintain an acceptable position in the community.
Kluckholn (1940) maintains that for participant observation to be a
success one must become immersed in the community to the extent that it
becomes interesting in its own right and not merely as an object of
research; to "be isolated from others of one's own ilk" (1940:341) bends
one to the life of the community as nothing else can perhaps do so well.
That a part of one's own culture can be so alien as to require this
has been questioned by anthropologists on the grounds that one's own
culture is so familiar as to preclude viewing it with the eyes of an
outsider and therefore asking the right questions.
My view is different; the researcher doing participant observation
even within his own culture is perceived as an alien by virtue of the
fact that he is not playing an easily identified and categorizable role.
Furthermore, the position of researcher is made difficult in terms of
acceptance. In a foreign cultural atmosphere, the stranger is clearly


30
perceived as a stranger and expected to behave as one and is accorded a
degree of latitude of behavior departing from the norm because he is not
expected to know the ways of the persons whose territory he has entered
and can be seen to be trying to adapt. In one's own culture, however,
the researcher may have to work even harder to achieve acceptance because
he is expected to conform to the normal standards of behavior, and thus
any inadvertent social errors are viewed much more seriously, and
departure from the familiar pattern, preceived as "strangeness," more
severely stigmatized.
The question of relevance also pertains; there is clearly reason
enough to discard the bias in favor of foreign research as being the only
truly valid anthropological endeavor and turn in equal measure to delving
into home problems. "Anthropology could certainly contribute more than
it does to such subjects as what it really means to be male or female
and how to channel aggressive impulses, subjects in which there is
intense interest and on which there is much sensational misinformation"
(Gulick 1968:98).


CHAPTER III
THE SETTING: COMMUNITY AND COUNTY IN CONTEXT
Visually, the town has little aesthetic appeal. It is an antebellum
southern town whose growth pattern reflects a development parallel to
that of the transportation lines whose traffic spurred and later
sustained the growth of the town, rather than appearing as the faded but
charming relic of the pictorial plantation system which distinguishes
certain other towns of its relative size, age and level of economic
stagnation.
Built upon a low, flat plain, Strawberry Junction presents a stark
vista: buildings are square, low and architecturally nondescript, and no
tree-lined avenues provide relief from the merciless summer sun. The
highway, which is the major artery of the town in terms of its economic
and social vitality as well as for traffic, bisects the town and attracts
its main commercial enterprises, hence giving the community its stamp in
appearance. Strip development along the highway has occurred so that the
passer-through is presented with a procession of chain fast-food restau
rants which have proliferated in an exaggerated proportion to the size
of the town; motels, of which two are chains but the much greater number
are local establishments of long duration; car dealers and gas stations;
bars; and various other outlets of national business houses, such as
catalogue sales companies. Indeed, most of the franchise businesses
reside along the highway, while most of the locally developed businesses
can be found in the town proper, which lies in areas contiguous to the
highway, a situation which reflects both the economic necessity for
31


32
attracting travelers to automobile-related businesses and the insularity
of the town in maintaining certain activities for "home folks."
With the exception of drugstore counters, all of the community's
restaurants are ranged along the highway also, each with its charac
teristic habitues. The fast food outfits siphon off travelers and
school-skipping students and two well-known restaurants engage the bulk
of the town's lunch trade. One, called the "Ranchhouse", distinguished
by a statue of a coyboy outside, caters to the working men, mechanics,
gas station attendants, and so forth; and the other, owned by an immigrant
but long-established family, attracts the young professional and business
men who gather daily at lunch for gossip of local business affairs, and
which is favored for club activities and civic luncheons. During the
evening, the highway becomes a strip, with the fast food stops and gas
stations becoming points on the highly visible and distinctive line of
traffic which flows back and forth as young persons look for others to
engage in social interaction.
Also verging on the highway are the high school, city recreation
department, and the two courthouses the new and old ones. The old
courthouse, constructed at the turn of the century in the typical red
brick Victorian gothic style of the period, was retained for its historical
value and is currently undergoing renovations stimulated by the bicenten
nial to render it usable for offices and a museum of local historical
artifacts. The new courthouse, built in the late 1960's, was constructed
as a bomb shelter in the campaign to provide "shelter spaces for [the
county's] entire resident and transient population. This represents a
progression from no available shelter spaces in 1964 to shelter for
everyone within a period of seven years" (Anonymous 1968).


33
Adjoining the old courthouse is an old stucco building converted to use
for offices but which formerly housed the jail and which is cloaked in
lore concerning the gallows and other unsavory but titillating legends.
The new jail facilities are housed in a modern red brick two-story
edifice which unfortunately overlooks the city recreation ball park
where the secondary sport is mutual taunting between inmates and
visitors/passersby.
Aside from the highway environs, with the neon sign and billboard
appearance characteristic of the strip development, the configuration of
the town's commercial enterprises conforms to that of most small and
economically low-vigored communities. The central business district is
located to the east of the highway and ranges over several blocks of
three parallel streets. "Town" proper consists mostly of small clothing
and jewelry stores, drugstores, variety and hardware stores, a shoe
store, a pet shop, beauty salons, the movie theatre, the Post Office,
and occasional specialty shops which are generally short-lived, such as
a hobby shop and a plant store. The Woman's Club and banks are also in
this section of town, as is the small but well-appointed public lihrary.
Off and on, a teen center was open which provided amusements for young
persons such as pinball machines, however, since it also served as the
nextus for a lively drug network; its open times were sporadic until it
eventually closed for good.
The pace of the town commercial activities is leisurely. There are
no parking meters and one can always be assured of finding parking space
while shopping. Sidewalks are not congested and stores are uncrowded.
Activity levels are reminiscent of an earlier, less hurried period of
time and this illusion is occasionally supported by the sight of someone


V.
Corning to town on horseback. From time to time, because of the somewhat
casual shopping patterns of the area residents and to lure customers
away from several small shopping centers, the downtown merchants sponsor
campaigns designed to attract crowds, such as merchandise giveaways and
special attractions such as baby photographers or carnivals. In addition,
downtown merchants look favorably on the various charitable ventures
which act as draws to potential customers, such as the ubiquitous rummage
and bake sales, and are quick to donate space in which these sales may be
held.
In addition to these small shopping centers, usually offering a
grocery store, drugstore, and department store as the major stores, the
community is peppered with numerous minute markets which are heavily
shopped due both to their adaptation to the vehicle and to their longer
hours of operation. The importance of the vehicle, preferably a pickup
truck, in the life of Strawberry Junction can be readily observed through
the phenomenonof these jiffy stores. At any hour of the night or day,
depending on the length of operation of a particular store, one can see
a constant flow of trucks and cars stopping to make a small purchase and
hanging around inside or in the parking lot talking to others who drop
in for the purpose of finding someone to talk to. At night the stores
which stay open all night may gather a slightly larger portion of hangers
on, but the parking lots of closed stores and gas stations also attract
persons looking around for some social action.
Missing from the commercial scene, somewhat surprisingly, are
produce markets. There is one large market owned by an old area family
but there are few small stands and fresh produce is difficult to find,
considering that the area is a farming area. The Farmer's Market is


35
open seasonally one-and-one-half days per week with varying degrees of
success, depending upon the available produce.
The larger churches, e.g. the First Baptist and Methodist churches,
the Episcopal church, and the Presbyterian church, are in the town
proper with the Catholic church the only major denomination placed on the
highway. The numerous small fundamentalist churches are found on less-
traveled streets in or near the town proper, but proliferate mostly on
the rural outskirts.
The residential configuration of the town appears to be the result
of random growth rather than emerging from a well-thought out city plan,
although the current zoning commission seems determined to regularize
future growth within specifications determined through a careful study
contracted to the University of Florida Urban and Regional Development
Center (Schneider 1974).
The oldest houses are found toward the center of town and again
in the outlying rural areas. These houses, of two general types, are
large and often quite charming. The first type, found mostly in town,
is the Victorian house of several stories and surrounded along its length
by verandas. These very large houses have often been either converted
to apartments or accommodated to a business.
The second type is that often found in the rural south and here
located mostly in the rural areas: a large frame house of one story but
with a high peaked roof covering an extensive attic and fronted by a
porch, often screened in covering the length of the house face. These
houses are built about a yard above the ground and, with their high
ceilings, offer some protection from the heat. The survival of these
houses has been at the dictates of the owners and the demands made upon


3(>
the land; until very recently, little attempt has been made to assess
the historic worth of the community's older buildings, but a nationwide
resurgence in interest in preserving the past has influenced Strawberry
Junction as well and an Historical Commission has been established for
this purpose.
Within the city limits, many different kinds of housing can be
found. It is not uncommon to find trailers and much higher-priced houses
placed in contiguity with shanties or commercial establishments. Many
living arrangements include livestock in their menage resulting in cows,
goats, horses, rabbits, and chickens residing in the town. Several
housing subdivisions can also be found within which the houses are fairly
standardized, ranging from low middle income tract houses to expensive
and handsome architect-designed houses found to the east of town near the
country club. Although it is apparent that many houses are situated in
a setting in which attention has been paid to landscaping, a common
feature of the general scene is the yard which conforms to no discernible
arrangement of plant life but rather serves as a storage lot for the
debris of living, particularly for the ubiquitous car up on blocks that
is the sine qua non of the style of life which in the south is known as
"redneck" culture.
The aforementioned residential patterns are, of course, white ones.
Blacks are segregated in fact, if not by law, in Strawberry Junction, at
least within the confines of the town; the pattern is less rigid in the
rural areas where one may find black and white in the same vicinity.
The main "colored town" is a cluster of small houses, churches, stores,
bars or "jukes" (so called because of the juke box), and a government
subsidized apartment complex called "The Project". Whites are seldom


37
seen in this area, called Faro, unless they have specific business to
transact there, as the area is supposedly dangerous for whites.
Apartment living, in the guise of building complexes for this
purpose, is not common in Strawberry Junction and few of these complexes
exist. Rental property in the form of single family units, apartments
converted from older and larger houses, and trailers, serve in its stead.
In addition, the many small motels offer extended short-range living
quarters for non-permanent residents of the community, e.g. visitors to
inmates of the nearby state penitentiary.
The recreational features of the community include athletic facili
ties, e.g. ball parks, tennis courts, and the rodeo arena which is part
of the fairgrounds; a public park; a commercial campground; and several
nearby lakes which, although they are actually located in the adjoining
county, are considered a prominent feature in the community life and,
indeed, are considered to be part of the community.
The physical description of the community is the tangible result
of its historical development, the events of which have shaped the
present social, economic and physical configuration of the town. Old
maps indicate that the town was an intersection point for several trails
transversing North Central Florida and the area was described as one
where "towering forests of yellow pine delight the eye of the profes
sional mill man, the stretches of woodland pasture invite the stock-
raiser, the arable soil a tempting location for farmer and fruit grower,
the health-restoring, health-preserving pine woods air imparting vigor
to the individual and new strength to the robust man" (Webb 1885); hence
settlers were attracted to stop there.


38
An identifiable community began to be established around 1830,
before the Seminole Indian Wars, when settlers mostly from middle Georgia
and the Carolinas came in search of cheap land. These early settlers
grew cotton, corn, tobacco, and worked the pine forests for lumber and
naval stores, forming a settlement of sparsely distributed small farms
scattered through the woods. The announcement that the next link, of the
cross-Florida Fernandina-Cedar Key railroad being laid in the 1850's
would pass through the town spurred the establishment of a more permanent
settlement: the post office was started in 1857, officially founding the
town. The completion of the railroad caused the first of a series of
growth spurts for the area, which then "grew at a great rate, and
...from being a mere logging camp of furzy white men and ragged negroes,
became a smart, clean town of refined northern settlers" (Anonymous 1925).
Strawberry Junction served as the terminus for the railroad for the
year following its arrival, and the impact of the railroad on the
development of the town was manifested in its physical layout. In the
oldest part of town, vestiges of the original plan can be seen; streets
and avenues are laid out not according to section lines, but rather in
lines drawn parallel and perpendicular to the railroad tracks.
Local reverberations from the Civil War were not particularly
far-reaching in an historical sense. No major battles were fought on
home soil although at least one Union raiding party is recorded to have
wrecked temporary havoc in the town by burning some freight cars standing
on the railroad track. Although the county is named after a Civil War
figure, the area seems surprisingly deficient in extant Civil War
memorabilia and lore. Nevertheless, a readily apparent and fairly active
antipathy towards "Yankees" remains as a viable remnant of the hostilities.


39
Growth of the community has been sporadic with spurts coincident
with economic episodes in its own history and in the development of its
environs. The area was and remains heavily dependent upon agriculture.
Initially, cotton was the major crop with the citrus industry latterly
coming to the fore. However, several severe freezes towards the turn of
the century culminating in the famed "Big Freeze" of 1895 proved the
growing of citrus to be unfeasible, and the appearance of the boll weevil
shortly ended the ascendancy of cotton as a major money-maker. Fortunate
ly the area was found to be ideal for the raising of winter strawberries
for the northeastern markets. Strawberries became a lucrative crop and
brought an additional temporary prosperity to the town in the guise of
the seasonal influx of buyers and shippers.
External developments have been the pivotal determinants of growth
to the town. The major growth spurts have been concommitants of the
building of majortransportation links: the cross-Florida railroad
connecting the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and a major highway running
the length of the State account for the bulk of the towns economic
and population growth. The numbers of people living in the town was
reduced by the First World War, but the Florida land boom of the 1920's
affected Strawberry Junction, as much of the State, by bringing in new
waves of migrants. World War II represented a period of dramatic growth
for the area via the installation of one of the largest army bases in
the country. Local residents feared that the war's end would deplete
the base's operation, thus rendering Strawberry Junction a virtual ghost
town, but these fears were largely ungrounded. The war boom could not
continue, but the base was converted into a substantial National Guard
encampment which, along with the State Penitentiary, now accounts for a
major portion of the town's economic base.


TABLE 1
Population Change in North Central County, Northeast
Florida Region* and the State of Florida
1950-1970
Percent Percent
1950
1960
Change
1970
Change
Population
Population
1950-1960
Population
1960-1970
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
11,457
12,446
+ 8.6%
14,625
+17.5%
NORTHEAST FLORIDA
REGION
543,737
737,045
+35.6%
878,125
+19.1%
FLORIDA
2,771,305
4,951,560
+78.7%
6,789,443
+37.1%
Source: Urban and Regional Development Center, University of Florida Technical Assistance
to North Central County in Developing A Land Use Plan, 1974.


41
Today, Strawberry Junction is the county seat of North Central
County and principal municipality of four in its county; it numbers
approximately one-third of the county's 15,000 inhabitants. The county
has retained it rural character, having a population density of fifty-
four persons per square mile compared to the overall State density of
153 per square mile. The county lags appreciably behind the current
high State levels of population increase, although the 17.5 percent
increase of the past decade is regarded by the townspeople as a period
of rapid and unprecedented growth. However, a certain amount of this
growth results from immigrating residents of nearby cities who use it
primarily as a "bedroom town," commuting to conduct their major activities
outside the community (see Table 1).
The demographic configuration of the area is one that is common
in the south. The white population accounts for three-quarters of the
total residents; the non-white population is predominantly black and
forms a separate social community. Like much of the south, interracial
relations have been problematic. Prejudicial feelings resulting in
antipathy on the part of whites for blacks are internalized but can be
readily recognized even when a liberal attitude is thought to be
assumed as evidenced by a description of rural life written by a towns-
person a quarter of a century ago:
The colored people of Strawberry Junction live in their
own part of the town, called Faro. They have their own
movies, and some stores there. For instance, the barber
shop, operated for the colored people alone. The beauty
shop is there too...the dry cleaner...does some dry cleaning
for some white people. He collects it in his truck. The
white people do not seem to think anything about that. He
just calls for and delivers to your home or store. The
colored have their own schools and churches. They deal in


42
the white stores. Our jewelry store has some of the very
nicest colored trade. My husband does not refuse to repair
their watches, etc., as long as they know how to act in a
public place. A barber shop next to our store hires a
'shine' boy, who gets only a percentage of the money he
collects.(Simpson 1950)-
Mandatory integration has brought about certain changes in the
social fabric. Blacks and whites now, of course, attend the same schools
and are allowed to participate equally in community programs. However,
probing ever so slightly beneath the surface, one sees that little has
actually changed, even though what changes have been wrought by external
forces seem a quantum hap to area denizens. Integration in the schools
does bring black and white students, teachers, and, to a degree, parents
together in school-related activities, e.g. sports, school government,
and fund-raising drives. While this facilitates interaction between
races of a much greater intensity both in degree and in kind than
heretofore likely, the interaction thus engendered is quite superficial
and an iceberg of hostility and racial tension lurks beneath that
deceptive surface.
Indeed, within the last five years a trivial racial incident in
the high school triggered a reaction which turned the town into an
armed camp. One of the drugstores in town, owned by a person of such
strong racial sentiments that he preferred to remove the stool seats
rather than seat blacks at his lunch counter, contains an arsenal for
use in protecting the white citizens. Men with rifles were stationed
on the roof of this store and others in cars patrolled the town armed
with guns. Feelings ran high and serious trouble was averted by the
intervention of the sheriff whose threats subdued the bile of the
vigilantes. Partly as a result of this incident and partly due to a
fear of an incident arising, there is little social activity sponsored


43
by the schools; dances are infrequent and, when they occur, are generally
sponsored by an organization such as club which can thus restrict the
attendance to whites or blacks only.
Whites and blacks are presumably able to participate on an equal
basis in community activities and programs. The city recreation depart
ment sponsors sports programs such as midget football and little league
baseball for boys and softball for both sexes. However, to a large
extent these programs are controlled by merchants who sponsor the teams,
resulting in a skewed participation pattern. These often turn out to be
composed entirely or mostly of one race, adding another dimension to
the already fierce competition characteristic of the towns sports
programs. In the City League for women's softball, composed of women
aged fifteen and up (the bulk of the players being high school girls and
young married women), one of the four teams had a large number of blacks.
This team placed second in the city championship and later went on to
make a good showing in several tournaments, with the result that the
team got taken over at the end of the season by a local team of highly
competitive players whose ambition was to win national recognition and
wanted the younger, inexperienced team as a farm team. At the time of
the takeover, the black players were discarded even though several of
them were not only excellent players but probably superior to the
retained white members of the team.
Activities that fall under the aegis of sports are highly valued
in the community and aside from those sponsored by the schools or city,
blacks are largely excluded from participation. There is only one
swimming pool that functions as a public pool, and this is the pool at
the country club. This pool is accessible to members and others under


44
certain circumstances, but remains an exclusively white domain. There
is also an active roping club whose activities are rodeo-like; barrel
riding, cloverleaf, and parade riding; again, a whites-only stipulation
governs the membership.
Churches promote interracial visitations only in highly ritualized
contexts. Two such situations which warrant the participation of the
entire religious community of the town are the World Day of Prayer and
the Easter Holy Week Celebrations. World Day of Prayer brings the churches
together at the Presbyterian church for a worship service and covered
dish luncheon, and the Holy Week activities are a series of luncheons
held at the Methodist church but sponsored by a different pair of
churches each day for a mixed congregation. During these ceremonials,
a conspicuous display of "brotherhood" is exhibited towards the few
blacks who attend, but at other times one would certainly not expect to
find blacks attending white church services. As far as the researcher
could learn, there is no question of whites participating as minorities
in black churches under any circumstances.
Furthermore, a great deal of mystique attaches to the black realm.
Blacks are reputed to be drinkers, fighters and lusty lovers. Most
whites avoid going into the "quarters," as Faro is often referred to by
whites, especially at night. Whether the reputation is a deserved one
or not is unknown, but whites venturing into Fara after dark are thought
to be trespassing at the risk of their limbs, if not their lives. White
women, especially, do not like to venture into the black terrain at any
time and comments to that effect are rife when women gather to gossip,
e.g. "I had to take that child home from the Girl Scout meeting and I
like to died, but when we got close she said to just let her out and


45
she'd walk the rest of the way," or "Did you know that Sue takes her
yard man home to Faro and lets him sit right in the front seat of the
car with her? I'd be afraid of goin' there and afraid of what people
might think was goin'' on if they saw me with a black man!" Whites
also cherish beliefs in the remarkable sexual appetites of blacks. The
uncontrollable virility of the black buck is legendary and feared in the
south and the black woman is also felt to be lustier than white women,
e.g. "Them nigger gals has forgot more about men sex than you 'n me'll
ever know."
The white community is fairly homogeneous as is its black counter
part. The major religious identification is Protestant with the Baptist
denomination being the most common by far. Within this classification
there is a variance from the First Church, the most liberal establish
ment within the conservative denomination, to the fundamentalist churches,
which are the very bastion of fanatical conservatism.
Many of these small churches, of obscure and often esoteric sects
falling under the rubric of fundamental Protestantism, do not meet at
regular intervals, but operate on a schedule determined by the circuit
of the itinerate preacher. In this way, a great many congregations too
small to retain a full-time officiant can still maintain their integrity.
In addition, there is a small Catholic community and a well-established
Mormon following in addition to the other expected Protestant sects.
Other faiths, e.g. Judaism and the Black Muslims, may exist but are not
apparent.
The age/sex configuration of the county is biased in favor of the
younger age cohorts and women (Figure 1). Unlike the rest of the State,
the area attracts few retirees, resulting in a median age (approximately


85+
80-84
75-79
70-74
65-69
60-64
55-59
50-54
45-49
40-44
35-39
30-34
25t29
20-24
15-19
10-14
5-9
0-4
6543210123456
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
FLORIDA
Figure 1: White Population of Florida and North Central County
by Age and Sex (Percentage of Total), 1970
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census,
General Population Characteristics, Florida, pp 63-64, 156.


47
twenty-eight years) that is five years below the state median (Tahle 2).
Thirty-four percent of the county residents are less than eighteen years
old. The county birth rates also differ from the state in that younger
women account for proportionately more births. In 1975 in Florida,
12.2 percent of all white live births were to mothers under nineteen
years of age but in the county the same age group was responsible for
15.8 percent of total births to white women (Figure 2). Younger women
account for the bulk of illegitimate births as well; 53.7 percent of
illegitimate births to white women in Florida were to teenaged mothers
compared to 66.7 percent of county illegitimate births (Figure 3).
Like the national ratios, area women slightly outnumber men (Table 3)
although this is not readily apparent when referring to statistical
sources which regularly count the all-male population of the State Peni
tentiary toward the area total. For statistical purposes this is mislea
ding, adding approximately 1500 men.
However, in certain respects the prison population does affect the
town in subtle ways. The relationship of the prison to the town is a
complex one. It is, of course, a major source of income for the many
who find employment there, not only as guards, but as carpenters, elec
tricians, foresters, and others demanded in its many and varied pursuits.
The prison includes farming and stock raising and forests and extensive
land holdings and is a more or less self-sufficient institution. It
also includes shops which are manned by the inmates as both a rehabilita
tive measure and as a means of producing needed goods and services.
These goods and services find their way into the local markets in
subtle but well-known ways. If one has connections into the prison, and
almost everyone does if they exploit their kinship and friendship networks,


NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
FLORIDA
WHITE
NON-WHITE
Figure 2: Resident Live Births by Age of Mother, By Race, 1975
Florida Vital Statistics, 1975, pp. 33-34.
Source:


NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
35 and
over
20-34
15-19
Under
15
FLORIDA
-C~
sC
Figure 3: Illegitimate Live Births by Age of Mother, By Race, 1975
Source: Florida Vital Statistics, 1975, pp. 37-38


50
TABLE 2
Median Age of Population, USA, Florida and North Central County,
1950-1970
1950
1960
1970
USA
30.2
29.5
28.3
FLORIDA
30.9
31.2
32.3
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
24.0
25.6
27.6
Source: U.S., Department
of Commerce,
Bureau of
the Census
Census of Population, General Characteristics, Florida.


51
TABLE 3
Sex Ratio* for the Populations of Florida and
North Central County,
Adjusted and
1970
Non-Adjusted
,** By Race
Total
White
Non-White
FLORIDA
93.2
93.3
92.0
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
Adjusted**
93.9
96.2
86.4
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
Non-Adjusted**
112.7
106.9
134.3
* The sex ratio of any given population equals the number of males
per 100 females in that population.
** The inclusion of a large, all-male prison population skews the
results of demographic computations for North Central County and
gives figures which could be misleading for planning purposes.
Therefore, these computations were done on an adjusted population.
Source: Urban and Regional Development Center, University of Florida,
Technical Assistant to North Central County in Developing a Land Use
Plan, 1974, p. 61.


52
one can take advantage of the captive labor pool in ways such as getting
haircuts from inmate barbers, having furniture built or refinished, having
portraits painted from photographs, getting original art works from prison
artists, getting plants grown in the prison greenhouse, and getting
appliances repaired.
There is a community of prison employees who live on the grounds
and who receive services thereby. In former years, everyone from that
community had trustees who worked for them much as houseboys and their
children were always the best dressed in town due to the efforts of the
prison laundry which always provided beautiful starched pinafores for
the girls. Now there is a very active youth organization which provides
a recreation program for the adolescent members of the prison families.
Townspeople get into the penitentiary for purposes of finding cheap
entertainment. Until recently, persons could go to dinner there, the
draw being a steak dinner for a very nominal fee less than a dollar.
Townspeople also like to go to movies at the prison not only because
it is free, but for the additional amusement of watching the prisoners
and their "man girlfriends". Additionally, once a year the prison holds
its annual spring flower show; an event eagerly anticipated by the towns
people because the flowers are exotic and unfailingly lovely and also
because a flower or shrub is given to each attendee as a favor. Social
distinctions are blurred at this event where one sees the elderly and
distinguished Strawberry Junction matrons avidly discussing growing
techniques with convicted criminals, and partaking of refreshments
dispensed by inmates dressed in white prison suits with their numbers
stenciled above the pockets.


53
The inmate population is exploited in other ways as well. Girls
have admitted to creating an opportunity to go there to meet men, as, for
example, by joining an evangelistic mission to "save" the souls of those
who have lost their faith. On occasion friendships are formed which
lead to marriage the ceremony even being conducted "in the yard,"
meaning while the man is still serving his sentence. Men released from
prison are outfitted with clothes, given a bus ticket to some specified
place, and two hundred dollars. A practice, more or less naturally
expected, has developed in which prostitutes, usually black, wait for
these men to appear at the bus terminal and accost them. They are then
lured into the nearby Faro and fleeced of their money during the ensuing
transaction.
Moreover, it is well known to residents of the town that the men
within the prison walls have access to any commodity available on the
outside, especially drugs and weapons. The means by which these
commodities become so widely available is naturally a covert process,
but it is reasonable to surmise that the persons working in the prison
are important links in the supply network and that this trade represents
perhaps the most lucrative means by which townspersons exploit the
State Penitentiary.
The presence of the penitentiary also represents a threat to the
townspeople, of course. The immediate community has formalized plans
for dealing with escapees which include the sounding of an alarm as soon
as an escape is discovered. However, other dangers present themselves
due to the incomplete separation of employees from inmates. One such
tragic incident occurred when an inmate attempted to force himself onto
a young secretary. An older woman who was witness to the encounter


54
intervened in an attempt to prevent his assault and suffered a fatal
heart attack in the attempt.
The presence of another large, predominantly male institution in
the community has similar reciprocal ties to those found in the town-
prison relationship. The National Guard post has a permanent installa
tion on a large lake which includes vacation cottages and trailers, and
thus serves as a source of recreation for those townspeople who can
activate the necessary connections to avail themselves of its facilities.
The guardsmen also function in certain service capacities, such as
charitable ventures, to the community. However, the main impact of the
military establishment is realized during the summers when large numbers
of men are engaging in their mandatory summer maneuvers. These men,
confined to Strawberry Junction for their summer camp, a period of from
two to six weeks, must look to the town for amusement, which has
important economic and social ramifications.
At $3,376, the county per capita income is well below the state
level of $5,412 in 1974 (Table 4), in fact, seventh lowest in the state,
consonant with low education levels. The largest single source of income
is the government which employs greater than one-fourth of the labor of
the county accounting for nearly half of the total personal income.
Other identifiable sources of income are realized from manufacturing,
strip mining of ilmenite used in paints, services and trade, and other
private industries (Table 5).
Although nearly one-third of the land is in agricultural use, only
ID percent of the total personal income is derived from this source.
The Strawberries for which the area is famous have declined dramatically
in their importance due to difficulties in hiring pickers. Many of the


55
TABLE 4
Per Capita Income for Florida and North Central County for
Selected Years, 1950-1974 (in dollars)
Florida North Central County
1950
$1280
$ 817
1960
2215
1950
1970
3738
2088
1974
5412
3376
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of
Florida, Florida Statistical Abstract, 1976, p. 127


%
TABLE 5
Personal Income: Percentage Distribution by Industry and of Labor and
Proprietors Income on a Place-of-Work Basis for the State and North
Central County, 1974
Florida North Central County
Farm
3.70
0.00
Non-Farm
96.30
100.90
Private
77.81
54.57
Manufacturing
12.57
10.78
Mining
0.43
Withheld
Construction
10.54
3.96
Wholesale and
Retail Trade
19.51
22.24
Finance, Insurance and
Real Estate
7.00
2.56
Transportation,
Communications, and
Public Utilities
7.93
3.10
Services
19.22
11.32
Other Industries
0.60
Withheld
Government
18.49
46.33
Federal-Civilian
3.51
1.62
Federal-Military
3.28
1.81
State and Local
11.70
42.89
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of
Florida, Florida Statistical Abstract, 1976, pp. 161-164.


5 7
farmers who still grow the berries do so on the basis of opening their
fields to people who will pick their own berries at a lower rate than
if the fruit were bought in a market. The economic situation is illus
trated by the fact that nearly 30 percent of the labor force is
employed outside the county, commuting each day to nearby cities. This
figure is a striking contrast to the state average of 8 percent
extra-county-of-residence employment. Unemployment within the county
also exceeds the state average and is disproportionately biased against
women and non-whites (Figure 4).
Strawberry Junction is the site of the county's only high school
to which all county residents are bused. Because many of the Strawberry
Junction students are rural residents, they too are bus riders. In
addition, the community has a middle school for sixth through eighth
grades, two elementary schools, and a vocational-technical school (known
as the Vo-Tech) which caters to regular high school students as well as
adults in its variable programs. Indeed, the course offered in truck
driving attracts students from the entire country and has a long waiting
list for acceptance. Together, the secondary schools number a student
population of approximately 2500 students.
Approximately 35 and 40 percent of males and females, respectively
have completed high school out of the population aged twenty-five year
and over and the literacy rate falls below the state average
(see Table 6). Few students from the community continue their
education into a post-secondary program as indicated in Table 7; the
numbers entering higher educational institutions are less than half
that on a state level. On the other hand, relatively higher percentages
than found statewide are married, suggesting that early marriage may


Occupation
PROFESSIONAL AND
TECHNICAL AREA
MANAGERS AND
ADMINISTRATION
SALES
CLERICAL
CRAFTSMEN
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS
TRANSPORTATION
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS
LABORERS
FARMERS
FARM LABORERS
COMME RCIAL.SERVICE
HOUSEHOLD SERVICE
Number
203
141
480
180
398
115
TOTAL
1799
Figure 4: Women 16 Years and Over Employed in North Central County, 1970
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1970 Census of
Population, General Social' and Economic Characteristics, Florida


59
TABLE 6
Median Years of Education Achieved by Florida and North Central County
Residents 25 Years of Age and Over, 1960-1970
1960 1970
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
8.4 years 10.3 years
FLORIDA
10.9 years 12.2 years
Source: Urban and Regional Development Center, University of Florida,
Technical Assistance to North Central County in Developing a Land
Use Plan, 1974, p. 66.


(>0
also adversely affect continuance of education, especially for women
(Table 7).
The school curricula reflect the educational attributes of the
community by stressing courses of study other than college preparatory.
For example, the policy of the high school is stated in its annual report
to parents:
Advanced courses are at a minimum at North Central County
High School. This is due to several factors (1) the number
of students entering college, (2) Job Entry, DCT, and Agri
cultural Placement and (3) the state's funding system. The
latter does not provide a difference between, for example,
a physics class or a general science class. We simply cannot
afford programs that only meet the needs of a few.
Like most predominantly rural areas, the county can be classed
as medically deprived. The majority of the available medical services
are in Strawberry Junction: the county health department, 50-bed
hospital and 50-bed nursing home, emergency service, and most of the
physicians, who are distributed in the ratio of one physician to
approximately 2500 people in the county. The level of health in the
community is suspect from observing the people. The general appearance
is poor, especially among children, and is a reflection of a lack of
preventive care and poor dietary regimens which rely heavily on starchy
foods. Many persons are obese, and most are pale with poor complexions
and have sores on their faces and limbs. Gumline dental caries are
common in children and babies are often listless and afflicted with
runny noses. Both children and adults are often barefoot, which leaves
them prey to the many infections and infestations common to warm climates.
The brunt of the medical maldistribution is particularly felt by
the women of the county. Gynecological services are available from
general practitioners, but there are no obstetrical services or facilities


High School Graduates Entering a Post-Secondary Educational Institution
by Type of Institution in Florida and North Central County, Spring 19 75
(Proportion of Total Graduates)
Area
1975 Total
Graduates
Community
Colleges
Universities
and Colleges
Technical
Trade & Other
FLORIDA
85,651
27.8
20.9
0.6
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
232
11.6
8.2
0
Source: Florida Statistical Abstract, Bureau of Economic and Business
Research, University of Florida, 1976, p. 112.


62
in tlie county; all deliveries occur "across the lines," predominant
ly in one of the two closest metropolitan areas in adjacent counties
linked to Strawberry Junction by the highway that is so prorainant a
feature of the community life. Women who are able to afford it seek
care in one of these two cities, but lower income women depend upon
clinical services available through a university-based program which
extends its services via the mechanism of a travelling health care team
which utilizes local facilities, e.g. the county health department in
the case of the prenatal care and the out-of-county university hospital
for deliveries (approximately thirty miles distance). Family planning
services are available in the same way, i.e. privately, for those who
can afford it, and by means of the university-based project for lower-
income women at-risk.
The physical arrangement also impedes the delivery of health
services. The railroad tracks which bisect the town run between the
hospital, which includes the emergency service, and the highway which
is not only a source of automobile emergencies, but also the route that
must be taken to reach medical services of the sophistication required
by many emergencies. If one of the many trains which run that route is
occupying the track, the emergency may be seriously delayed. Many
medical situations necessitate rapid transport to a hospital in another
city, so this prohlem is a serious one which is compounded by the
reliability of the emergency staff and vehicles. One of the more
tragically ironic incidences occurred when one of the Emergency Medical
Technicians was struck by an automobile in front of the hospital and the
"unit" (ambulance) could not be started to transport him to a hospital
in time to prevent his death.


TABLE 8
Marital Status of White Population Arc 14 and Over
North Central County and Florida, by Sex, 1970
Marital Status North Central County Florida
Male Female Male Female
Single
28.4
16.6
22.7
16.5
Married
63.6
66.3
69.7
63.1
Separated
1.0
1.3
1.1
1.3
Divorced
5.4
3.2
3.4
5.1
Widowed
2.7
13.9
3.1
14.0
Source: U.S., Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1970
Census of Population, General Characteristics, Florida, pp. 71-72, 179


CHAPTER IV
THE GENERATIONS: PARALLEL LIVES
Strawberry Junction is a small community where it is quite possible,
even likely, that most natives have a reasonably intimate acquaintance
with their fellows. On investigation this indeed proves to be the
case. The community illustrates the veracity of the cliche that in
a small town there are few secrets. Everyone knows everyone else
at least by sight and reputation, and in addition, can probably furnish
a lineage for any particular individual complete with up-to-date
on dits from their past and current "private" affairs. This can be
atributed to several factors: (1) living in close contiguity with
neighbors, (2) the overlappings of the kin linkages, and (3) the
telephone party lines, the importance of which cannot be overrated.
This gossip chain is kept in good working order by the adult
women of the community but they are by no means the only persons privy
to this flow nor the only active generators of it. On numerous occasions,
it was apparent that much of this accumulated knowledge of community
doings belonged to a common bank which was added to by each according
to his sphere of awareness. In this fashion, children and adolescents
contributed pieces gleaned from school and play situations, with men
and employed women adding references from the workplace, and so forth.
Thus it was that almost any person of the community could serve as a
reliable informant concerning certain personal details about their
neighbors, particularly their place in the kinship web, occupation,
religious orientation, social status, idiosyncrasies, and the like.
64


65
Despite this phenomenon, the community does not present equal
opportunities for all of its members to interact according to inclination,
but rather activities are for the most part restricted according to age
and sex distinctions. Certainly race is also an important social
divider but the following discussion is germane primarily to the white
portion of the community unless otherwise specified. It is a well-known
characteristic of the south that the black and white segments of a
community, especially one as retrograde as Strawberry Junction, remain
socially distinct to the point of representing two separate and definable
mutually exclusive communities, regardless of how they may intersect
in various ways. In terms of this analysis, therefore, the community
which is described will in most cases by the white community. Social
distinctions arising from sex roles will be discussed in the following
chapter.
The segregation along age lines separates the members of the
community into rough age grades according to the progression through
the life cycle: infants, pre-school children, school children, adoles
cents, young adults, mid-life adults, and old persons. The division
of adolescents from the other age grades is perhaps more clearly
demarcated in terms of social interaction and through definition within
the group and by outsiders than the other grades are from each other.
The penalties of this restriction, although not well perceived by either
adolescents or the ascending generation, have severe consequences for
teenagers because they are removed from adult influence yet cut off
from childhood.
According to dictionary definitions, adolescence consists of
"the transition period between puberty (boyhood or girlhood) and adult


66
stages of development; youth. It extends from about fourteen to
twenty-five years of age in man, and from twelve to twenty-one in
woman" (Barnhart 1966:17), or more simply, "the period of attaining
complete growth and maturity" (Stedman 1976:27). These definitions
offer some latitude in assigning young people to the category of
adolescence but the term is more often used synonymously with the
teenage years.
Definition of adolescence is compounded by the legal assignment
of responsibility, i.e. different ages at which, according to state
law, one can or must assume adult responsibilities. At the time of this
research, the legal age for drinking and voting was twenty-one, the legal
age for obtaining a driver's license was sixteen, the legal age for
marriage with parental consent was sixteen for women and eighteen
for men, the age of consent for sexual relations was eighteen, and
persons could be tried as an adult for criminal offenses at seventeen.
For heuristic purposes, adolescents discussed in this study were
defined as teenagers.
The theme of adolescence is at the forefront of social concerns
even among other timely and possibly more pressing contemporary issues.
Young people are of special interest to demographers especially as their
proportions of the total population in developing countries is increasing,
skewing the population and creating unique problems in the context of
world history. For example, in 1971, 50 percent of the population of
India was less than twenty years of age, with adolescents accounting
for about one-fifth of the total (Visnaria and Jain 1976:13). In the
United States in 1975, an estimated 35 percent of the population
was less than twenty years and 14 percent fell within the age
range from thirteen to nineteen years (USDHEW 1977:135). Due to falling


<>/
birth rates in this country, unlike developing countries, the proportion
of adolescents has declined slightly over the last decade and is expected
to continue this downward trend.
"The American way of life has been characterized, and caricatured
too, as child-centered to an extreme degree. Visitors from abroad have
been known to observe that the vaunted American democracy is in fact
a pedocracy, and that the most surprising fact of American life is
the way parents obey their children" (Goodman 1970:1). This focus on
children perhaps reaches its fullest expression in the preoccupation
with the adolescent phase of the life cycle which is a relatively recent
and peculiarly American-flavored phenomenon:
The cultural recognition of adolescence is a by-product
of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to that there had
been no need to provide a hiatus category to deal with
the individual who was biologically no longer a child but
not yet ready for induction into adult roles, particularly
occupational roles. (Hamburg and Hamburg 1975:93)
The concept of adolescence was virtually nonexistent until the
final two decades of the nineteenth century and could be thought of
almost as an invention of the period (Demos and Demos 1969). The
changes brought about through industrialization affected social
patterns including family roles and lifestyle which allowed adolescence
to achieve its separateness from both childhood and adulthood, phases
which also became more distinct by contrast.
The changing emphasis from farming to industrial manufacturing
was responsible for shifts in population dispersion from rural to urban
settings. The early part of the twentieth century implemented restric
tive legislation concerning child labor and compulsory education laws
raising the age for mandatory school attendance. Declines in both
fertility and mortality allowed parents to survive not only the


68
childbearing years but also the childrearing years, thus experi
encing the "empty nest" syndrome (Jordan 1976) and embarking on old
age. "The glorification of youth and the denigration of old age are
both aspects of the growing segregation of different stages of lifeand
of their corresponding age groups" (Harenen 1976:25).
It is these alterations in teh continuum of the generations that
have been attributed as allowing child-focus to develop in American
society (Demos and Demos 1969, Hamburg and Hamburg 1975; Jordan 1976).
Traditionally, life roles were learned gradually while the child observed
parents and other adults of the extended family or community in the
routine performance. As the child matured, more responsibility would
be extended according to the child's ability. In this way, childhood
was apprenticeship for adult life.
With industrialization, family processes metamorphosed: the
transition from child to adult was no longer gradual and children
and adults evolved separate and mutually more exclusive routines and
habitats. By 1900, the trend was well established. Social and
economic change was widespread. Disparity between the generations was
assumed to be a fact of life, becoming "...part of the national mythology"
(Demos and Demos 1969:638), and Americans began to express deep concern
about the growth of peer group influence.
As pedocentric families emerged, American society became not only
"peer-oriented," but "expert-oriented" (Goodman 1970). The vast litera
ture devoted to child-rearing advice extant today was rare in the
United States during the early nineteenth century. Books by American
authors began to appear around 1825 along with a new variety of magazine,
e.g. "Mother's Magazine," devoted to the interests of childrearers.


69
Cookbooks wore nn earlier source of advice about the care of chil
dren. Unlike modern specialized cookbooks, these books contained useful
information about all matters pertaining to the household and not
merely recipes, and often, in company with the family bible, represented
the complete family library. Antedating the childrearing guides which
began appearing at the quarter century, the advice rendered in these
volumes most often consisted of care and feeding of infants and children
rather than emphasizing parenting principles, as in the following
examples from an early cookbook:
Baby's first bath should be preceded by a generous applica
tion of pure, sweet olive oil, from head to foot, in every
little crevice and corner of his outer man.
Great care should be given that children are not fed with
milk that has been turned by a thunderstorm. The chemical
change is rapid, and extra caution is necessary.
Give a nourishing diet to a pale, white-looking delicate
child.
Jumping the rope is an injurious and dangerous amusement,
often resulting in diseases of the spine and brain.
(Anonymous 1880:461-465)
Demos and Demos (1969) attribute the emergence of a literature
on childrearing to the burgeoning interest in childhood as a separate
period discernible from succeeding life stages; a sense of nationalism
and need to develop a distinct American method of childrearing rather
than continuing to rely on European, particularly British, thought;
and an anxiety about the quality of American family life. The major
concern of this growing childrearing literature centered on the question
of authorityan issue as yet unresolved, viz. the undulating preferences
for permissiveness or strictness that have assailed American parents
for generations Even the latter day saint of parents, Dr. Spock,


70
has undergone some radical philosophical changes over the multiple
editions of Baby and Child Care (1970).
Books aimed toward youth rapidly found a market. The tenor of
these was to provide the young reader with a guide to proper deportment
simple rules of health, and a Christian outlook. Margaret Coxes
Young Lady's Companion was typical of the genre, pontificating through
a series of letters on such topics as intellectual and moral discipline,
formation of habits, government of the passions and appetites, behavior
to domestics, and so forth. That the aim of the Young Ladys Companion
and other boods of its ilk was to prepare young girls for their social
roles as wives is evident. The section devoted to the explanation of
natural science to young ladies reads thusly:
The subjects which are included under the subdivision of
natural science...are numerous, but as they will not be
likely to engage your attention, or will not be of much
practical importance to a young female, I shall pass
over it without attempting to enter into detail.(1840:149)
As it might be expected, little practical information about the
most intimate aspects of the marriage role could be found in these
books. Even the description of the class mammalia in the natural
history section is a masterpiece of circumlocution: "All mammiferous
animals...possess lungs, and peculiar facilities for obtaining nourish
ment during infancy" (Coxe 1840:155)[emphasis added].
This is in contrast to the much more straightforward manuals
which spread throughout England and the American colonies during the
seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries, the so-called Aristotle manuals,
which were drawn eclectically from the writings of the Greek philosopher,
folklore, legends, and some medical knowledge relating to sexual congress.


71
Although not produced specifically for the young person, much of the
advice concerned the sexual novice and the newly married. Sex was
regarded as healthy, natural and desirable:
The inclinations of virgins for marriage became evident
soon after the flow of natural purgations at the age of
fourteen or fifteen. Then the blood ceased to serve the
development of their bodies and turned instead to stir up
their minds to venery....manuals thus encouraged early
marriages to prevent disorders resulting from the unnatural
confinement of the seed in the male and female .(Haller and
Haller 1974:94-5)
The prevailing mode of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
was set by the purity literature, such as the Young Lady's Companion,
which offered girls little concrete information, much apprehension, and
a denial of feminine sexuality:
Young girls were to avoid the hazards of early marriage.
Premature love robbed the nerve and brain of their natural
needs and blighted the organs of sex...for girls to 'rush
into the hymenal embrace'...would only exhaust the love
powers, and precipitate disease and an early grave...the
healthy male could live until marriage without the loss
of a single drop of seminal fluid...the man who married
earlier [than 25 years] might well arrest the growth of his
body, weaken his system, and fall prey to disease and
premature aging... children born of early unions... seldom
reached the age of manhood, and old age was out of the
question (Haller and Haller 1974:110,201,225).
Although youth was recognized as a formative, transitional phase
during the 1800's, attention was drawn to the special problems of this
life stage at the turn of the century, when the work of psychologist
Stanley G. Hall made the term "adolescence" a byword. In 1904, Hall's
research culminated in his opus, Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its
Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Religion and Education.
Influenced by Barwin, Hall created an evolutionary model of
recapitulation whereby individuals live through the evolutionary stages
of their race. According to the model, adolescence recapitulated the


72
"...most recent of man's great developmental leaps" (Demos and Demos
1969:635). Under the influence of Hall, adolescence has continued
to receive much attention from social scientists, chiefly psychologists
and sociologists, and from the lay audience as well. This segment of
the life cycle has most often been regarded as either a period of
relatively transient deviance, as in the plethora of delinquency
studies, or alternatively, as a period of psychological self-seeking
a time of narcississtic introspection and rebellion against observed
role-styles of the parent generation and the abandoned childhood. The
perceived growth of peer group influence and its supposed role in the
social socialization of teens, combined with the rapid and bewildering
socio-technological changes of the last century, resulted in the rather
paranoid concept of the generation gap. Mead's landmark inquiry into
the nature of adolescence, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), sought to
elucidate the question of the universality of the generation gap by
comparing Samoan youth to American youth. Her research pointed to the
culture-bound concepts of adolescence found in the literature of the
time. Her study of Samoan girls revealed that "...adolescence represented
no period of crisis or stress, but was instead an orderly developing of
a set of slowly maturing interests and activities" (1928:120). While
most societies amplify one or another point in the life cycle, adolescence
is by no means universally accorded significance, but is often incor
porated by raising the child phase or lowering the adult phase (Linton
1942). Nevertheless, by far the bulk of literature dealing with adoles
cence is formulated according to the American pattern (e.g. Yankelowich
1974) rather than on cross-cultural principles (Goodman 1970).


73
By and large, anthropological treatments relate adolescence to the
socialization process, e.g. cross-cultural variations on the theme of
how one becomes to be a full member of one's society, or as one of a
series of transitional motifs, e.g. what is the nature and function
of rites de passage. North American examples include studies of blacks
(Dougherty 1978, Liebow 1967, Hannerz 1969), American Indians (Hoebel 1960),
and white or "ethnic" Americans (Henry 1963, Graebner 1915).
Adolescents began to be recognized as a legitimate health popu
lation early in the 1960's, by virtue of their specialized characteristics
and needs. Nevertheless, the real significance and impact of this group
in terms of health effects is perhaps only now being realized. Millar
(1975) classifies the adolescent population as medically underserved
regardless of the physicianrpopulation ratio or economic status and
cities the following as contributing to minimal attention of the medical
community to adolescent problems. First, adolescents are essentially
a healthy group with relatively few demands for services other than
emergency services. Their need for services is reduced in that most
congenital anomalies have been detected and treated by the time
adolescence is reached and degenerative disease will not affect this
age group significantly, and immunity to infectious disease has been
built. Thus, adolescents generally don't seek health care between the
last visit to a pediatrician, usually at about twelve years of age, and
adulthood, e.g. college or military physicians, pre-marital exams.
Second, physicians and other medical caregivers may have difficulty
in establishing rapport with young people. Often they may find it
difficult to cope with problems associated with adolescents' relative
unconventional life styles.


74
Third, financial barriers exist to health care, particularly
clinics, as adolescents rarely control their own finances and medical
insurance. The need for privacy may cause adolescents' reluctance to
disclose need for money.
Last, adolescents are frequently isolated from appropriate care
settings. They have outgrown the pediatrician but may have difficulty
in adult oriented settings, such as hospitals. The movement of the
last decade toward establishing teen clinics, especially for family
planning, may be a viable alternative.
Many of the special health problems of adolescents are the result
of their incomplete maturation and the dis-synchronization of the
physical and socio-emotional maturation processes. Puberty, the
transition to fertility, should precede adolescence, the "period when
social, psychological, and cognitive maturation takes place" (Millar
1975:6).
Pubertal changes in terms of primary and secondary sex characteristics
occur differently and at different rates for boys and girls. Girls
generally gain their full height early in the genital development of
puberty and boys usually complete their sexual maturation before
achieving their adult form; hence, visual cues may be misleading.
Mood swings, acne, and fat deposition can accompany hormonal activity
during pubertal development presenting adolescents with their most
onerous health problems.
Adolescence is well marked in many societies, particulary tradi
tional societies. We have excellent descriptions of the rites de passage
associated with the physical manifestation of onset of womanhood for
girls, i.e. menarche, (Krige and Krige 1943, Radcliffe-Brown, 1922).


75
Female passage into adulthood may also be accomplished through
childbirth (Dougherty 1978). The process for males also often includes
a physical trial or ritual mutilation such as circumcision, subincision,
or scarification (Hogbin 1976). In American society, these transitions
are not as clearly marked. Among Jews, the Bar Mitzvah signifies that
the boy has become a man but as this takes place at thirteen, the
significance may be lessened as other hallmarks of adulthood will occur
considerably later.
In this culture, thS educational chronology must be the primary
means of assigning status, e.g. high school graduation is considered
the most significant rite of passage by many. While this is a signifi
cant ritual, college graduation may be more critical to those students
who continue their education, thus delaying their emergence into the
"real world" and prolonging the length of parental dependency. The
problem is confounded in considering high-school dropouts (Is the first
job the major rite of passage?) and college students who live separately
from their parents but still maintain a quasi-dependency relationship
(Will they identify themselves as adults or school-children?).
In Strawberry Junction, adolescence is conducted as a parallel
existence to the adult world. Young people coexist with those above and
below them in age but intersect with them infrequently and only under
certain circumstances. Their insulation from the larger community is
maintained consciously and can be discussed in terms of intergenerational
relations, use of space, and ritual.
The shrinking consciousness of adolescent insularity struck me
as a result of an encounter with a young girl. I had taken several
girls to a dance and, following their customary pattern, much of our


76
time was spent outside the building in which the dance was held. My
companions were girls in their early teens but all were taller than I
and we were dressed in a similar fashion in jeans. We were standing
around outside in the parking lot when a new girl was hailed and moved
to join the group. She was smoking a cigarette and bandying round
some rarified jargon when suddenly she looked closely at me and said,
"Oh, shitare you a lady?" When I laughed and made some noncomittal
reply, she said, "No, I mean how old are you?" I answered and she
immediately began to actnervously and started to throw her cigarette
away when my friends assured her that I was "....okayjust like one of
us. You can trust her!"
Adolescents maintain their separation from the larger community
carefully. Although they are residents in the same community as the
adult denizens, they occupy the territory differently, utilizing the
time dimension to maintain their parallel existence (cf Melbin 1978).
During the day, adolescents are in schoolsthe middle school, high
school or vocational-technical school. They occupy their space as if
defending it against invaders. The three schools are located on
contiguous plots of land allowing a high flow of students between their
respective grounds. The students at the vocational school, which
includes adult students, might be expected to have a greater degree
of freedom than in the other schools yet a visitor to the high school
will observe a good many students milling around in the grounds and
loitering in the halls, perhaps sitting around in groups smoking. Most
noticeable are students, often couples, sitting in the cars parked on
the perimeter roads. These adolescents look upon an adult visitor to
the school with mild interest, perhaps hostility or derision, and often


77
will offer a challenge in the fashion of a sentry. Teachers report
that their cars are often targets for pranksters, e.g. upon leaving school
they will find their car turned upside down or with the tires deflated.
Although the young people of the community regard the school as their
sanctum sanctorum, many refuse to be confiened to its locale by the
dictates of the school authorities. Skipping school is rampant. The
extent of the problem is revealed in a letter written by a high school
junior to the school board:
... there is a crowd* of kids that are always seen at the
auditorium without being in class. I can't seem to see
that this is alright for kids to skip. I am quite strongly
against kids skipping especially when they stay around
school. It seems to me that the School Board could do
something about these kids. The Board should have a
meeting about these kids who skip, but no one seems to care
about them hanging around the school. To me this skipping
problem is bigger than the new trash cans and fence the
school board wants. If they would stop some of this
skipping we might not need a fence.[See Appendix 1]-
The school Board had deliberated on the problem of skipping and
had decided to attempt to confine students to their respective campuses
by building a chain link fence around the high school. Moneys had been
allotted to build the fence during the summer for the coming school
year. The issue of the fence created a furor among the students. The
girls were mostly amused and the boys insulted. Bets were being placed
on how long the fence would stand and which boy would pull it down
with his truck. The field research period terminated before the issue
was resolved.
Behavior at school is used to distinguish between major classes among
the high school girls. Two distinct crowds are so defined: the bathroom
group and the MacDonald's group. The bathroom is the focal point for
social gatherings involving three related activities, gossip, smoking,


78
and skipping class. Girls in the bathroom group are described by their
peers as the lower-class, "low-life" element of the school and are
believed to be faster and tougher than the MacDonald's crowd. Smoking
automatically assigns a girl to this group as the bathroom is the best
place for smokers to gather, especially during classes.
MacDonald's, a fast food restaurant about a mile from the high
school, attracts the seniors who have open campus privileges at lunch
time. Other students are restricted to campus but often accompany their
friends among the seniors in defiance of the rules. Theoretically,
4
seniors can get into trouble for taking lower classmen off campus but
the MacDonald's crowd assess the risk as minimal. A lower classman
said, "If the school really wanted to catch people, they'd have someone
watching at MacDonald's." This crowd is made up of the ones who "never
go to the bathroom unless they have to go to the bathroom." These girls
have more money to spend than the bathroom group and have the added
advantage of transportation to skip class off campus. Some mobility
exists between the groups for on-the-fencers who are neither poor not
well-to-do or fast or prudish.
Apart from these limited forays away from the school, the adolescents
are little in evidenc in the town during the days nor are they at home,
these being the adult diurnal domains. At night, the situation reverses
and adolescents occupy the town. The most prominent aspect of this
turnover is, of course, the nightly paseo around the town. The trucks
and cars full of teens calling to each other and "showin' out" circle the
familiar routes far into the night. Adults have now largely absented
themselves from the scene. If present in town, they are indoors in one
of the several small bars, the "jukes," which are closed to the younger
diversion seekers.


79
Opportunities for adolescents to interact with adults are not
plentiful. During these social occasions that attract persons across
generations, e.g. church affairs, and sports events, the generational
groupings tend to maintain their integrity. A spectator aspect is
apparent during some of these events where adolescents and adults are both
present but real interaction seldom takes place. For example, at church
family night socials adolescent girls are responsible for serving the
supper and parents may entertain by putting on skits but social inter
action can be observed tQ occur most frequently within age groups.
Adolescents are not abundantly found in the work force. While the
fast food restaurants employ a few, the area cannot support a great
many occupational opportunities and these appear to be reserved for those
persons who have seriously begun to earn their livings. Thus older
adolescents, e.g. 18 and 19 year olds may be employed but if so acquire
the attributes of adults, losing their liminal status. Farm youths may
work in agricultural pursuits along with the adults in the family but
young people of the town report that they are freed from major responsi
bilities of the household. Therefore, interaction with adults is not
derived from work settings any more frequently than from social occasions.
Isolated incidents account for cross-generational mixing. The
summer softball program mixes persons as young as 15 years old with
adults, and through the vehicle of the game the usual status barriers
to interaction are relaxed. Certain community programs, e.g. scouting,
agriculture-oriented clubs, the Roping Club, also present opportunities
for inter-generational exchange.
Although adolescents prefer to preserve many of their social activities
for peer relations, there is evidence supporting the desire of young
persons for more substantial contacts with adults. Teachers and


80
guidance counselors reported that it is not uncommon for their students
to attempt to confide in them and relate many incidents of students, much
to their embarrassment, calling their teachers "momma." The experience
of other adults whose activities bring them into the adolescent orbit
echoes the findings from the school. As a researcher, I had no difficulty
in gaining the friendship of young girls and found them eager to discuss
many topics of concern with someone having broader experience. Parents
do not act as confidants to their maturing children, especially in
respect to sexual mattery, despite the occasional urgings of those
children.
Adults have abdicated their responsibilities in other ways.
Although soughern rural society has many parallels to the Latin American
role system, it lacks an essential ingredientchaperonage. In Strawberry
Junction, adults do not involve themselves very intensely in the social
affairs of the community's young people. Children and adolescents are
largely ignored after their basic needs have been attended to. The
high school has a parent advisory committee which is selected by a
class during their last year of attendence at the middle school and which
sees the class through to graduation. Its function is to organize the
class social events. The intensity of the committee members' personal
relations to class members is variable according to the four parents
chosen, but is seldom very active. Chaperones at dances and other functions
are cavalier about the obvious drinking, taking action only when a young
man is too boisterously drunk to ignore, and do not appear concerned at
which might be considered inappropriate age mixing. They do not confine
events to adolescents but allow much older men to attend dances which
include quite young girls.


81
Parents are quite outspoken about raising their children in a
small town rather than in a "wicked big city" such as the moderately-
sized university community nearby where they believe sin is rife, but
shun the obvious advantages of a small community, i.e. social control.
While it is true that adolescents are known by sight to the community
adults, their behavior is not well-monitored, despite gossip links, and
teenagers have a degree of autonomy that is not accorded during other
life phases. Even adults do not have their degree of freedom and relative
invisibility, subject as adults are to public censure in cases of
non-conformist behavior.
Adolescence is ill-defined in terms of beginning and ending
rites de passage. Ascending into the middle school, grades sex, seven,
and eight, is accepted as marking the beginning of adolescence, but
no real ceremony is attached to finishing elementary school. Girls may
mark their new status by acquiring "adolescent privileges": make-up,
leg shaving, heeled shoes, and permission to date. Although isolated
incidents of adult male-attended celebrations of menarche have been
reported, this custom is not believed to be the usual case.
Because the community hierarchy is defined in part by possession
of a vehicle, preferably a truck, the acquisition of a driver's license
is an important mark of maturity. Adolescents may legally begin driving
at 14 as a learner accompanied by a licensed driver, but the nature of
the agricultural demands have required many to learn earlier. Hence,
police do not strictly enforce the law and it is common to see quite
young persons driving in the town and rural surroundings.
The end of adolescence is marked in several ways. Graduation from
high school is well-accepted as a ritual entrance to adulthood and is
marked by ceremonials. The beginning of real work is more important for


82
men and high-school drop-outs but is not usually accompanied by ritual
observence. Marriage is another means of acquiring adult status and
its ritual accompaniment is often quite lavish according to community
standards. However, this is not the case for pregnancy-initiated
marriages, which are usually conducted quickly and with little ceremony.
This is partly punitive for while marriage is the socially approved
remedy for this ill, early sexual relations and precocious pregnancies
are frowned upon by adults as inappropriate behavior and some of the
perquisites attendant upgn marriage, especially for the bride, are
withdrawn. In addition, these forced marriages often involve young
persons whose motives will be suspect. Moreover, the parents may not
approve of the choice of partner and additionally may be ill-prepared
to launch an elaborate ceremony within the constraints of time and money.


CHAPTER V
SEX ROLES: MALE AND FEMALE
Societies organize and classify members in various ways, some of
which are so common as to be universal, such as age and sex categories
(Linton 1942). Sex acts as a master status, channeling persons into
particular roles and determining the quality of interaction with others
(Gove 1973). "Assigning people at birth to categories based on some
concept of gender appears to be universal and, as far as we know, is
always through a genital inspection (Kessler and McKenna 1978:36).
However, researchers are now beginning to realize that gender
identity is more than can be described by a physical configuration
(Money and Ehrhardt 1972, Oakley 1972), and that much of an individual's
personal ideology and behavior set is governed by sex identity and the
rules by which society defines the role appropriate to each. Thus,
gender may be said to be culturally determined albeit following anatomi
cal recruitment into the two categories in all but a few instances in
which transsexualism occurs. These social anomalies are delivered from
their dilemma by the surgeon's knife in our enlightened times although
through history and in traditional societies a life gender reassignment
was accomplished in terms of the social role and not the anatomy, as in
the case of the Plains Indian berdache (Horbel 1960).
The distinctness of the sexes is a question which has puzzled
researchers, representing a variant of the nature-nurture controversy.
No society has been known where the sexes participate as equals with
equal responsibilities and rewards, rather there is always a division of
83


84
labor and of the fruits of that labor along sex lines (Brown).
The extent to which the differences result from innate biological
differences from the socialization process remains an enigma despite
the explanations of these differences in each culture.
Mead (1935) attempted to inquire into the nature of the relation
ship of sex to temperament by comparing three primitive groups in
New Guinea, the Arapesh, the Mundugumor, and the Tchambuli. She
discovered that masculine and feminine characteristics as we define
them, are not attributable to fundamental biological differences, but
reflect the cultural conditioning of different societies:
...the temperaments which we regard as native to one sex
might instead be mere variations of human temperament, to
which the members of either or both sexes may, with more or
less success in the case of different individuals, be educated
to approximate.(1935:xiv)
Although inquiry into innate sex differences continues (e.g.
Montemayor 1978), the prevailing view appears to have become that
"...we cannot say definitely what characteristics are fundamentally (or
innately, or unalterably) female, nor can we separate these from those
that are culturally conditioned" (Laws 1970:39). The scientific defini
tion of gender may be analogous to the definition of deathneither life-
death nor male-female may be non-dichotomous (Kessler and McKenna 1978).
"Secondary sex differences in aptitude and temperament are still in good
measure a matter of speculation. There are still aspects which seem
more likely to be related to cultural conditioning and it is preferable
to assume at this point in our understanding that differences between
men and women in these respects reflect primarily differential exposure
and training" (Ford 1970:28).


85
Nevertheless, the gender, or sex role system is important in that
it is the set of arrangements by which society transforms biological
sexuality into products of human activity (Rubin 1975) and thereby
defines the relations between its members. Chetwynd and Hartnett (1978)
describes the sex role system as based on three principles. First,
definable and mutually exclusive personality trait sets must exist.
Second, there is a division of labor or activities by sex. Third, the
male sphere is invested with a higher value than the female.
The appropriate sex role behavior is largely acquired through

socialization. The differences in the socialization process for boys
and girls account for the divergence of the adult roles of adult men and
women. Again, the socialization process derives not from biological
imperatives but rather "...sex roles and their socialization reflect
people's often unfounded beliefs about what sex differences are or
should be" (Weinreich 1978:18).
Weinreich continues by revealing the process by which socialization
into sex roles occurs. Skills, habits and some types of behavior are
learned as a consequence of a system of rewards and punishments, e.g.
a little girl who keeps her party dress clean is told how pretty she
looks and how, by her behavior, she is quite the young lady. Parents
and others provide models of appropriate role behavior which the child
imitates. Eventually, the child identifies with one parent and intern
alizes the roles, seeking to structure relationships with others in
accordance with what has been learned.
Socialization into sex roles is a continuing process as behavior
expectations are altered drastically during the life cycle advance,
pnrliculnrly ns regards the expression of sexuality and exercise of


86
power and authority. For example, many cultures allow a much greater
license in terms of sexual repartee to post-menopausal women than to
young women for whom the open expression of sexuality may bring about
quite different consequences. Thus, after the initial influence of the
family, experience with peers and observations of the ascending genera
tion becomes important in achieving each new stage in the changing sex
role.
Rosaldo (1974) proposes that because women are primarily engaged in
domestic activities, with their focus on the home and rearing of children,
the training of their daughters to be mothers is a continuous process
and different from the training of sons. The girl is better able to
visualize her role as she observes her mother in the home, but the young
boy must learn to become a man because the male role is not visible.
Therefore, "...when his sister is learning 'to be a mother,' he is apt
to be restless and assertive and to seek out horizontal ties with male
peers" (1974:25). Girls are more likely to form ties with their senior
female kin and thus become integrated vertically into the adult world
of work; but boys are more likely to form horizontal, cross-cutting ties
with peers.
Further, young girls' development proceeds without conflict in a
group which does not challenge her membership. To Rosaldo, womanhood
is an ascribed status and manhood is an achieved status. A woman's
status is defined by the life cycle, through maturing, rather than by
means of ability or achievement. Male status is achieved, especially
in terms of the peer group which requires "proof," that is, "a woman's
status comes 'naturally' (and even in societies that practice female
initiation these ceremonies appear to be more a celebration of natural,


biological developments than a 'proof' of femininity or a challenge to
past ties), whereas 'becoming a man' is a feat" (1974:26).
Educational institutions are significant influencers of the sex
role specialization process. Schools have official and "hidden" curricula
which shape sex role formation. The hidden curriculum is sex-differentia
ted, resistant to change, and influentially pervasive. The effect is to
"...depress girls' achievements and aspirations, and cause them to have
a lower estimate of their ability than boys of equal ability" (Lobban
1978:50)
Aspects of the hidden curriculum include the sex composition of the
staff hierarchy. More principals are male but most teachers are female,
especially in the elementary schools, and the remainder of the staff in
a subordinate position, e.g. aides, cafeteria workers, secretaries, are
also ordinarily female, thus associating males with power and dominance
over subservient females. Teaching materials are often sexist, depicting
men as actors and women as passive. Teachers tend to endorse traditional
values with respect to sex roles and in classroom interactions teachers
of both sexes have been found to focus more attention and affect on boys
than girls (Lobban 1978).
Sex role differentiation persists throughout the educational process.
Even at university different rules obtain for men and women. Career
counseling differs for each, participation in university activities
differs, e.g. athletics, and until recently college women were subject
to curfew regulations not applicable to men. The message that is learned
is that "...male, as opposed to female, activities are always recognized
as predominantly important, and cultural systems give authority and value
to the roles and activities of men" (Rosaldo 1974:19).


88
The stereotypical woman is often defined in terras of, or in relation
to other persons (Chodorow 1974). The heritage of Freudian thought
based upon the passive role of women in the sex act, "...is an elaboration
of the cluster of traits which define the essential feminine: submissive
ness, dependence, docility, masochism, narcissism, and above all,
passivity (Laws 1979:40-41). Although Freudian personality constructs
have been challenged by recent research on human sexual response and the
experience-based assertions of feminists, the stereotype is still strongly
reinforced by the media:

In the visual media, women are presented as primarily
decorative and dependent on males, often simply as status
enhancing sex objects...women are housebound and exclusively
preoccupied with domestic materialism and personal adornment.
They are...passive and lacking in initiative and...concerned
with fantasy rather than expertise or problem-seeking (Weinreich
1978:21)
A woman's identity is closely tied to her body image. As our culture
equates femininity with attractiveness, thus women spend a great deal of
time grooming themselves to please men and compete with other women.
The counter productive nature of this pursuit has been well-documented by
the experience of unhappy, perhaps self-destructive women who have become
successful sex objects but who have not been able to transcend the
symbolism of their being. It is an unfortunate paradox that what society
labels as the ultimate in womanhood is seen as a mockery by the person.
Physical desirability produces other role incongruities. Women are
expected to appear sexually appealing, yet at the same time hold them
selves off from male sexual aggression.
Marriage is not only a socially desirable goal but is the mark of
personal success for women. Girls are motivated to strive for this goal
by their families and peers and are bombarded with the notion by the media.


89
"A considerable amount of advertising effort goes into persuading girls
that the happiest day of their lives is their wedding day" (Weinreich
1978:21).
Motherhood, however, is the sine qua non of the woman's role. All
women are presumed at some level to desire children and feel "unfulfilled"
without them. Despite ethnographic evidence documenting widespread
historical and contemporary practices of contraception, abortion, infanti
cide, desertion of children, and other counter-maternal practices (e.g.
Devereaux 1955, Ford 1^5, Himes 1963, Mulhare 1969, Nag 1962, Newman
1972), the "real" woman is still a mother first. Additions to that role
must be of secondary priority.
Women are seldom portrayed as having multi-dimensional roles as are
men. The examples of women who opt for work in addition to marriage are
presented by the media as primarily marriage-oriented. Either job success
is equated with marital unsuccess, or women are seen as primarily committed
to their marriage, and thus their husband's career, and only peripherally
committed to their own work. When women seek success in other ways than
their relation to a man, they are often viewed as unwomanly. "Whereas
men achieve rank as a result of explicit achievement, differences among
women are generally seen as the product of idiosyncratic characteristics
such as temperament, personality and appearance" (Rosaldo 1974:29).
Because of the covert values of society, women may fear achievement and
success to the point where they undermine their own potential, thus
relegating themselves to a more "safe" and familiar role.
The male sex role, being the dominant one in the sex role system,
has played a significant part in shaping American values, and perhaps,
like the fabled rib, has also animated the role which women must fit.


90
David and Brannon (1976) have elaborated on this concept and isolated
four themes underlying the male role in American society.
The first variant they call "no sissy stuff." Parents express more
concern in assuring that boys conform to their role expectations than
girls to the feminine role. Girls have more initial role flexibility in
that it is relatively acceptable for little girls to go through a boy-like
phase but there is no acceptable counterpart to being a tomboy for boys.
Boys who prefer "feminine" activities and emotional expression are
labelled sissies and ridiculed for their proclivities. Because of the
severe social sanctions attached to appearing unmasculine, men fear and
may be hostile to feminine traits. These feelings may be extended to
their attitudes toward women to the extent that women, not being the
valued and understood physical and emotional configuration, may be
regarded as less than full human beings like men (Brownmiller 1975,
Chesler 1978).
Men may be suspicious of women and find them impossible to under
stand because of their anatomy and mysterious functioning (Paz 1961).
Women have traditionally been regarded as a source of pollution and
relations with them form the raison detre of rituals guarding against
defilement. Women often are viewed by men as sexually rapacious and
capable of sapping men's vitality and disrupting their fraternal
solidarity. The ultimate offense of course, usurping the male role,
was articulated by Freud as stemming from penis envy, thus part of male
fear of women is expressed as castration fear.
Fear of women, analogous to blacks, may also be generated by the
prevailing male dominant social hierarchy in that "...guilt may be felt
towards those who occupy low status positions in a social system and..


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PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES: PATTERNS OF SEXUALITY
AMONG WHITE ADOLESCENT WOMEN IN THE RURAL SOUTH
By
PAMELA J. FISCHER
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1979

Copyright 1979
by
Pamela J. Fischer

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
It is difficult to adequately thank those persons without whose
aid this study could not have been contemplated. Of course, the people
of the fictive Strawberry Junction cannot be named anymore than the
community itself identified despite the great need to acknowledge
their contributions to the research effort, but they will recognize
their part.
Key community figures such as school administrators and teachers,
ministers, public health personnel, social welfare and law enforcement
personnel, and community political leaders were not only generous
with their time, but enthusiastic in their response to the request for
information. These persons were cognizant of the problems attendant
on early sexual expression in their community and were interested
and cooperative in the investigation of aspects of adolescent sexuality.
They proved to be an invaluable source of "inside" information and
were extremely useful in identifying informants.
The residents of Strawberry Junction graciously accepted ray
daughter and me into the community and an especial debt of gratitude
is owed to the congregation of the Methodist Church who became our
extended family. These residents of the community, who represented
the parental generation, by and large, not only shared their knowledge
of the adolescent sphere, but also generously permitted their daughters
to participate in the study as informants.
iii

Daughters of Strawberry Junction were recruited ns informants but
ultimately became friends. They revealed intimate and confidential
details of their world and shared their hopes. Their acceptance of me
removed much of the stigma usually attached to adult intruders and their
candor allowed me to view adolescent life from their perspective.
One can view the academic institution which sponsors the research
as a symbolic home—a place somewhat opposite to the field situation
which represents the physical home for the duration of the reserach,
yet nevertheless remains essentially foreign. The most intimate
relations to the home institution occur through the persons of the
research committee, who not only prepare their student for conducting
research but provide continuous scholarly and psychic support during
the process. The members of the research committee were peerless in
their support of my efforts to cope with the demands of field research.
I want to extend my gratitude to the members of the committee—
Dr. Charles Mahan, Dr. Normal Markel, Dr. Theron Nunez, and Dr. Carol
Taylor, for advising me with intelligence, patience, and humor.
Dr. Gary Shannon, although excused from the committee upon leaving
the University of Florida, maintained an active interest in the project
in absentia.
It would be impossible to fully thank Dr. Otto von Mering, who
directed the research, for his efforts on my behalf. Suffice it to say
that he proved himself more than equal to every challenge which surfaced
during the troublesome process of graduating a student, displaying his
formidable insight and acting always wisely and with incomparable wit.
His unique intellect and remarkable sensitivity prove him to be a mentor
of unparalled mettle and I will always feel privileged to have been one
of his students.
iv

Finalizing a dissertation provided problems which were only solved
through the good offices of friends and colleagues at the University of
Florida—Carol Albert and Gwen Wells. They provided essential help
with preparation and submission of the manuscript, the details and
frustrations of which were legion. Lydia Deakin not only was invaluable
in untangling last minute snags, but provided the assistance of her
remarkably cool head and unequalled skill at cutting through bureaucratic
snarls throughout the period of my appreticeship at the University of
Florida.
Finally, my family has been helpful in ways they little suspected
when I embarked on a graduate program. My mother, Lora Sanders, and
brother, Bill Sanders, were pressed into typing the draft of the
dissertaion along with my daughter, Carrie Fischer, much to her chagrin
at the content. My father, formerly a champion softball catcher, was
called upon for surreptitious coaching to enable me to join the local
team, but found the material he was given laughably lacking in talent.
Their joint support during the research was unfailing.
v

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 11
ABSTRACT vi
CHAPTER
IPRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES AND ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PATTERNS:
AN OVERVIEW 1
II RESEARCH METHODS: INQUIRY INTO THE HIDDEN SPHERE 10
III THE SETTING: COMMUNITY AND COUNTY IN CONTEXT 31
IV THE GENERATIONS: PARALLEL LIVES 64
VSEX ROLES: MALE AND FEMALE 83
VI THE SEXUAL EXPERIENCE: SEXUALITY, ETHNOCONTRACEPTION
AND PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCY 122
VII DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS 180
APPENDIX
I HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY ON SKIPPING 197
II ADOLESCENT SEXUAL COMPOSITIONS 199
IIISEX EDUCATION QUESTIONS FROM A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN
FLOIRDA, 19 72 202
IV EFFECTIVE CONTRACEPTION TO MINORS 208
BIBLIOGRAPHY 209
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 223
vi

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Require¬
ments for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCIES: PATTERNS OF SEXUALITY
AMONG WHITE ADOLESCENT WOMEN IN THE RURAL SOUTH
By
PAMELA J. FISCHER
December 1979
Chairman: Otto von Mering
Major Department: Anthropology
Adolescent pregnancy has been noted as a social phenomenon capable
of affecting population trends relatively recently in America. However,
patterns of early birth have long been recognized as contributors to
dense populations in developing countries.
Sexuality among adolescents has been explained primarily as a
variant of deviant behavior and pregnancy as the result of either con¬
traceptive incompetence or psychological forces. Study populations have
commonly been derived from urban settings and often are black and/or
lower socio-economic class. Clinic populations are frequently utilized.
Surveying techniques have been the most prevalent investigative methodology.
Adolescent sexuality represents a complex behavioral issue that can
significantly affect health status and has been investigated from
multiple viewpoints. The theoretical context for this study was compiled
from research in human sexuality, adolescence, sex roles, demography and
social anthropology.
Strawberry Junction, a community in north central Florida, was
selected as the study site on the basis of a field trial and demographic
investigation as conforming to the typical southern rural pattern: land-
based economy, religious fundamentalism, racial segregation, kin-based
vi I

social organization, and complementary sex roles. The town accounts
for approximately one-third of the 15,000 county residents and serves
as the county seat. It contains the only high school in addition to
a middle and vocational school for adolescents which together enroll
about 2,500 students.
The study group included one hundred white women aged 13 to 19
and drawn primarily from the schools and seventy-five adults judged
as having insight into adolescent concerns, e.g. parents, young marrieds,
teachers, ministers, social agency personnel, and so forth. A small
number of males (fifteen) were included as corroborative informants.
A natural historical approach was used for this study in order
to avoid bias inherent in a clinical population of medically-assisted
contraceptors. Information was elicited via structured and informal
interviews and participant observation during the period of community
residency from September 1974 through June 1976.
The study provides contextual information about adolescent sexuality
and contraceptive behavior of white rural adolescent women. The following
findings of the study are significant in understanding the behavior of
these teenagers.
Sexual relations are important to adolescent life and begin early.
Expression differs between boys and girls. Girls' sexual aggressiveness
is not intrinsically sexual but is related to achievement of social goals.
Adolescents are ineffective contraceptors due to the inadequacy of
their knowledge base and difficulties in accessing medical services.
Folk techniques are often relied upon.
Intergenerational interaction is minimal with generational insularity
maintained by parents as well as teenagers. Adults do not educate their
vii i

young in sexual matters and covertly allow adolescent sexual activity
by according teenagers a high degree of social autonomy. The failure
of adults to provide sexual instruction to youth is due in part to
religious sanctions and in part to their own inadequate knowledge base.
Due to sex role differentiation in the rural south adolescence
is a period of apprenticeship for males but a period of deviance for
girls which will terminate upon marriage. This female role-deviation
is described as "male-mimicking."
Marriage and childbearing are ultimate female goals; alternate
role models for women are rare in the community. Precocious pregnancy
is not tragic but rather begins the preordained course early.
Community religious tenets and social structure prescribe the
options for pregnant girls. In order of preference, they are marriage,
adoption, raising by the unwed mother, or abortion. Abortion appears
to be rare.
Choice of sexual partners appears to be different than described
for urban settings. The pattern is often young girls partnered by
older men, occasionally in incestuous relationships.
ix

CHAPTER I
PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCY AND ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PATTERNS: AN OVERVIEW
Girls who become mothers before shedding their own childhood present
an especially poignant contemporary phenomenon as they are forced to
precipitously abandon the carefree days of their adolescence in order
to assume awesome responsibilities for which they may be ill-prepared.
The consequences of these early births reach far beyond the marred
girlhoods and may affect generations.
While not an entirely new phenomenon in the biosocial scheme,
adolescent pregnancy has recently acquired a high visibility due to
its social unacceptibility in American life and because it has been
described as reaching epidemic proportions relative to past experience
and current expectations.
In American society, peak childbearing years for the female fall
between the twentiety and twenty-ninth years with the 20-24 cohort
having the highest yield in terms of natality; childbearing prior to
the twentieth year is defined as precocious and inappropriate, particularly
in the early adolescent years. Nevertheless, the birth rate for this
group is rising in contrast to dropping rates for other age cohorts.
Illegitimacy rates are also rising, particularly among white adolescents.
This trend toward early or illegitimate births has many adverse implica¬
tions related to the physical and sociopsychological well-being of young
mothers and their children as well as for the generations which succeed
them.
1

2
Investigators have probed the problem of illegitimacy and high
birth rates principally from two related points of view: as a phenomenon
of black cultural patterns, e.g. matrifocality (Gonzalez 1964); and
as a cultural pattern arising from imperatives of the urban ghetto
(Rainwater 1966). Exploration of the problem as an element of the white
cultural milieu in a non-metropolitan setting has not received equal
attention.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship
between cultural factors and the expression of adolescent sexuality
and its outcome among young white women in a southern rural community.
The rural south was chosen as an appropriate context for a study of
adolescent pregnancy because this type of problem has not been
thoroughly investigated in this setting. Moreover, the barrenness
of the medical establishment in rural areas has made many communities
particularly open to input which has the potential to expand health care.
The clandestine nature of sexuality among adolescents and its lack
of adequate investigation coupled with the prudery and insularity of
the community made traditional anthropological approaches to field
research, i.e. participant observation as a community resident, a most
appropriate method of investigation as well as one most likely to yield
valid results.
Suspicion of and hostility toward academicians reduced the primacy
of statistical analysis of questionnaires as the conservatism of the
community would prohibit such an open approach to sexual aspects of
community behavior which are ideally considered forbidden topics. The
smallness of the community, approximately 5,000 population, made it
preferable for the researcher to establish credentials first at the

3
level of personal acceptability and from that basis proceed to conducting
low-profile investigations.
Strawberry Junction, a community in north central Florida, was
selected as the research site on the basis of observations during a
summer research project and background research into its demographic
composition. It conforms to the typical southern rural pattern: land-
based economy, religious fundamentalism, primarily kin-based social
organization, and complementary sex roles. Its small size made it a
desirable study site. Moreover, it is the county seat of North Central
county, and so had the only high school in the founty. Approximately
2,500 students are enrolled in both the middle and high school.
Another aspect of the community which gave it priority as a research
site was its poor health climate. Medical facilities and personnel
were scarce and health services, particularly for women, were minimál.
Gynecologic services were available from general practitioners or the
health department but no obstetrical services were available. Deliveries
had to take place outside the county, primarily at the University of
Florida medical center through a special service project of the Department
of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This project sent staff into the county
to deliver family planning and prenatal services and represented a link
between the researcher and the university, thus providing invaluable
sources of information about the study group and the community. In
addition, this cooperation made clinical observations possible. The full
cooperation of the county health department and the school system were
also extended and greatly facilitated the research in terms of access to
informants.
Subjects were drawn primarily from the adolescent or young adult
portion of the community although a sampling of the parental peer group

4
was also included. The sample consisted of 100 white women aged 13
to 19, selected from the community. Most of the subjects were students
at the middle and high schools, but some were attending the Vo-Tech
school or had terminated their education.
In addition, informal interviews were held with young men designated
as behaviorally typical by knowledgeable community source persons.
Some young adults recently out of their adolescence and parents of
adolescents were also included.
Relatively formal, i.e. structured, interviews were conducted with
key persons in the community including school administrators, public
health personnel, community agency staff, and others who were revealed
as having specialized knowledge of adolescent behavior.
Direct observations were made as a consequence of residency in the
community: informal and formal participation in daily life including
normal use of schools, churches, civic and voluntary associations, and
community activities. All participation was with informed consent,
strictly confidential, and voluntary.
Content analysis of newspapers, school materials and government
publications as available was used to provide the wider social context
of belief, orientation, ideology, and custom which exemplify the community.
The investigation examined issues related to sexual activity patterns
among adolescents, contraceptive behavior, ethnocontraceptive lore,
communication networks as reflected by interaction patterns, sexual
knowledge base, pregnancy patterns including community and personal
solution responses, utilization of health care, and female-male role
expression and its development within the community context. While
taking adolescent girls as the focus of the study, the discussion

includes nn analysis of lntor-Renerntion.il Interaction and Its impli¬
cations for adolescent behavior.
Literature pertaining to the culturally and personally expressive
significance of adolescent sexuality remains peripheral to the identifi¬
cation of certain salient questions. To establish a context for examining
white adolescent sexuality and its concimitant effects on natality,
we must bring together salient findings in four pertinent areas:
(1) factors contributing to fertility, (2) patterns of contraception and
birth control, (3) adolescent sexuality and ethnocontraception, and
(4) sex role definition and differentiation.
Fertility is the outcome of the variable interplay of biological
and socio-cultural factors. The universal desire for children and
concern with barrenness conflicts with the universal motivation to avoid
the pain and personal sacrifice attendant to having and raising children
(Ford 1945, 1952; Ford and Beach 1951).
Current analytic frameworks for identifying and evaluating the
factors contributing to fertility break down the reproductive process
into intercourse, conception, and gestation and parturition. Outcomes
of this process tend to vary at thses three levels, e.g. frequency of
coitus and contraceptive technique, length of lactation and diet, age
at marriage, abortion, and celibacy rules.
Psychologists such as Pohlman (1969) point to the variability of
individual motives in achieving pregnancy including proof of femininity,
escape from freedom, hostility toward parents or opposite sex, or as a
means of grasping security through dependence. Motherhood may also
represent achievement of adult status, i.e., it is a critical female
rite de passage (van gennep 1960).

Tlie antiquity and universality of attempts to control fertility
Is well established (Himes 1963). Magical or manipulative methods,
e.g. post-coital sneezing or thrashing movements and coitus interruptus,
pre-date efficient mechanical contraceptive technology and persist in
its presence in both rural and urbanized societies. Coitus interruptus
is probably universally the most commonly depended upon contraceptive
practice. Abortion remains universally prevalent as an alternative to
contraception as a mechanism of birth control (Devereaux 1953) . The
importance of technological advances is the development of coitus-
independent contraceptive methods which allow separation of sexual
behavior from reproduction (Newman 1972).
Incidence of adolescent sexual activity is widespread and its
natural outcomes, i.e. pregnancy and venereal disease, are significant
problems in terms of population (Commission on Population Growth
and the American Future 1972) and epidemiology (Deschin 1961). Kantner
and Zelnik (1972) report that sexual acitvity is beginning at earlier ages
and is increasing in extent but this assertion is questioned by Cutright
(1972) who suggests that sexual activity levels have probably remained
fairly stable but that increased incidences of pregnancy due to improved
nutrition, lowered menarche, and lowered incidences of spontaneous abortions
have merely made the acitvity more visible.
Adolescent sexual expression has its roots in non-sexual motivations.
It may be an attempt to discover identity by creating a counterpoint
situation or a reaction to authority (Gadpaille 1970), It also serves
as a cohesive mechansim within the peer group. Teenagers are notoriously
poor contraceptors due to their limited information base and their
tendency to dissociate reproduction from sexual activity (Calderone 1965,
Furstenburg 1973, Presser 1974).

Aggression has been defined as the pivotal determining factor in
the development of female and male sex roles and as such has critical
ramifications for the characteristics of the dominant-submissive behavior
that is its concomitant (Mead 1935, Brown 1970, Michaelson and Goldschmidt
1971, Oakley 1972). Literature dealing with the Latin pattern of
machismo-marianismo as male-female role ideals (Fromm and Maccoby 1970,
Paz 1971, Stevens 1973, Paul 1974) are particularly salient as analogues
in certain aspects to the ideal male-female interactive patterns in
the American south.
Adolescence can be defined as the liminal period during which girls
and boys learn to become social men and women as defined by their culture.
Conflict arises between the prescriptions of the social order and
personal needs gratification which produces a stress situation which
must be resolved if the transition into adulthood is to be successful.
Sexuality as expressive behavior reflects an attempt of the female and the
male to define their personal identities in conformance with or in
opposition to culturally established norms of femininity and masculinity.
Sexuality may be seen as a period of deviance from the ideal role.
In order to examine the meaning of sexual activity in the adolescent
phase of life the following areas must be examined:
(1) To what extent does religious fundamentalism shape the
expression of sexuality and its outcome?
(2) To what extent are women's roles defined in terms of the life
cycle and to what extent developed as contrapuntal to the male
role in their structural features? How are cultural expressions
of femininity and masculinity defined in terras of dominant/
aggressive behavior and subordinate/passive behavior?

8
(3) What behavior patterns can he considered as stress-reducing
mechanisms during the period of transition into adulthood
and to what extent are these in conformance or conflict with
overt community prescriptions of appropriate behavior?
(4) Does the liminal period represent the same modes of expressive
behavior for the female as for the male or does the transition
from girl to woman differ from that of boy to man?
(5) What is the nature of intergenerational interaction in a
community of this type and to what extent does it retard
information exchange concerning sexual topics?
(6) What part does sexual activity and its culmination in pregnancy
play in the transition to social adulthood? Can this rite de
passage mark entrance into the adolescent peer group as well?
Consideration of these issues results in the general suggestion
that adolescence is a period of liminality in which anomalous behavior is
covertly allowed by the adult community and overtly accepted by the
adolescent peer group. Adolescent sexual expression in the female is
deviant in terms of her socially prescribed role as a girl and is
inconsistent with social womanhood although not necessarily incompatible
with the expression of femininity thus a situation of stress is produced
which must be resolved in culturally approved ways. Female behavior
during this period approximates that assigned to the male: it includes
a degree of female aggressiveness not allowed to women at other points
in the life cycle and may be designated as a male mimicking role. This
behavior is discarded with progress through the life cycle, particularly
upon marriage. Adolescent sexual expression in the male is consistent
with his adult role. Therefore, the life cycle is a greater determinant
in the development of the feminine role than in the male.

9
The desired outcome of this research is to extend the existing
knowledge base concerning patterns of teen sexuality and contraceptive
techniques. Although this research is confined to exploring the
relationships of cultural elements of southern rural society to sexual
behavior among young white women, it will reveal lines of inquiry
which may be pursued in different settings to test whether they can be
extrapolated to other areas.
In addition, this study will attempt to furnish documentation of a
community problem that is currently recognized as significant only by
certain key personnel who must deal with it in their professional
capacities, e.g. school counselors and public health caregivers. They,
however, are even ignorant of its pervasiveness. Outside this coterie
of involved persons, the existence of adolescent sexual activity is not
only ill understood by the adult community, but is denied.
Though the key to eliminating the problem lies in changing the entire
fabric of social life by improving the role selection alternatives for
women and as such is neither feasible nor desirable, it is not unrealistic
to initiate low-level but potentially significant alleviative changes
into the system by offering suggestions for improving the quality of
the information base and demonstrating the need to create a program of
social activities appropriate for adolescents.

CHAPTER II
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: INQUIRY INTO THE HIDDEN SPHERE
The relation of methodology to the research problem and the situa¬
tion chosen for its illumination is an intimate and reciprocal one.
Initially, methodological decisions are made on the basis of the impera¬
tives of the research question imposed on the field setting: on the
basis of acquired information about the site, projections are made
concerning which techniques and rationales may be most effectively used
to elicit the desired data.
Subsequently, as the research progresses in situ, the nature of
the research context may temper previous carefully made decisions:
methodological approaches forecast as suitable may be reviewed resulting
in discarding certain techniques, refining others, and developing more
appropriate new methods, perhaps serendipitously. Thus a reciprocal
adjustment process occurs which produces a context-sensitive battery of
methods gleaned from the armamentarium of research tools used by anthro¬
pologists. In describing the particular methodology used to gather data,
therefore, it is necessary to discuss the basis on which initial
decision-making was formed and also describe the evolution process
through which the research context refined the methodology.
Particular approaches to social study must both conform to the
ethical, theoretical and pragmatic guidelines established by diciplines
and be tailored to the conditions imposed by the setting and the problem.
Implications of the nature of the setting for research techniques hinge
on the question of definition of particular research strategies with
10

II
particular forms of social conditions, e.g. the development of urban
methodologies distinct from those appropriate to rural or primitive
settings has been the focus of much debate among anthropologists
(Arensberg and Kimball 1965, Eddy 1968, Pelto 1968).
The rural setting seems one in which traditional anthropological
techniques are most appropriate: participant observation coupled with
judicious use of available documentations yields the truest picture of
rural patterns (Hill 1973). These techniques also seemed most adaptable
to the problem which was one of an intimate and covert nature not
readily revealed without the reassuring personal contact with and know¬
ledge of the researcher. Therefore, the selection of methodological
approaches was made to mitigate the fact that the private nature of the
topic forseeably made disclosure difficult and risky to the informant
in terms of possible exposure and censure and that the extremely con¬
servative social texture of the community made open and public discussion
of sexual matters unlikely.
Parameters of the problem, i.e girls' sexual behavior in a natural
population rather than in a biased portion of that group such as clinic
patients, demanded a natural history approach to data gathering. The
most appropriate theoretical orientations for exploring the problem
were derived from the community study method (Arensberg 1961, Arensberg
and Kimball 1965) and network theory (e.g. Barnes 1954, Bott 1957,
Mitchell 1966). If the community represents the basic unit of cultural
organization and transmission and is the "locus of patterning in culture
and of structure in society" (Arensberg and Kimball 1965:XI), then care¬
ful attention must be paid to its configuration in order to assess its
socializing influence with respect to role formation for young women and

12
men and their subsequent socio-sexual expectations and behavior. Net¬
works were judged to be important for analysis of social interaction,
dating patterns, and sexual behavior. Of particular importance as a
research target was the investigation of the nature of information flow
so that sexual lore could be compiled and an assessment made of the level
of sexual and contraceptive knowledge and its sources traced.
The bulk of the data was to be gathered through the fundamental
tasks of anthropological fieldwork: watching, asking, listening, some¬
times doing, and recording (Langness 1965) . Participant observation
during the period of residency for the research, September 1974 through
June 1976, was to be augmented by structured interviews, including life
history compilation, with informants chosen from the ranks of adoles¬
cent women who were the focus of the research as well as those persons
peripheral to the adolescent sphere but integral in terms of under¬
standing factors contributing to the adolescent station in the community,
e.g. parents, boyfriends, and key community personnel such as health
providers, school administrators and teachers, agency personnel, minis¬
ters, and others identified in the course of the research as pivotal in
adolescent affairs.
The sample of adolescent informants was based on and derived
primarily from the population of approximately 2500 students attending
the middle, high, and vocational schools. One hundred girls between
the ages of thirteen to nineteen were interviewed and observed, with
approximately twenty of these becoming primary informants. Roughly
two-thirds of informants belonged to the early-middle phase of adoles¬
cence, i.e. thirteen to sixteen years. The majority of adolescents in
the study were from low to middle income families typical of the

economically disadvantaged community with less than 20 percent represent¬
ing the families which by community standards formed the higher income
stratum. The educational background of the girls' families was con¬
sistent with established descriptions of this economic group: education
of parents typically terminated at high school. Some 10 to 15 percent
of fathers were college-educated and only about 5 to 10 percent of
mothers.
The sample of adults included in the study numbered roughly
seventy-five. Two-thirds of adults were women and one-third men. The
adult informants were divided into three categories of approximately
equal proportions, key community persons, parents, and young adults
(post-adolescents).
In addition to the adolescent girls who were the subjects of the
study and the adult members of the community judged as having special
insights into adolescent concerns, a small number of teenage boys, about
fifteen, were included. These boys were selected as the male counter¬
parts to the girls in the study and were characterized by similar socio¬
economic attributes. A small sampling of adolescent boys were deemed
appropriate because while young men were not the focus of the study,
their viewpoints were felt to be necessary to corroborate and complete
the information given by girls. Often, but not always, these young men
presented themselves for notice by virtue of a relationship to a girl
in the informant group, e.g. a boyfriend or husband. Others were
selected through the researcher's networks as being young men who
were likely to be active enough in the adolescent social scene to be
good relaters of their personal experiences and observations.

14
Following the definition of the research problem, selection of a
site in which it might be explored was the next step. The dimensions
of the problem, i.e. sexuality of white adolescent women in the rural
south, determined the characteristics of the site to the extent that it
must be a southern rural community. Strawberry Junction was chosen on
the basis of observations during a previous summer pilot project conduc¬
ted as part of a larger technical assistance survey contracted by the
Board of County Commissioners for planning purposes, and background
research into its demographic composition.
The community was found to conform to the typical southern pattern:
land-based economy, religious fundamentalism, primarily kin-based social
organization, and complementary sex roles (Dollard 1937, Davis, et al.
1941, Morland 1971). It is a small community akin to Redfield's little
community (1955): the small size, approximately 5,000 population living
in a circumscribed space, made the social system more "visible" and the
adolescents under scrutiny more easily available for observation than
would be possible in a larger community.
The community is characteristically distinctive, having apparent
limits not only to the observer but as expressed in the group conscious¬
ness of its denizens. The community is homogeneous in that similar
activities obtain for persons in corresponding sex and age positions,
generational life patterns cycle similarly to those of the preceding
one, and the overall tone of life is conservative and unchanging. In
the main, the community is self-sufficient. Because of these Redfield-
ian traits, the community would be classed as more "folk" than urban
(Foster 1953), particularly with respect to an interdependence of
component parts, face-to-face personal relations, sacred sanctions for

conduct, relative social immobility, and importance of kinship exten¬
sions in institutional structure.
The fact that Strawberry Junction is the county seat furnished
additional reasons for its selection as the study site. It contains
the only school facilities for secondary education and houses most of
the county's sparse medical resources. Like most rural areas, the
medical climate is poor; personnel and facilities are minimal and
community residents must seek the bulk of their health care from non¬
community resources. In the case of women's health services, particu¬
larly obstetrical, most care is delivered through the auspices of a
federally funded project administered through the University of Florida.
This project thus provided an invaluable system of linkages into the
community for the researcher as well as a usable body of information
which could be tapped.
The community was initially approached by using available statis¬
tical documents and local materials to interpret the trend of adoles¬
cent natality patterns and analyze the community structure in terms of
demographic composition, economic status, health profile, and social
organization from a non-observational point of reference. Relevant
available materials included such documents as census data, health
summaries, school records and publications, economic reports, and
community-compiled references such as club rosters, business and service
directories, and Chamber of Commerce brochures.
Other published or prepared documents which were particularly
useful were planning surveys, compilations of materials derived from
various other sources and cast in a county-specific format; local
reference materials which were service-oriented and had been prepared

16
for the use of agency personnel, e.g. community mental health area
profiles, and public records, such as marriage license applications,
which gave valuable information concerning under-age marriages, often
including disclosure of premarital pregnancy.
In addition, the local newspaper was faithfully followed for its
wealth of social news, announcements of events for observation, and
items noteworthy for analysis of the local community social system.
Moreover, the back issues of the newspaper, particualrly the anniversary
and centennial editions, represented the most complete account of local
history. Fortunately, the editor of the newspaper had become the local
historian and has amassed an extensive and quite diverse collection of
historical materials to which he granted access.
The major part of the fieldwork process consisted of various
levels of participant observation including interviewing techniques.
All observations of the community made while resident in it may be
classified as participant if one has the distinction of belonging, in
some fashion to the phenomenon being observed or some discernible
relationship to the informant being interviewed; however, levels of
belonging in any particular situation vary and affect the quality of
the information thus derived. Hence, even though one is a participant
in the sense of living in the town being studied, the observations made
with this minimal degree of involvement are more formal and one observes
from the outside. Little or no interaction is required to observe
events of a public nature or interview a community leader.
Participant observation done under circumstances where one has an
active part in the happenings, however, yields a different quality of
information. This can be advantageous in that an "inside" view may be

17
obtained, but the drawback is that more is required from the researcher
in terms of rapport-building to achieve the necessary acceptance. In
order to gain the most complete picture of the adolescent milieu, I
decided to observe public community events, or "spectator" observation;
interview key persons in the community; and contrive means by which to
become a participant observer in the stricter sense.
Spectator observation was used throughout the period of research,
but was initially more heavily relied upon because it represented a
means of becoming familiarized with the community and identifying
future routes of inquiry and probable contacts. In addition to learn¬
ing the physical set-up by driving and walking about it, spectator
observation of events such as parades, rodeos, fairs, movies, high
school football games, church services, and so forth, revealed much
about social patterns, e.g. age/sex-discriminated social interaction.
These events provided opportunities to informally interview persons
participating in the event by assuming the role of a curious stranger,
an advantageous role "provided it is the role of objective and friendly
stranger rather than authoritarian, critic or pestiferous interloper"
(Langness 1965:34).
Becoming a spectator had the additional advantage of making the
anthropologist familiar to the townspeople and thus increasing accepta¬
bility in later, less easily arranged situations. Identification as a
community resident was enormously instrumental in achieving success in
arranging interviews, receiving introductions to sought-after indivi¬
duals, and entree to groups.
As familiarity with the community and its social order increased,
the choice of spectator events became more specialized. While spectator

18
observation at first served the purpose of getting to know the
community and establishing reference points within it, the technique was
used later to trace social networks, observe specific behavior, and
corroborate information from other sources.
Albeit more relied on in the initial phases of the research, and
in fact preceding residency in the field, interviewing of key persons
in the community also spanned the research period. Persons were selected
for interview on the basis of their accessibility either to information
concerning some aspect of adolescent sexuality, or to other persons of
interest, be they information sources or adolescents themselves.
Persons judged to be information sources were both those directly
concerned with adolescent problems, including sexuality, e.g. school
counselors, teachers, health caregivers, and social service agency
personnel; and those whose concerns, while not necessarily peripheral,
nevertheless rendered less direct access to informational sources, e.g.
mothers, "volunteer mothers" - chaperones, club sponsors, and others in
special adult-teenager non-kin fiduciary relationships, and various non-
categorizable persons who stood in confidante relationships to young
persons by virtue of their structural position or due to personality
characteristics which accorded a measure of rapport. Naturally, identi¬
fication of these latter individuals stemmed from growing familiarity
with the system rather than an immediate judgment.
The interview situation was conducted rather formally. An appoint¬
ment was made ahead of time and the interview usually scheduled to occur
during working hours at the office, or residence in certain cases, of
the informant. In all cases, the purpose for the interview was care¬
fully explained, e.g. gathering information for later incorporation in

19
written report, along with the means of guaranteeing source confiden¬
tiality. Consent was obtained before proceeding.
At the outset, it was decided to use key persons as an introduction
into the mainstream of adolescent social realms; the rationale for this
approach was that persons in positions of authority over adolescents and
having access to information about them not accessible to the ordinary
person would be better able to identify those active in socio-sexual
interaction sets and affect an introduction. This working from the top
down, hierarchically speaking in terms of age/sex categories and social
structural positions, achieved only a modest degree of success and so
was discarded in favor of reaching informants from the bottom up, e.g.
on the recommendation of a peer or through identification via the net¬
work formed by means of participation in adolescent behavior.
For example, girls would "pass" the researcher on to a friend
either by arranging a meeting or giving their permission for their
names to be used as an introductory gambit. In this way, anthropolo¬
gist-informant contact was verified in both directions: the anthropolo¬
gist was assured that the informant would be informative and cooperative
and the informant was assured that the anthropologist could be trusted
with confidences. Without express permission, identities of informants
were never revealed to other informants by the anthropologist.
Participation in adolescent affairs was effected by joining as
many interactional groups as possible which could be characterized as
constituted largely by adolescents or which had some primary relevance
to teenage concerns. These groups were diverse, including ones found
at activities such as a women's softball team, the Girl Scouts, girls'
club functions, dances, and, most productive of information, "cruising.'.'

20
’W¡m
Cruising consisted of driving around the town, following established
routes and acting in prescribed ways to meet other young people who
were in the circuit, and it furnished first hand experience of the
adolescent method of socio-sexual recruitment. In addition, the
anthropologist made it known that an "open house" policy would be
maintained so that adolescents could feel free to drop in without
specific invitation. Thus, girls often visited the house spontaneously.
To augment the information derived from participant observation,
interviews were conducted with selected informants. Most of these were
women: mothers as well as girls because in order to understand the
presenting behavior of girls it is necessary to recognize the effect of
the "more rigid cultural milieu of her mother's girlhood" (Mead 1928:
189), but men were also included for their knowledge of the sexual
sphere. Formality of the interview varied according to the personal
qualities of the informant, the nature of the information sought, and
the situation. Informant qualities affecting the interview were
articulateness, willingness to disclose information usually confined to
their peers, and trust of the researcher's ability to maintain confiden¬
tiality.
Strauss and Schatzman (1960) pointed to cross-class differences in
interactive and communicative styles which can effect the interview
situation; lower class informants tend to be less verbal and need
directing whereas middle class informants are more able to verbalize
their experiences without frequent prodding and understand the larger
implications of the interview, e.g. that an ultimately wider audience
is being addressed.

21
Hence, in situations where an articulate and motivated informant
was involved, an open-ended interview was used. In cases where the
informant was not especially verbal, as well as in instances where the
purpose of the interview was to elicit specific information, e.g. to
corroborate previous information or hypothesis, or to compile a life
history, a more structured interview was used. The question of trust
of the interviewer was often resolved by the passage of time and the
word of mouth from other informants if they had suggested that a friend
might "like to talk.'.' Group sessions also affected the nature of the
information offered in terms of selection of statements to be made in
the presence of friends.
Most of these interviews were conducted in the home of the
interviewer, in cars while riding around, or at local hangouts. In all
cases, strict privacy was maintained to accord with the needs of the
informant. Some girls, for instance, preferred to relate on a one-to-
one basis and others did not feel the need to avoid identification with
the researcher or maintain secret relationships. Referral of friends
or providing introductions to others in the peer group was left to the
discretion of the informant. In addition, consent was obtained from
adult guardians when the informant was unable to furnish legal consent.
Regardless of legal consent, however, the nature and purpose of the
research was painstakingly explained in every case to the informant
and any questions answered before proceeding.
As is usual in anthropological studies, non-probability sampling
was employed (Honigman 1973); selection was made on the basis of avail¬
ability, willingness, fortuitousness, and so forth rather than in
accordance with principles for assuring a random sample. Survey

22
methods were ruled as being incompatible with the nature of the research
problem and the characteristics of the site; "the method of approach is
based upon the assumption that a detailed intensive investigation will
be of more value than a more diffuse and general study based upon a
less accurate knowledge of a greater number of individuals" (Mead 1928:
189). Moreover, the type of data needed is not the sort which readily
lends itself to quantitative treatment:
As the physician and psychiatrist have found it necessary
to describe each case separately and to use their cases as
illumination of a thesis rather than irrefutable proof such
as it is possible to adduce in the physical sciences, so the
student of the more intangible and psychological aspects of
human behavior is forced to illuminate rather than demonstrate
a thesis. (Mead 3928:190)
After the selection of a site that is reasonably representative
based on criteria following from the research problem and accompanying
theory (Arensberg and Kimball 1961, Honigman 1973), individuals were
selected using a combination of judgment sampling, according to speci¬
fied criteria, such as age, sex, and status; and opportunistic sampling,
"chunk" sampling, or utilizing any handy chunk of the universe likely
to yield relevant information (Honigman 1973). The study was cross-
sectional rather than linear.
A description of the field experience itself is essential for
understanding the development of a viable methodology and, in this case,
valuable in terms of revealing problem areas in doing research for those
whose interests may induce them to attempt fieldwork, particularly in
the American setting. A great deal has been written by anthropologists
about the field work mystique. Its importance as a rite of passage
(van Gennep 1960) has been noted and rules have been laid down for its
successful accomplishment (e.g. Freilich 1970, Spindler 1970, Mead 1935).

23
The potential for physical and psychological damage to the fieldworker
has been explained along with the means for combating it. However, with
few exceptions, field work is assumed to be synonymous with foreign
research, with the result that few guidelines for conducting field work
in a non-foreign cultural setting have been established.
Freilich (1970) defines field work as consisting of two distin¬
guishable, if overlapping stages: passive research and active research.
The passive research stage consists of the adaptation period in which
"the anthropologist must learn how to survive physically, psychologically,
and morally in a strange setting" (1970:18). Solving the pressing
problems encountered in conducting the research involves dealing with
at least four types of problems which shade into the active research
stage, or data collecting stage, as well: physical survival, psychologi¬
cal comfort, everyday pragmatics, and moral dilemmas. Whereas Freilich,
of course, addresses his discourse to the foreign field situation,
problems surrounding these same concerns arise with equally frustrating
regularity, albeit perhaps a different magnitude, in the field setting
within one's own presumably familiar turf. Leaving aside for the moment
the theoretical problems raised by anthropologists concerning observa¬
tions of one's kind, can one assume that locating research within a non-
foreign setting eliminates certain kinds of problems, e.g. food, shelter,
medical care, safety, language, and gaining acceptability? In the case
of this study, the emergence of these kinds of problems went contrary to
expectations and may therefore have been more difficult to resolve than
had their appearance been expected.
The initial problems encountered were physical survival-oriented.
Successful entrance into the community depended upon establishing

24
residence in a way that assured a modicum of physical comfort, safety,
and accessibility, while remaining within restrictions imposed by budget,
availability, and locally established socio-geographic patterns, i.e.
local customs decreed that middle class white persons live in prescribed
ways. Rental property is scarce in rural areas and it was difficult to
find accomodations which met the criteria.
After moving in, it took a long time to arrange for certain services.
An example of this was telephone service: it was almost two months before
a telephone was installed and several months afterwards before a private
line could be assigned. Use of a telephone was essential in terms of
arranging contacts and having a private line seemed critical for assuring
confidentiality while conversing with informants because the gossip-
disseminating properties of the small town party line were well-known.
Psychological comfort was connected to seemingly trivial circum¬
stances as well as to the major contributor: acceptance into the
community. Certain circumstances which later seemed of little conse¬
quence, initially loomed large. For example, living as a solitary woman
in the midst of a cultural group well-known for its violence without the
reassuring presence of family and friends or even the connection via
telephone to the outside world, created considerable stress and feelings
of insecurity.
The potential trauma of the field situation in terms of feelings of
loneliness and inadequacy to complete the assigned task in the face of
difficulties perhaps unforeseen has been noted to the extent that "field¬
work can cause emotional and psychological stress to the point that an
individual may question his commitment to anthropology and the beliefs
underling this activity" (Hill 1974:408). To assume that this stress

25
occurs only under primitive deprivation is erroneous; removal from the
familiar sphere into an unfamiliar and, in certain respects, hostile one,
produces strain on even the independent personality, at least in the
beginning stages of the field work.
The real crux of the field situation, however, and the most anxiety-
ridden due to the penalties attached to failure on this score, is the
achievement of acceptance into the community. It is difficult to
establish a role for oneself that is both identifiable and understandable
to the community at large as well as tenable in terms of one's culture of
orientation. Factors defining the researcher role and serving as the
criteria for labelling by the informants are cultural distance, sex/age,
lack of blood or marriage relationships to local persons (Kluckholn 1940),
and status (Gusfield 1960).
Most anthropologists bent on doing participant observation assume
the role of uninformed but curious stranger desirous of being socialized.
Freilich (1970) likens this position to that of a "marginal native", a
role that "is not an easy one to play, for the real natives are often
suspicious of the anthropologist for although his credentials appear
legitimate, his goals honorable, and his behavior friendly, his work is
of a kind that few, if any, have ever heard of before" (1970:2).
Suspicion of the researcher springs from and perhaps unaccountable
most commonly recognized one being the differentness of the researcher.
Liebow (1967:252) presents a graphic account of his informants' percep¬
tion of him:
They saw or knew many other things as well, any one of
which relegated me to outside status. Those with whom I was
in regular contact knew, for example, that I was with them
because it was my job to be with them, and they knew, accor¬
ding to their individual comprehension and my ability to

2b
communicate, just what my job was. They knew that I lived
outside the area. They knew that I was a college graduate,
or at least they associated an advanced education with the
work I was doing. Moreover, it was apparent, certainly to
me, that I was not fluent in their language. Thus, I was an
outsider not only because of race, but also because of occupa¬
tion, education, residence, and speech.
My experience was similar to Liebow's although the differences
between researcher and study population were ostensibly less noticeable:
we were, after all, the same race and I was actually living in the same
community and thus, involved in many common pursuits with my informants.
However, that I was an outsider was immediately apparent to everyone: I
lacked the most important shibboleth: the southern accent. My background
is "Yankee," a term commonly used to denote derision or hostility, and
presented itself in my dialect. The most commonly asked question at an
initial encounter was, "Where are you from?" The answer that I had
grown up in the South was a mollifying factor, but I nevertheless
revealed myself as not being adept in the acceptable language, making
many gaffes as a result, and creating barriers.
Moreover, my verbal style also indicated an educational schism
between myself and most of my informants. Education, particularly for
women, is not highly valued in the rural south. Other attributes, such
as rugged individualism, are deemed more conducive to achieving success
and status; hence the intellectual life is often viewed as either
pretentious or escapist, and the academic community is felt to be
composed of eggheads who are not equipped with practical abilities and
are more often regarded with hostility than awe. I often found
myself the butt of jokes on this behalf. People were quick to suspect
patronism, and I became well aware of the "detrimental effects of a
suspected attitude of superiority and condescension" (Kluckholn 1940:339).

27
The second most frequently asked question, "What does your husband
do?" also pointed to my anomalous position in the community. This not
only increased my horizons in terms of contacts, but also branded me as
a "good woman," a label that was absolutely vital in terras of being
allowed access to intimate details of adolescent life.
Rural southerners are well-known for their insularity —- outwardly,
they are honeyedly courteous to the stranger and I was quickly recognized
and treated with flowery effusion by shopkeepers. However, the in-out
dividing line is rigid, and insiders do not readily accept a stranger
into the more personal aspects of their lives. As an example of this,
I was extremely disheartened over the initial lark of success of a ploy
to become accepted into social aspects of the community. I had joined
a women's softball team and had been practicing at least twice a week
with them for several months before anyone initiated a conversation with
me or even seemed to be in any way aware of my presence. The real
turning point was in joining a church. After that, I found my accep¬
tance almost unquestioned.
As the active stage of the data gathering progressed, questions of
acceptance paled in importance and other issues became paramount. Prag¬
matic arrangements, e.g. scheduling my time, locating informant encounters,
and so forth, presented few problems. Moral dilemmas, however and
perhaps inevitably, emerged. The major consideration was, of course,
to maintain standards of confidentiality regarding not only the subject
matter discussed in an interview, but also the identity of the informant.
I was careful to never use a person's name to acquire an "in" with
another person unless I had expressly received permission ahead of time
to do so. The question of reciprocity in field work arose and, like Wax

28
1960), I felt that the fieldworker was under an obligation to reciprocate
the good will and confidences of the informants in whatever fashion
seemed appropriate and feasible (Mauss 1954), ranging from reciprocal
self-disclosure and satisfying the curiosity of the informant about
events of my life and experience, to a more practical reciprocity. For
example, chaperoning dances not only furnished me with data but also
met a real community need as adults willing to do this were not abundant.
In other cases, I offered to act as the chauffeur for a group of girls
desirous of cruising around, but lacking the means of doing so.
In other instances, I offered to perform services, e.g. taking
notes at a medical meeting that the county health department personnel
had wished to attend but were unable to. However, I also was occasion¬
ally put in a difficult position by being asked to condone or initiate
behavior of which the adult portion of the community could not approve,
e.g. buy liquor for girls or allow them to smoke or drink in my house
or car, and which I could not ethically do while being responsible for
the persons with me. In cases where my presence was not the key factor,
i.e. I was not asked to provide the means by which adolescents acquired
and/or consumed alcoholic beverages, I did not feel responsible for
curtailing the behavior as it was occurring within my observation but
not under my jurisdiction.
The problem I found most difficult to deal with within my personal
and professional ethical framework was brought about by virtue of the
confidence I was able to establish and the rapport created with my
informants. In order to get the data I needed, I had established
relationships of trust with the girls in order that they would feel
comfortable about confiding intimate details of their lives to me and I

29
had reciprocated in the ways in which I thought appropriate. Naturally,
as I came to know these informants and had discovered aspects of their
socio-sexual system of behavior, I began to feel an attachment to them
and empathized with their several predicaments. In the course of the
information-seeking, it was normal to inquire into the state of their
sexual and physiological knowledge and learn details of how they put
their system of information into practice. It became common for them to
reveal that they needed to know more in order to maintain their lifestyle
without mishap but had no one to whom they could turn for information but
me. I did not feel that it was within professional ethical standards for
me to stand as sexual advisor to these girls.very much at risk, nor did
I feel that I could suggest other avenues they might explore and still
maintain an acceptable position in the community.
Kluckholn (1940) maintains that for participant observation to be a
success one must become immersed in the community to the extent that it
becomes interesting in its own right and not merely as an object of
research; to "be isolated from others of one's own ilk" (1940:341) bends
one to the life of the community as nothing else can perhaps do so well.
That a part of one's own culture can be so alien as to require this
has been questioned by anthropologists on the grounds that one's own
culture is so familiar as to preclude viewing it with the eyes of an
outsider and therefore asking the right questions.
My view is different; the researcher doing participant observation
even within his own culture is perceived as an alien by virtue of the
fact that he is not playing an easily identified and categorizable role.
Furthermore, the position of researcher is made difficult in terms of
acceptance. In a foreign cultural atmosphere, the stranger is clearly

30
perceived as a stranger and expected to behave as one and is accorded a
degree of latitude of behavior departing from the norm because he is not
expected to know the ways of the persons whose territory he has entered
and can be seen to be trying to adapt. In one's own culture, however,
the researcher may have to work even harder to achieve acceptance because
he is expected to conform to the normal standards of behavior, and thus
any inadvertent social errors are viewed much more seriously, and
departure from the familiar pattern, preceived as "strangeness," more
severely stigmatized.
The question of relevance also pertains; there is clearly reason
enough to discard the bias in favor of foreign research as being the only
truly valid anthropological endeavor and turn in equal measure to delving
into home problems. "Anthropology could certainly contribute more than
it does to such subjects as what it really means to be male or female
and how to channel aggressive impulses, subjects in which there is
intense interest and on which there is much sensational misinformation"
(Gulick 1968:98).

CHAPTER III
THE SETTING: COMMUNITY AND COUNTY IN CONTEXT
Visually, the town has little aesthetic appeal. It is an antebellum
southern town whose growth pattern reflects a development parallel to
that of the transportation lines whose traffic spurred and later
sustained the growth of the town, rather than appearing as the faded but
charming relic of the pictorial plantation system which distinguishes
certain other towns of its relative size, age and level of economic
stagnation.
Built upon a low, flat plain, Strawberry Junction presents a stark
vista: buildings are square, low and architecturally nondescript, and no
tree-lined avenues provide relief from the merciless summer sun. The
highway, which is the major artery of the town in terms of its economic
and social vitality as well as for traffic, bisects the town and attracts
its main commercial enterprises, hence giving the community its stamp in
appearance. Strip development along the highway has occurred so that the
passer-through is presented with a procession of chain fast-food restau¬
rants which have proliferated in an exaggerated proportion to the size
of the town; motels, of which two are chains but the much greater number
are local establishments of long duration; car dealers and gas stations;
bars; and various other outlets of national business houses, such as
catalogue sales companies. Indeed, most of the franchise businesses
reside along the highway, while most of the locally developed businesses
can be found in the town proper, which lies in areas contiguous to the
highway, a situation which reflects both the economic necessity for
31

32
attracting travelers to automobile-related businesses and the insularity
of the town in maintaining certain activities for "home folks."
With the exception of drugstore counters, all of the community's
restaurants are ranged along the highway also, each with its charac¬
teristic habitues. The fast food outfits siphon off travelers and
school-skipping students and two well-known restaurants engage the bulk
of the town's lunch trade. One, called the "Ranchhouse", distinguished
by a statue of a coyboy outside, caters to the working men, mechanics,
gas station attendants, and so forth; and the other, owned by an immigrant
but long-established family, attracts the young professional and business
men who gather daily at lunch for gossip of local business affairs, and
which is favored for club activities and civic luncheons. During the
evening, the highway becomes a strip, with the fast food stops and gas
stations becoming points on the highly visible and distinctive line of
traffic which flows back and forth as young persons look for others to
engage in social interaction.
Also verging on the highway are the high school, city recreation
department, and the two courthouses - the new and old ones. The old
courthouse, constructed at the turn of the century in the typical red
brick Victorian gothic style of the period, was retained for its historical
value and is currently undergoing renovations stimulated by the bicenten¬
nial to render it usable for offices and a museum of local historical
artifacts. The new courthouse, built in the late 1960's, was constructed
as a bomb shelter in the campaign to provide "shelter spaces for [the
county's] entire resident and transient population. This represents a
progression from no available shelter spaces in 1964 to shelter for
everyone within a period of seven years" (Anonymous 1968).

33
Adjoining the old courthouse is an old stucco building converted to use
for offices but which formerly housed the jail and which is cloaked in
lore concerning the gallows and other unsavory but titillating legends.
The new jail facilities are housed in a modern red brick two-story
edifice which unfortunately overlooks the city recreation ball park
where the secondary sport is mutual taunting between inmates and
visitors/passersby.
Aside from the highway environs, with the neon sign and billboard
appearance characteristic of the strip development, the configuration of
the town's commercial enterprises conforms to that of most small and
economically low-vigored communities. The central business district is
located to the east of the highway and ranges over several blocks of
three parallel streets. "Town" proper consists mostly of small clothing
and jewelry stores, drugstores, variety and hardware stores, a shoe
store, a pet shop, beauty salons, the movie theatre, the Post Office,
and occasional specialty shops which are generally short-lived, such as
a hobby shop and a plant store. The Woman's Club and banks are also in
this section of town, as is the small but well-appointed public lihrary.
Off and on, a teen center was open which provided amusements for young
persons such as pinball machines, however, since it also served as the
nextus for a lively drug network; its open times were sporadic until it
eventually closed for good.
The pace of the town commercial activities is leisurely. There are
no parking meters and one can always be assured of finding parking space
while shopping. Sidewalks are not congested and stores are uncrowded.
Activity levels are reminiscent of an earlier, less hurried period of
time and this illusion is occasionally supported by the sight of someone

V.
coming to town on horseback. From time to time, because of the somewhat
casual shopping patterns of the area residents and to lure customers
away from several small shopping centers, the downtown merchants sponsor
campaigns designed to attract crowds, such as merchandise giveaways and
special attractions such as baby photographers or carnivals. In addition,
downtown merchants look favorably on the various charitable ventures
which act as draws to potential customers, such as the ubiquitous rummage
and bake sales, and are quick to donate space in which these sales may be
held.
In addition to these small shopping centers, usually offering a
grocery store, drugstore, and department store as the major stores, the
community is peppered with numerous minute markets which are heavily
shopped due both to their adaptation to the vehicle and to their longer
hours of operation. The importance of the vehicle, preferably a pickup
truck, in the life of Strawberry Junction can be readily observed through
the phenomenonof these jiffy stores. At any hour of the night or day,
depending on the length of operation of a particular store, one can see
a constant flow of trucks and cars stopping to make a small purchase and
hanging around inside or in the parking lot talking to others who drop
in for the purpose of finding someone to talk to. At night the stores
which stay open all night may gather a slightly larger portion of hangers
on, but the parking lots of closed stores and gas stations also attract
persons looking around for some social action.
Missing from the commercial scene, somewhat surprisingly, are
produce markets. There is one large market owned by an old area family
but there are few small stands and fresh produce is difficult to find,
considering that the area is a farming area. The Farmer's Market is

35
open seasonally one-and-one-half days per week with varying degrees of
success, depending upon the available produce.
The larger churches, e.g. the First Baptist and Methodist churches,
the Episcopal church, and the Presbyterian church, are in the town
proper with the Catholic church the only major denomination placed on the
highway. The numerous small fundamentalist churches are found on less-
traveled streets in or near the town proper, but proliferate mostly on
the rural outskirts.
The residential configuration of the town appears to be the result
of random growth rather than emerging from a well-thought out city plan,
although the current zoning commission seems determined to regularize
future growth within specifications determined through a careful study
contracted to the University of Florida Urban and Regional Development
Center (Schneider 1974).
The oldest houses are found toward the center of town and again
in the outlying rural areas. These houses, of two general types, are
large and often quite charming. The first type, found mostly in town,
is the Victorian house of several stories and surrounded along its length
by verandas. These very large houses have often been either converted
to apartments or accommodated to a business.
The second type is that often found in the rural south and here
located mostly in the rural areas: a large frame house of one story but
with a high peaked roof covering an extensive attic and fronted by a
porch, often screened in covering the length of the house face. These
houses are built about a yard above the ground and, with their high
ceilings, offer some protection from the heat. The survival of these
houses has been at the dictates of the owners and the demands made upon

3(>
the land; until very recently, little attempt has been made to assess
the historic worth of the community's older buildings, but a nationwide
resurgence in interest in preserving the past has influenced Strawberry
Junction as well and an Historical Commission has been established for
this purpose.
Within the city limits, many different kinds of housing can be
found. It is not uncommon to find trailers and much higher-priced houses
placed in contiguity with shanties or commercial establishments. Many
living arrangements include livestock in their menage resulting in cows,
goats, horses, rabbits, and chickens residing in the town. Several
housing subdivisions can also be found within which the houses are fairly
standardized, ranging from low middle income tract houses to expensive
and handsome architect-designed houses found to the east of town near the
country club. Although it is apparent that many houses are situated in
a setting in which attention has been paid to landscaping, a common
feature of the general scene is the yard which conforms to no discernible
arrangement of plant life but rather serves as a storage lot for the
debris of living, particularly for the ubiquitous car up on blocks that
is the sine qua non of the style of life which in the south is known as
"redneck" culture.
The aforementioned residential patterns are, of course, white ones.
Blacks are segregated in fact, if not by law, in Strawberry Junction, at
least within the confines of the town; the pattern is less rigid in the
rural areas where one may find black and white in the same vicinity.
The main "colored town" is a cluster of small houses, churches, stores,
bars or "jukes" (so called because of the juke box), and a government
subsidized apartment complex called "The Project". Whites are seldom

37
seen in this area, called Faro, unless they have specific business to
transact there, as the area is supposedly dangerous for whites.
Apartment living, in the guise of building complexes for this
purpose, is not common in Strawberry Junction and few of these complexes
exist. Rental property in the form of single family units, apartments
converted from older and larger houses, and trailers, serve in its stead.
In addition, the many small motels offer extended short-range living
quarters for non-permanent residents of the community, e.g. visitors to
inmates of the nearby state penitentiary.
The recreational features of the community include athletic facili¬
ties, e.g. ball parks, tennis courts, and the rodeo arena which is part
of the fairgrounds; a public park; a commercial campground; and several
nearby lakes which, although they are actually located in the adjoining
county, are considered a prominent feature in the community life and,
indeed, are considered to be part of the community.
The physical description of the community is the tangible result
of its historical development, the events of which have shaped the
present social, economic and physical configuration of the town. Old
maps indicate that the town was an intersection point for several trails
transversing North Central Florida and the area was described as one
where "towering forests of yellow pine delight the eye of the profes¬
sional mill man, the stretches of woodland pasture invite the stock-
raiser, the arable soil a tempting location for farmer and fruit grower,
the health-restoring, health-preserving pine woods air imparting vigor
to the individual and new strength to the robust man" (Webb 1885); hence
settlers were attracted to stop there.

38
An identifiable community began to be established around 1830,
before the Seminole Indian Wars, when settlers mostly from middle Georgia
and the Carolinas came in search of cheap land. These early settlers
grew cotton, corn, tobacco, and worked the pine forests for lumber and
naval stores, forming a settlement of sparsely distributed small farms
scattered through the woods. The announcement that the next link, of the
cross-Florida Fernandina-Cedar Key railroad being laid in the 1850's
would pass through the town spurred the establishment of a more permanent
settlement: the post office was started in 1857, officially founding the
town. The completion of the railroad caused the first of a series of
growth spurts for the area, which then "grew at a great rate, and
...from being a mere logging camp of furzy white men and ragged negroes,
became a smart, clean town of refined northern settlers" (Anonymous 1925).
Strawberry Junction served as the terminus for the railroad for the
year following its arrival, and the impact of the railroad on the
development of the town was manifested in its physical layout. In the
oldest part of town, vestiges of the original plan can be seen; streets
and avenues are laid out not according to section lines, but rather in
lines drawn parallel and perpendicular to the railroad tracks.
Local reverberations from the Civil War were not particularly
far-reaching in an historical sense. No major battles were fought on
home soil although at least one Union raiding party is recorded to have
wrecked temporary havoc in the town by burning some freight cars standing
on the railroad track. Although the county is named after a Civil War
figure, the area seems surprisingly deficient in extant Civil War
memorabilia and lore. Nevertheless, a readily apparent and fairly active
antipathy towards "Yankees" remains as a viable remnant of the hostilities.

39
Growth of the community has been sporadic with spurts coincident
with economic episodes in its own history and in the development of its
environs. The area was and remains heavily dependent upon agriculture.
Initially, cotton was the major crop with the citrus industry latterly
coming to the fore. However, several severe freezes towards the turn of
the century culminating in the famed "Big Freeze" of 1895 proved the
growing of citrus to be unfeasible, and the appearance of the boll weevil
shortly ended the ascendancy of cotton as a major money-maker. Fortunate¬
ly the area was found to be ideal for the raising of winter strawberries
for the northeastern markets. Strawberries became a lucrative crop and
brought an additional temporary prosperity to the town in the guise of
the seasonal influx of buyers and shippers.
External developments have been the pivotal determinants of growth
to the town. The major growth spurts have been concommitants of the
building of majortransportation links: the cross-Florida railroad
connecting the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and a major highway running
the length of the State account for the bulk of the town’s economic
and population growth. The numbers of people living in the town was
reduced by the First World War, but the Florida land boom of the 1920's
affected Strawberry Junction, as much of the State, by bringing in new
waves of migrants. World War II represented a period of dramatic growth
for the area via the installation of one of the largest army bases in
the country. Local residents feared that the war's end would deplete
the base's operation, thus rendering Strawberry Junction a virtual ghost
town, but these fears were largely ungrounded. The war boom could not
continue, but the base was converted into a substantial National Guard
encampment which, along with the State Penitentiary, now accounts for a
major portion of the town's economic base.

TABLE 1
Population Change in North Central County, Northeast
Florida Region* and the State of Florida
1950-1970
Percent Percent
1950
1960
Change
1970
Change
Population
Population
1950-1960
Population
1960-1970
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
11,457
12,446
+ 8.6%
14,625
+17.5%
NORTHEAST FLORIDA
REGION
543,737
737,045
+35.6%
878,125
+19.1%
FLORIDA
2,771,305
4,951,560
+78.7%
6,789,443
+37.1%
Source: Urban and Regional Development Center, University of Florida Technical Assistance
to North Central County in Developing A Land Use Plan, 1974.

41
Today, Strawberry Junction is the county seat of North Central
County and principal municipality of four in its county; it numbers
approximately one-third of the county's 15,000 inhabitants. The county
has retained it rural character, having a population density of fifty-
four persons per square mile compared to the overall State density of
153 per square mile. The county lags appreciably behind the current
high State levels of population increase, although the 17.5 percent
increase of the past decade is regarded by the townspeople as a period
of rapid and unprecedented growth. However, a certain amount of this
growth results from immigrating residents of nearby cities who use it
primarily as a "bedroom town," commuting to conduct their major activities
outside the community (see Table 1).
The demographic configuration of the area is one that is common
in the south. The white population accounts for three-quarters of the
total residents; the non-white population is predominantly black and
forms a separate social community. Like much of the south, interracial
relations have been problematic. Prejudicial feelings resulting in
antipathy on the part of whites for blacks are internalized but can be
readily recognized even when a liberal attitude is thought to be
assumed as evidenced by a description of rural life written by a towns-
person a quarter of a century ago:
The colored people of Strawberry Junction live in their
own part of the town, called Faro. They have their own
movies, and some stores there. For instance, the barber
shop, operated for the colored people alone. The beauty
shop is there too...the dry cleaner...does some dry cleaning
for some white people. He collects it in his truck. The
white people do not seem to think anything about that. He
just calls for and delivers to your home or store. The
colored have their own schools and churches. They deal in

42
the white stores. Our jewelry store has some of the very
nicest colored trade. My husband does not refuse to repair
their watches, etc., as long as they know how to act in a
public place. A barber shop next to our store hires a
'shine' boy, who gets only a percentage of the money he
collects.(Simpson 1950)-
Mandatory integration has brought about certain changes in the
social fabric. Blacks and whites now, of course, attend the same schools
and are allowed to participate equally in community programs. However,
probing ever so slightly beneath the surface, one sees that little has
actually changed, even though what changes have been wrought by external
forces seem a quantum hap to area denizens. Integration in the schools
does bring black and white students, teachers, and, to a degree, parents
together in school-related activities, e.g. sports, school government,
and fund-raising drives. While this facilitates interaction between
races of a much greater intensity both in degree and in kind than
heretofore likely, the interaction thus engendered is quite superficial
and an iceberg of hostility and racial tension lurks beneath that
deceptive surface.
Indeed, within the last five years a trivial racial incident in
the high school triggered a reaction which turned the town into an
armed camp. One of the drugstores in town, owned by a person of such
strong racial sentiments that he preferred to remove the stool seats
rather than seat blacks at his lunch counter, contains an arsenal for
use in protecting the white citizens. Men with rifles were stationed
on the roof of this store and others in cars patrolled the town armed
with guns. Feelings ran high and serious trouble was averted by the
intervention of the sheriff whose threats subdued the bile of the
vigilantes. Partly as a result of this incident and partly due to a
fear of an incident arising, there is little social activity sponsored

43
by the schools; dances are infrequent and, when they occur, are generally
sponsored by an organization such as club which can thus restrict the
attendance to whites or blacks only.
Whites and blacks are presumably able to participate on an equal
basis in community activities and programs. The city recreation depart¬
ment sponsors sports programs such as midget football and little league
baseball for boys and softball for both sexes. However, to a large
extent these programs are controlled by merchants who sponsor the teams,
resulting in a skewed participation pattern. These often turn out to be
composed entirely or mostly of one race, adding another dimension to
the already fierce competition characteristic of the town’s sports
programs. In the City League for women's softball, composed of women
aged fifteen and up (the bulk of the players being high school girls and
young married women), one of the four teams had a large number of blacks.
This team placed second in the city championship and later went on to
make a good showing in several tournaments, with the result that the
team got taken over at the end of the season by a local team of highly
competitive players whose ambition was to win national recognition and
wanted the younger, inexperienced team as a farm team. At the time of
the takeover, the black players were discarded even though several of
them were not only excellent players but probably superior to the
retained white members of the team.
Activities that fall under the aegis of sports are highly valued
in the community and aside from those sponsored by the schools or city,
blacks are largely excluded from participation. There is only one
swimming pool that functions as a public pool, and this is the pool at
the country club. This pool is accessible to members and others under

44
certain circumstances, but remains an exclusively white domain. There
is also an active roping club whose activities are rodeo-like; barrel
riding, cloverleaf, and parade riding; again, a whites-only stipulation
governs the membership.
Churches promote interracial visitations only in highly ritualized
contexts. Two such situations which warrant the participation of the
entire religious community of the town are the World Day of Prayer and
the Easter Holy Week Celebrations. World Day of Prayer brings the churches
together at the Presbyterian church for a worship service and covered
dish luncheon, and the Holy Week activities are a series of luncheons
held at the Methodist church but sponsored by a different pair of
churches each day for a mixed congregation. During these ceremonials,
a conspicuous display of "brotherhood" is exhibited towards the few
blacks who attend, but at other times one would certainly not expect to
find blacks attending white church services. As far as the researcher
could learn, there is no question of whites participating as minorities
in black churches under any circumstances.
Furthermore, a great deal of mystique attaches to the black realm.
Blacks are reputed to be drinkers, fighters and lusty lovers. Most
whites avoid going into the "quarters," as Faro is often referred to by
whites, especially at night. Whether the reputation is a deserved one
or not is unknown, but whites venturing into Fara after dark are thought
to be trespassing at the risk of their limbs, if not their lives. White
women, especially, do not like to venture into the black terrain at any
time and comments to that effect are rife when women gather to gossip,
e.g. "I had to take that child home from the Girl Scout meeting and I
like to died, but when we got close she said to just let her out and

45
she'd walk the rest of the way," or "Did you know that Sue takes her
yard man home to Faro and lets him sit right in the front seat of the
car with her? I'd be afraid of goin' there and afraid of what people
might think was goin'' on if they saw me with a black man!" Whites
also cherish beliefs in the remarkable sexual appetites of blacks. The
uncontrollable virility of the black buck is legendary and feared in the
south and the black woman is also felt to be lustier than white women,
e.g. "Them nigger gals has forgot more about men sex than you 'n me'll
ever know."
The white community is fairly homogeneous as is its black counter¬
part. The major religious identification is Protestant with the Baptist
denomination being the most common by far. Within this classification
there is a variance from the First Church, the most liberal establish¬
ment within the conservative denomination, to the fundamentalist churches,
which are the very bastion of fanatical conservatism.
Many of these small churches, of obscure and often esoteric sects
falling under the rubric of fundamental Protestantism, do not meet at
regular intervals, but operate on a schedule determined by the circuit
of the itinerate preacher. In this way, a great many congregations too
small to retain a full-time officiant can still maintain their integrity.
In addition, there is a small Catholic community and a well-established
Mormon following in addition to the other expected Protestant sects.
Other faiths, e.g. Judaism and the Black Muslims, may exist but are not
apparent.
The age/sex configuration of the county is biased in favor of the
younger age cohorts and women (Figure 1). Unlike the rest of the State,
the area attracts few retirees, resulting in a median age (approximately

85+
80-84
75-79
70-74
65-69
60-64
55-59
50-54
45-49
40-44
35-39
30-34
25t29
20-24
15-19
10-14
5-9
0-4
6543210123456
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
FLORIDA
Figure 1: White Population of Florida and North Central County
by Age and Sex (Percentage of Total), 1970
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census,
General Population Characteristics, Florida, pp 63-64, 156.

47
twenty-eight years) that is five years below the state median (Tahle 2).
Thirty-four percent of the county residents are less than eighteen years
old. The county birth rates also differ from the state in that younger
women account for proportionately more births. In 1975 in Florida,
12.2 percent of all white live births were to mothers under nineteen
years of age but in the county the same age group was responsible for
15.8 percent of total births to white women (Figure 2). Younger women
account for the bulk of illegitimate births as well; 53.7 percent of
illegitimate births to white women in Florida were to teenaged mothers
compared to 66.7 percent of county illegitimate births (Figure 3).
Like the national ratios, area women slightly outnumber men (Table 3)
although this is not readily apparent when referring to statistical
sources which regularly count the all-male population of the State Peni¬
tentiary toward the area total. For statistical purposes this is mislea¬
ding, adding approximately 1500 men.
However, in certain respects the prison population does affect the
town in subtle ways. The relationship of the prison to the town is a
complex one. It is, of course, a major source of income for the many
who find employment there, not only as guards, but as carpenters, elec¬
tricians, foresters, and others demanded in its many and varied pursuits.
The prison includes farming and stock raising and forests and extensive
land holdings and is a more or less self-sufficient institution. It
also includes shops which are manned by the inmates as both a rehabilita¬
tive measure and as a means of producing needed goods and services.
These goods and services find their way into the local markets in
subtle but well-known ways. If one has connections into the prison, and
almost everyone does if they exploit their kinship and friendship networks,

NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
FLORIDA
35 and
over
15-
19
Under
15
Figure 2: Resident Live Births by Age of Mother, By Race, 1975
Florida Vital Statistics, 1975, pp. 33-34.
Source:

NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
35 and
over
20-34
15-19
Under
15
FLORIDA
Figure 3: Illegitimate Live Births by Age of Mother, By Race, 1975
SO
Source:
Florida Vital Statistics, 1975, pp. 37-38

50
TABLE 2
Median Age of Population, USA, Florida and North Central County,
1950-1970
1950
1960
1970
USA
30.2
29.5
28.3
FLORIDA
30.9
31.2
32.3
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
24.0
25.6
27.6
Source: U.S., Department
of Commerce,
Bureau of
the Census
Census of Population, General Characteristics, Florida.

51
TABLE 3
Sex Ratio* for the Populations of Florida and
North Central County,
Adjusted and
1970
Non-Adjusted
,** By Race
Total
White
Non-White
FLORIDA
93.2
93.3
92.0
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
Adjusted**
93.9
96.2
86.4
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
Non-Adjusted**
112.7
106.9
134.3
* The sex ratio of any given population equals the number of males
per 100 females in that population.
** The inclusion of a large, all-male prison population skews the
results of demographic computations for North Central County and
gives figures which could be misleading for planning purposes.
Therefore, these computations were done on an adjusted population.
Source: Urban and Regional Development Center, University of Florida,
Technical Assistant to North Central County in Developing a Land Use
Plan, 1974, p. 61.

52
one can take advantage of the captive labor pool in ways such as getting
haircuts from inmate barbers, having furniture built or refinished, having
portraits painted from photographs, getting original art works from prison
artists, getting plants grown in the prison greenhouse, and getting
appliances repaired.
There is a community of prison employees who live on the grounds
and who receive services thereby. In former years, everyone from that
community had trustees who worked for them much as houseboys and their
children were always the best dressed in town due to the efforts of the
prison laundry which always provided beautiful starched pinafores for
the girls. Now there is a very active youth organization which provides
a recreation program for the adolescent members of the prison families.
Townspeople get into the penitentiary for purposes of finding cheap
entertainment. Until recently, persons could go to dinner there, the
draw being a steak dinner for a very nominal fee— less than a dollar.
Townspeople also like to go to movies at the prison not only because
it is free, but for the additional amusement of watching the prisoners
and their "man girlfriends". Additionally, once a year the prison holds
its annual spring flower show; an event eagerly anticipated by the towns¬
people because the flowers are exotic and unfailingly lovely and also
because a flower or shrub is given to each attendee as a favor. Social
distinctions are blurred at this event where one sees the elderly and
distinguished Strawberry Junction matrons avidly discussing growing
techniques with convicted criminals, and partaking of refreshments
dispensed by inmates dressed in white prison suits with their numbers
stenciled above the pockets.

53
The inmate population is exploited in other ways as well. Girls
have admitted to creating an opportunity to go there to meet men, as, for
example, by joining an evangelistic mission to "save" the souls of those
who have lost their faith. On occasion friendships are formed which
lead to marriage — the ceremony even being conducted "in the yard,"
meaning while the man is still serving his sentence. Men released from
prison are outfitted with clothes, given a bus ticket to some specified
place, and two hundred dollars. A practice, more or less naturally
expected, has developed in which prostitutes, usually black, wait for
these men to appear at the bus terminal and accost them. They are then
lured into the nearby Faro and fleeced of their money during the ensuing
transaction.
Moreover, it is well known to residents of the town that the men
within the prison walls have access to any commodity available on the
outside, especially drugs and weapons. The means by which these
commodities become so widely available is naturally a covert process,
but it is reasonable to surmise that the persons working in the prison
are important links in the supply network and that this trade represents
perhaps the most lucrative means by which townspersons exploit the
State Penitentiary.
The presence of the penitentiary also represents a threat to the
townspeople, of course. The immediate community has formalized plans
for dealing with escapees which include the sounding of an alarm as soon
as an escape is discovered. However, other dangers present themselves
due to the incomplete separation of employees from inmates. One such
tragic incident occurred when an inmate attempted to force himself onto
a young secretary. An older woman who was witness to the encounter

54
intervened in an attempt to prevent his assault and suffered a fatal
heart attack in the attempt.
The presence of another large, predominantly male institution in
the community has similar reciprocal ties to those found in the town-
prison relationship. The National Guard post has a permanent installa¬
tion on a large lake which includes vacation cottages and trailers, and
thus serves as a source of recreation for those townspeople who can
activate the necessary connections to avail themselves of its facilities.
The guardsmen also function in certain service capacities, such as
charitable ventures, to the community. However, the main impact of the
military establishment is realized during the summers when large numbers
of men are engaging in their mandatory summer maneuvers. These men,
confined to Strawberry Junction for their summer camp, a period of from
two to six weeks, must look to the town for amusement, which has
important economic and social ramifications.
At $3,376, the county per capita income is well below the state
level of $5,412 in 1974 (Table 4), in fact, seventh lowest in the state,
consonant with low education levels. The largest single source of income
is the government which employs greater than one-fourth of the labor of
the county accounting for nearly half of the total personal income.
Other identifiable sources of income are realized from manufacturing,
strip mining of ilmenite used in paints, services and trade, and other
private industries (Table 5).
Although nearly one-third of the land is in agricultural use, only
ID percent of the total personal income is derived from this source.
The Strawberries for which the area is famous have declined dramatically
in their importance due to difficulties in hiring pickers. Many of the

55
TABLE 4
Per Capita Income for Florida and North Central County for
Selected Years, 1950-1974 (in dollars)
Florida North Central County
1950
$1280
$ 817
1960
2215
1950
1970
3738
2088
1974
5412
3376
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of
Florida, Florida Statistical Abstract, 1976, p. 127

TABLE 5
Personal Income: Percentage Distribution by Industry and of Labor and
Proprietors Income on a Place-of-Work Basis for the State and North
Central County, 1974
Florida
North Central County
Farm
3.70
0.00
Non-Farm
96.30
100.90
Private
77.81
54.57
Manufacturing
12.57
10.78
Mining
0.43
Withheld
Construction
10.54
3.96
Wholesale and
Retail Trade
19.51
22.24
Finance, Insurance and
Real Estate
7.00
2.56
Transportation,
Communications, and
Public Utilities
7.93
3.10
Services
19.22
11.32
Other Industries
0.60
Withheld
Government
18.49
46.33
Federal-Civilian
3.51
1.62
Federal-Military
3.28
1.81
State and Local
11.70
42.89
Source: Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of
Florida, Florida Statistical Abstract, 1976, pp. 161-164.

5 7
farmers who still grow the berries do so on the basis of opening their
fields to people who will pick their own berries at a lower rate than
if the fruit were bought in a market. The economic situation is illus¬
trated by the fact that nearly 30 percent of the labor force is
employed outside the county, commuting each day to nearby cities. This
figure is a striking contrast to the state average of 8 percent
extra-county-of-residence employment. Unemployment within the county
also exceeds the state average and is disproportionately biased against
women and non-whites (Figure 4).
Strawberry Junction is the site of the county's only high school
to which all county residents are bused. Because many of the Strawberry
Junction students are rural residents, they too are bus riders. In
addition, the community has a middle school for sixth through eighth
grades, two elementary schools, and a vocational-technical school (known
as the Vo-Tech) which caters to regular high school students as well as
adults in its variable programs. Indeed, the course offered in truck
driving attracts students from the entire country and has a long waiting
list for acceptance. Together, the secondary schools number a student
population of approximately 2500 students.
Approximately 35 and 40 percent of males and females, respectively
have completed high school out of the population aged twenty-five year
and over and the literacy rate falls below the state average
(see Table 6). Few students from the community continue their
education into a post-secondary program as indicated in Table 7; the
numbers entering higher educational institutions are less than half
that on a state level. On the other hand, relatively higher percentages
than found statewide are married, suggesting that early marriage may

Occupation
PROFESSIONAL AND
technical; area
MANAGERS AND
ADMINISTRATION
SALES
CLERICAL
CRAFTSMEN
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS
TRANSPORTATION
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS
LABORERS
FARMERS
FARM LABORERS
COMME RCIAL.SERVICE
HOUSEHOLD SERVICE
Number
203
141
480
180
398
115
TOTAL
1799
Figure 4: Women 16 Years and Over Employed in North Central County, 1970
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1970 Census of
Population, General Social' and Economic Characteristics, Florida

59
TABLE 6
Median Years of Education Achieved by Florida and North Central County
Residents 25 Years of Age and Over, 1960-1970
1960 1970
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
8.4 years 10.3 years
FLORIDA
10.9 years 12.2 years
Source: Urban and Regional Development Center, University of Florida,
Technical Assistance to North Central County in Developing a Land
Use Plan, 1974, p. 66.

also adversely affect continuance of education, especially for women
(Table 7).
The school curricula reflect the educational attributes of the
community by stressing courses of study other than college preparatory.
For example, the policy of the high school is stated in its annual report
to parents:
Advanced courses are at a minimum at North Central County
High School. This is due to several factors (1) the number
of students entering college, (2) Job Entry, DCT, and Agri¬
cultural Placement and (3) the state's funding system. The
latter does not provide a difference between, for example,
a physics class or a general science class. We simply cannot
afford programs that only meet the needs of a few.
Like most predominantly rural areas, the county can be classed
as medically deprived. The majority of the available medical services
are in Strawberry Junction: the county health department, 50-bed
hospital and 50-bed nursing home, emergency service, and most of the
physicians, who are distributed in the ratio of one physician to
approximately 2500 people in the county. The level of health in the
community is suspect from observing the people. The general appearance
is poor, especially among children, and is a reflection of a lack of
preventive care and poor dietary regimens which rely heavily on starchy
foods. Many persons are obese, and most are pale with poor complexions
and have sores on their faces and limbs. Gumline dental caries are
common in children and babies are often listless and afflicted with
runny noses. Both children and adults are often barefoot, which leaves
them prey to the many infections and infestations common to warm climates.
The brunt of the medical maldistribution is particularly felt by
the women of the county. Gynecological services are available from
general practitioners, but there are no obstetrical services or facilities

High School Graduates Entering a Post-Secondary Educational Institution
by Type of Institution in Florida and North Central County, Spring 19 75
(Proportion of Total Graduates)
Area
1975 Total
Graduates
Community
Colleges
Universities
and Colleges
Technical
Trade & Other
FLORIDA
85,651
27.8
20.9
0.6
NORTH CENTRAL COUNTY
232
11.6
8.2
0
Source: Florida Statistical Abstract, Bureau of Economic and Business
Research, University of Florida, 1976, p. 112.

62
in tlie county; all deliveries occur "across the lines," predominant
ly in one of the two closest metropolitan areas in adjacent counties
linked to Strawberry Junction by the highway that is so prorainant a
feature of the community life. Women who are able to afford it seek
care in one of these two cities, but lower income women depend upon
clinical services available through a university-based program which
extends its services via the mechanism of a travelling health care team
which utilizes local facilities, e.g. the county health department in
the case of the prenatal care and the out-of-county university hospital
for deliveries (approximately thirty miles distance). Family planning
services are available in the same way, i.e. privately, for those who
can afford it, and by means of the university-based project for lower-
income women at-risk.
The physical arrangement also impedes the delivery of health
services. The railroad tracks which bisect the town run between the
hospital, which includes the emergency service, and the highway which
is not only a source of automobile emergencies, but also the route that
must be taken to reach medical services of the sophistication required
by many emergencies. If one of the many trains which run that route is
occupying the track, the emergency may be seriously delayed. Many
medical situations necessitate rapid transport to a hospital in another
city, so this prohlem is a serious one which is compounded by the
reliability of the emergency staff and vehicles. One of the more
tragically ironic incidences occurred when one of the Emergency Medical
Technicians was struck by an automobile in front of the hospital and the
"unit" (ambulance) could not be started to transport him to a hospital
in time to prevent his death.

63
TABLE 8
Marital Status of White Population Arc 14 and Over
North Central County and Florida, by Sex, 1970
Marital Status North Central County Florida
Male Female Male Female
Single
28.4
16.6
22.7
16.5
Married
63.6
66.3
69.7
63.1
Separated
1.0
1.3
1.1
1.3
Divorced
5.4
3.2
3.4
5.1
Widowed
2.7
13.9
3.1
14.0
Source: U.S., Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1970
Census of Population, General Characteristics, Florida, pp. 71-72, 179

CHAPTER IV
THE GENERATIONS: PARALLEL LIVES
Strawberry Junction is a small community where it is quite possible,
even likely, that most natives have a reasonably intimate acquaintance
with their fellows. On investigation this indeed proves to be the
case. The community illustrates the veracity of the cliche that in
a small town there are few secrets. Everyone knows everyone else
at least by sight and reputation, and in addition, can probably furnish
a lineage for any particular individual complete with up-to-date
on dits from their past and current "private" affairs. This can be
atributed to several factors: (1) living in close contiguity with
neighbors, (2) the overlappings of the kin linkages, and (3) the
telephone party lines, the importance of which cannot be overrated.
This gossip chain is kept in good working order by the adult
women of the community but they are by no means the only persons privy
to this flow nor the only active generators of it. On numerous occasions,
it was apparent that much of this accumulated knowledge of community
doings belonged to a common bank which was added to by each according
to his sphere of awareness. In this fashion, children and adolescents
contributed pieces gleaned from school and play situations, with men
and employed women adding references from the workplace, and so forth.
Thus it was that almost any person of the community could serve as a
reliable informant concerning certain personal details about their
neighbors, particularly their place in the kinship web, occupation,
religious orientation, social status, idiosyncrasies, and the like.
64

65
Despite this phenomenon, the community does not present equal
opportunities for all of its members to interact according to inclination,
but rather activities are for the most part restricted according to age
and sex distinctions. Certainly race is also an important social
divider but the following discussion is germane primarily to the white
portion of the community unless otherwise specified. It is a well-known
characteristic of the south that the black and white segments of a
community, especially one as retrograde as Strawberry Junction, remain
socially distinct to the point of representing two separate and definable
mutually exclusive communities, regardless of how they may intersect
in various ways. In terms of this analysis, therefore, the community
which is described will in most cases by the white community. Social
distinctions arising from sex roles will be discussed in the following
chapter.
The segregation along age lines separates the members of the
community into rough age grades according to the progression through
the life cycle: infants, pre-school children, school children, adoles¬
cents, young adults, mid-life adults, and old persons. The division
of adolescents from the other age grades is perhaps more clearly
demarcated in terms of social interaction and through definition within
the group and by outsiders than the other grades are from each other.
The penalties of this restriction, although not well perceived by either
adolescents or the ascending generation, have severe consequences for
teenagers because they are removed from adult influence yet cut off
from childhood.
According to dictionary definitions, adolescence consists of
"the transition period between puberty (boyhood or girlhood) and adult

66
stages of development; youth. It extends from about fourteen to
twenty-five years of age in man, and from twelve to twenty-one in
woman" (Barnhart 1966:17), or more simply, "the period of attaining
complete growth and maturity" (Stedman 1976:27). These definitions
offer some latitude in assigning young people to the category of
adolescence but the term is more often used synonymously with the
teenage years.
Definition of adolescence is compounded by the legal assignment
of responsibility, i.e. different ages at which, according to state
law, one can or must assume adult responsibilities. At the time of this
research, the legal age for drinking and voting was twenty-one, the legal
age for obtaining a driver's license was sixteen, the legal age for
marriage with parental consent was sixteen for women and eighteen
for men, the age of consent for sexual relations was eighteen, and
persons could be tried as an adult for criminal offenses at seventeen.
For heuristic purposes, adolescents discussed in this study were
defined as teenagers.
The theme of adolescence is at the forefront of social concerns
even among other timely and possibly more pressing contemporary issues.
Young people are of special interest to demographers especially as their
proportions of the total population in developing countries is increasing,
skewing the population and creating unique problems in the context of
world history. For example, in 1971, 50 percent of the population of
India was less than twenty years of age, with adolescents accounting
for about one-fifth of the total (Visnaria and Jain 1976:13). In the
United States in 1975, an estimated 35 percent of the population
was less than twenty years and 14 percent fell within the age
range from thirteen to nineteen years (USDHEW 1977:135). Due to falling

<>/
birth rates in this country, unlike developing countries, the proportion
of adolescents has declined slightly over the last decade and is expected
to continue this downward trend.
"The American way of life has been characterized, and caricatured
too, as child-centered to an extreme degree. Visitors from abroad have
been known to observe that the vaunted American democracy is in fact
a pedocracy, and that the most surprising fact of American life is
the way parents obey their children" (Goodman 1970:1). This focus on
children perhaps reaches its fullest expression in the preoccupation
with the adolescent phase of the life cycle which is a relatively recent
and peculiarly American-flavored phenomenon:
The cultural recognition of adolescence is a by-product
of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to that there had
been no need to provide a hiatus category to deal with
the individual who was biologically no longer a child but
not yet ready for induction into adult roles, particularly
occupational roles. (Hamburg and Hamburg 1975:93)
The concept of adolescence was virtually nonexistent until the
final two decades of the nineteenth century and could be thought of
almost as an invention of the period (Demos and Demos 1969). The
changes brought about through industrialization affected social
patterns including family roles and lifestyle which allowed adolescence
to achieve its separateness from both childhood and adulthood, phases
which also became more distinct by contrast.
The changing emphasis from farming to industrial manufacturing
was responsible for shifts in population dispersion from rural to urban
settings. The early part of the twentieth century implemented restric¬
tive legislation concerning child labor and compulsory education laws
raising the age for mandatory school attendance. Declines in both
fertility and mortality allowed parents to survive not only the

68
childbearing years but also the childrearing years, thus experi¬
encing the "empty nest" syndrome (Jordan 1976) and embarking on old
age. "The glorification of youth and the denigration of old age are
both aspects of the growing segregation of different stages of life—and
of their corresponding age groups" (Harenen 1976:25).
It is these alterations in teh continuum of the generations that
have been attributed as allowing child-focus to develop in American
society (Demos and Demos 1969, Hamburg and Hamburg 1975; Jordan 1976).
Traditionally, life roles were learned gradually while the child observed
parents and other adults of the extended family or community in the
routine performance. As the child matured, more responsibility would
be extended according to the child's ability. In this way, childhood
was apprenticeship for adult life.
With industrialization, family processes metamorphosed: the
transition from child to adult was no longer gradual and children
and adults evolved separate and mutually more exclusive routines and
habitats. By 1900, the trend was well established. Social and
economic change was widespread. Disparity between the generations was
assumed to be a fact of life, becoming "...part of the national mythology"
(Demos and Demos 1969:638), and Americans began to express deep concern
about the growth of peer group influence.
As pedocentric families emerged, American society became not only
"peer-oriented," but "expert-oriented" (Goodman 1970). The vast litera¬
ture devoted to child-rearing advice extant today was rare in the
United States during the early nineteenth century. Books by American
authors began to appear around 1825 along with a new variety of magazine,
e.g. "Mother's Magazine," devoted to the interests of childrearers.

69
Cookbooks wore nn earlier source of advice about the care of chil¬
dren. Unlike modern specialized cookbooks, these books contained useful
information about all matters pertaining to the household and not
merely recipes, and often, in company with the family bible, represented
the complete family library. Antedating the childrearing guides which
began appearing at the quarter century, the advice rendered in these
volumes most often consisted of care and feeding of infants and children
rather than emphasizing parenting principles, as in the following
examples from an early cookbook:
Baby's first bath should be preceded by a generous applica¬
tion of pure, sweet olive oil, from head to foot, in every
little crevice and corner of his outer man.
Great care should be given that children are not fed with
milk that has been turned by a thunderstorm. The chemical
change is rapid, and extra caution is necessary.
Give a nourishing diet to a pale, white-looking delicate
child.
Jumping the rope is an injurious and dangerous amusement,
often resulting in diseases of the spine and brain.
(Anonymous 1880:461-465)
Demos and Demos (1969) attribute the emergence of a literature
on childrearing to the burgeoning interest in childhood as a separate
period discernible from succeeding life stages; a sense of nationalism
and need to develop a distinct American method of childrearing rather
than continuing to rely on European, particularly British, thought;
and an anxiety about the quality of American family life. The major
concern of this growing childrearing literature centered on the question
of authority—an issue as yet unresolved, viz. the undulating preferences
for permissiveness or strictness that have assailed American parents
for generations Even the latter day saint of parents, Dr. Spock,

70
has undergone some radical philosophical changes over the multiple
editions of Baby and Child Care (1970).
Books aimed toward youth rapidly found a market. The tenor of
these was to provide the young reader with a guide to proper deportment
simple rules of health, and a Christian outlook. Margaret Coxe’s
Young Lady's Companion was typical of the genre, pontificating through
a series of letters on such topics as intellectual and moral discipline,
formation of habits, government of the passions and appetites, behavior
to domestics, and so forth. That the aim of the Young Lady’s Companion
and other boods of its ilk was to prepare young girls for their social
roles as wives is evident. The section devoted to the explanation of
natural science to young ladies reads thusly:
The subjects which are included under the subdivision of
natural science...are numerous, but as they will not be
likely to engage your attention, or will not be of much
practical importance to a young female, I shall pass
over it without attempting to enter into detail.(1840:149)
As it might be expected, little practical information about the
most intimate aspects of the marriage role could be found in these
books. Even the description of the class mammalia in the natural
history section is a masterpiece of circumlocution: "All mammiferous
animals...possess lungs, and peculiar facilities for obtaining nourish¬
ment during infancy" (Coxe 1840:155)[emphasis added].
This is in contrast to the much more straightforward manuals
which spread throughout England and the American colonies during the
seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries, the so-called Aristotle manuals,
which were drawn eclectically from the writings of the Greek philosopher,
folklore, legends, and some medical knowledge relating to sexual congress.

71
Although not produced specifically for the young person, much of the
advice concerned the sexual novice and the newly married. Sex was
regarded as healthy, natural and desirable:
The inclinations of virgins for marriage became evident
soon after the flow of natural purgations at the age of
fourteen or fifteen. Then the blood ceased to serve the
development of their bodies and turned instead to stir up
their minds to venery....manuals thus encouraged early
marriages to prevent disorders resulting from the unnatural
confinement of the seed in the male and female .(Haller and
Haller 1974:94-5)
The prevailing mode of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
was set by the purity literature, such as the Young Lady's Companion,
which offered girls little concrete information, much apprehension, and
a denial of feminine sexuality:
Young girls were to avoid the hazards of early marriage.
Premature love robbed the nerve and brain of their natural
needs and blighted the organs of sex...for girls to 'rush
into the hymenal embrace'...would only exhaust the love
powers, and precipitate disease and an early grave...the
healthy male could live until marriage without the loss
of a single drop of seminal fluid...the man who married
earlier [than 25 years] might well arrest the growth of his
body, weaken his system, and fall prey to disease and
premature aging... children born of early unions... seldom
reached the age of manhood, and old age was out of the
question (Haller and Haller 1974:110,201,225).
Although youth was recognized as a formative, transitional phase
during the 1800's, attention was drawn to the special problems of this
life stage at the turn of the century, when the work of psychologist
Stanley G. Hall made the term "adolescence" a byword. In 1904, Hall's
research culminated in his opus, Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its
Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Religion and Education.
Influenced by Barwin, Hall created an evolutionary model of
recapitulation whereby individuals live through the evolutionary stages
of their race. According to the model, adolescence recapitulated the

72
"...most recent of man's great developmental leaps" (Demos and Demos
1969:635). Under the influence of Hall, adolescence has continued
to receive much attention from social scientists, chiefly psychologists
and sociologists, and from the lay audience as well. This segment of
the life cycle has most often been regarded as either a period of
relatively transient deviance, as in the plethora of delinquency
studies, or alternatively, as a period of psychological self-seeking—
a time of narcississtic introspection and rebellion against observed
role-styles of the parent generation and the abandoned childhood. The
perceived growth of peer group influence and its supposed role in the
social socialization of teens, combined with the rapid and bewildering
socio-technological changes of the last century, resulted in the rather
paranoid concept of the generation gap. Mead's landmark inquiry into
the nature of adolescence, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), sought to
elucidate the question of the universality of the generation gap by
comparing Samoan youth to American youth. Her research pointed to the
culture-bound concepts of adolescence found in the literature of the
time. Her study of Samoan girls revealed that "...adolescence represented
no period of crisis or stress, but was instead an orderly developing of
a set of slowly maturing interests and activities" (1928:120). While
most societies amplify one or another point in the life cycle, adolescence
is by no means universally accorded significance, but is often incor¬
porated by raising the child phase or lowering the adult phase (Linton
1942). Nevertheless, by far the bulk of literature dealing with adoles¬
cence is formulated according to the American pattern (e.g. Yankelowich
1974) rather than on cross-cultural principles (Goodman 1970).

73
By and large, anthropological treatments relate adolescence to the
socialization process, e.g. cross-cultural variations on the theme of
how one becomes to be a full member of one's society, or as one of a
series of transitional motifs, e.g. what is the nature and function
of rites de passage. North American examples include studies of blacks
(Dougherty 1978, Liebow 1967, Hannerz 1969), American Indians (Hoebel 1960),
and white or "ethnic" Americans (Henry 1963, Graebner 1915).
Adolescents began to be recognized as a legitimate health popu¬
lation early in the 1960's, by virtue of their specialized characteristics
and needs. Nevertheless, the real significance and impact of this group
in terms of health effects is perhaps only now being realized. Millar
(1975) classifies the adolescent population as medically underserved
regardless of the physicianrpopulation ratio or economic status and
cities the following as contributing to minimal attention of the medical
community to adolescent problems. First, adolescents are essentially
a healthy group with relatively few demands for services other than
emergency services. Their need for services is reduced in that most
congenital anomalies have been detected and treated by the time
adolescence is reached and degenerative disease will not affect this
age group significantly, and immunity to infectious disease has been
built. Thus, adolescents generally don't seek health care between the
last visit to a pediatrician, usually at about twelve years of age, and
adulthood, e.g. college or military physicians, pre-marital exams.
Second, physicians and other medical caregivers may have difficulty
in establishing rapport with young people. Often they may find it
difficult to cope with problems associated with adolescents' relative
unconventional life styles.

74
Third, financial barriers exist to health care, particularly
clinics, as adolescents rarely control their own finances and medical
insurance. The need for privacy may cause adolescents' reluctance to
disclose need for money.
Last, adolescents are frequently isolated from appropriate care
settings. They have outgrown the pediatrician but may have difficulty
in adult oriented settings, such as hospitals. The movement of the
last decade toward establishing teen clinics, especially for family
planning, may be a viable alternative.
Many of the special health problems of adolescents are the result
of their incomplete maturation and the dis-synchronization of the
physical and socio-emotional maturation processes. Puberty, the
transition to fertility, should precede adolescence, the "period when
social, psychological, and cognitive maturation takes place" (Millar
1975:6).
Pubertal changes in terms of primary and secondary sex characteristics
occur differently and at different rates for boys and girls. Girls
generally gain their full height early in the genital development of
puberty and boys usually complete their sexual maturation before
achieving their adult form; hence, visual cues may be misleading.
Mood swings, acne, and fat deposition can accompany hormonal activity
during pubertal development presenting adolescents with their most
onerous health problems.
Adolescence is well marked in many societies, particulary tradi¬
tional societies. We have excellent descriptions of the rites de passage
associated with the physical manifestation of onset of womanhood for
girls, i.e. menarche, (Krige and Krige 1943, Radcliffe-Brown, 1922).

75
Female passage into adulthood may also be accomplished through
childbirth (Dougherty 1978). The process for males also often includes
a physical trial or ritual mutilation such as circumcision, subincision,
or scarification (Hogbin 1976). In American society, these transitions
are not as clearly marked. Among Jews, the Bar Mitzvah signifies that
the boy has become a man but as this takes place at thirteen, the
significance may be lessened as other hallmarks of adulthood will occur
considerably later.
In this culture, thS educational chronology must be the primary
means of assigning status, e.g. high school graduation is considered
the most significant rite of passage by many. While this is a signifi¬
cant ritual, college graduation may be more critical to those students
who continue their education, thus delaying their emergence into the
"real world" and prolonging the length of parental dependency. The
problem is confounded in considering high-school dropouts (Is the first
job the major rite of passage?) and college students who live separately
from their parents but still maintain a quasi-dependency relationship
(Will they identify themselves as adults or school-children?).
In Strawberry Junction, adolescence is conducted as a parallel
existence to the adult world. Young people coexist with those above and
below them in age but intersect with them infrequently and only under
certain circumstances. Their insulation from the larger community is
maintained consciously and can be discussed in terms of intergenerational
relations, use of space, and ritual.
The shrinking consciousness of adolescent insularity struck me
as a result of an encounter with a young girl. I had taken several
girls to a dance and, following their customary pattern, much of our

76
time was spent outside the building in which the dance was held. My
companions were girls in their early teens but all were taller than I
and we were dressed in a similar fashion in jeans. We were standing
around outside in the parking lot when a new girl was hailed and moved
to join the group. She was smoking a cigarette and bandying round
some rarified jargon when suddenly she looked closely at me and said,
"Oh, shit—are you a lady?" When I laughed and made some noncomittal
reply, she said, "No, I mean how old are you?" I answered and she
immediately began to act«nervously and started to throw her cigarette
away when my friends assured her that I was "....okay—just like one of
us. You can trust her!"
Adolescents maintain their separation from the larger community
carefully. Although they are residents in the same community as the
adult denizens, they occupy the territory differently, utilizing the
time dimension to maintain their parallel existence (cf Melbin 1978).
During the day, adolescents are in schools—the middle school, high
school or vocational-technical school. They occupy their space as if
defending it against invaders. The three schools are located on
contiguous plots of land allowing a high flow of students between their
respective grounds. The students at the vocational school, which
includes adult students, might be expected to have a greater degree
of freedom than in the other schools yet a visitor to the high school
will observe a good many students milling around in the grounds and
loitering in the halls, perhaps sitting around in groups smoking. Most
noticeable are students, often couples, sitting in the cars parked on
the perimeter roads. These adolescents look upon an adult visitor to
the school with mild interest, perhaps hostility or derision, and often

77
will offer a challenge in the fashion of a sentry. Teachers report
that their cars are often targets for pranksters, e.g. upon leaving school
they will find their car turned upside down or with the tires deflated.
Although the young people of the community regard the school as their
sanctum sanctorum, many refuse to be confiened to its locale by the
dictates of the school authorities. Skipping school is rampant. The
extent of the problem is revealed in a letter written by a high school
junior to the school board:
... there is a crowd* of kids that are always seen at the
auditorium without being in class. I can't seem to see
that this is alright for kids to skip. I am quite strongly
against kids skipping especially when they stay around
school. It seems to me that the School Board could do
something about these kids. The Board should have a
meeting about these kids who skip, but no one seems to care
about them hanging around the school. To me this skipping
problem is bigger than the new trash cans and fence the
school board wants. If they would stop some of this
skipping we might not need a fence.[See Appendix 1]-
The school Board had deliberated on the problem of skipping and
had decided to attempt to confine students to their respective campuses
by building a chain link fence around the high school. Moneys had been
allotted to build the fence during the summer for the coming school
year. The issue of the fence created a furor among the students. The
girls were mostly amused and the boys insulted. Bets were being placed
on how long the fence would stand and which boy would pull it down
with his truck. The field research period terminated before the issue
was resolved.
Behavior at school is used to distinguish between major classes among
the high school girls. Two distinct crowds are so defined: the bathroom
group and the MacDonald's group. The bathroom is the focal point for
social gatherings involving three related activities, gossip, smoking,

78
and skipping class. Girls in the bathroom group are described by their
peers as the lower-class, "low-life" element of the school and are
believed to be faster and tougher than the MacDonald's crowd. Smoking
automatically assigns a girl to this group as the bathroom is the best
place for smokers to gather, especially during classes.
MacDonald's, a fast food restaurant about a mile from the high
school, attracts the seniors who have open campus privileges at lunch
time. Other students are restricted to campus but often accompany their
friends among the seniors in defiance of the rules. Theoretically,
4
seniors can get into trouble for taking lower classmen off campus but
the MacDonald's crowd assess the risk as minimal. A lower classman
said, "If the school really wanted to catch people, they'd have someone
watching at MacDonald's." This crowd is made up of the ones who "never
go to the bathroom unless they have to go to the bathroom." These girls
have more money to spend than the bathroom group and have the added
advantage of transportation to skip class off campus. Some mobility
exists between the groups for on-the-fencers who are neither poor not
well-to-do or fast or prudish.
Apart from these limited forays away from the school, the adolescents
are little in evidencé in the town during the days nor are they at home,
these being the adult diurnal domains. At night, the situation reverses
and adolescents occupy the town. The most prominent aspect of this
turnover is, of course, the nightly paseo around the town. The trucks
and cars full of teens calling to each other and "showin' out" circle the
familiar routes far into the night. Adults have now largely absented
themselves from the scene. If present in town, they are indoors in one
of the several small bars, the "jukes," which are closed to the younger
diversion seekers.

79
Opportunities for adolescents to interact with adults are not
plentiful. During these social occasions that attract persons across
generations, e.g. church affairs, and sports events, the generational
groupings tend to maintain their integrity. A spectator aspect is
apparent during some of these events where adolescents and adults are both
present but real interaction seldom takes place. For example, at church
family night socials adolescent girls are responsible for serving the
supper and parents may entertain by putting on skits but social inter¬
action can be observed tq occur most frequently within age groups.
Adolescents are not abundantly found in the work force. While the
fast food restaurants employ a few, the area cannot support a great
many occupational opportunities and these appear to be reserved for those
persons who have seriously begun to earn their livings. Thus older
adolescents, e.g. 18 and 19 year olds may be employed but if so acquire
the attributes of adults, losing their liminal status. Farm youths may
work in agricultural pursuits along with the adults in the family but
young people of the town report that they are freed from major responsi¬
bilities of the household. Therefore, interaction with adults is not
derived from work settings any more frequently than from social occasions.
Isolated incidents account for cross-generational mixing. The
summer softball program mixes persons as young as 15 years old with
adults, and through the vehicle of the game the usual status barriers
to interaction are relaxed. Certain community programs, e.g. scouting,
agriculture-oriented clubs, the Roping Club, also present opportunities
for inter-generational exchange.
Although adolescents prefer to preserve many of their social activities
for peer relations, there is evidence supporting the desire of young
persons for more substantial contacts with adults. Teachers and

80
guidance counselors reported that it is not uncommon for their students
to attempt to confide in them and relate many incidents of students, much
to their embarrassment, calling their teachers "momma." The experience
of other adults whose activities bring them into the adolescent orbit
echoes the findings from the school. As a researcher, I had no difficulty
in gaining the friendship of young girls and found them eager to discuss
many topics of concern with someone having broader experience. Parents
do not act as confidants to their maturing children, especially in
respect to sexual mattery, despite the occasional urgings of those
children.
Adults have abdicated their responsibilities in other ways.
Although soughern rural society has many parallels to the Latin American
role system, it lacks an essential ingredient—chaperonage. In Strawberry
Junction, adults do not involve themselves very intensely in the social
affairs of the community's young people. Children and adolescents are
largely ignored after their basic needs have been attended to. The
high school has a parent advisory committee which is selected by a
class during their last year of attendence at the middle school and which
sees the class through to graduation. Its function is to organize the
class social events. The intensity of the committee members' personal
relations to class members is variable according to the four parents
chosen, but is seldom very active. Chaperones at dances and other functions
are cavalier about the obvious drinking, taking action only when a young
man is too boisterously drunk to ignore, and do not appear concerned at
which might be considered inappropriate age mixing. They do not confine
events to adolescents but allow much older men to attend dances which
include quite young girls.

81
Parents are quite outspoken about raising their children in a
small town rather than in a "wicked big city" such as the moderately-
sized university community nearby where they believe sin is rife, but
shun the obvious advantages of a small community, i.e. social control.
While it is true that adolescents are known by sight to the community
adults, their behavior is not well-monitored, despite gossip links, and
teenagers have a degree of autonomy that is not accorded during other
life phases. Even adults do not have their degree of freedom and relative
invisibility, subject as «adults are to public censure in cases of
non-conformist behavior.
Adolescence is ill-defined in terms of beginning and ending
rites de passage. Ascending into the middle school, grades sex, seven,
and eight, is accepted as marking the beginning of adolescence, but
no real ceremony is attached to finishing elementary school. Girls may
mark their new status by acquiring "adolescent privileges": make-up,
leg shaving, heeled shoes, and permission to date. Although isolated
incidents of adult male-attended celebrations of menarche have been
reported, this custom is not believed to be the usual case.
Because the community hierarchy is defined in part by possession
of a vehicle, preferably a truck, the acquisition of a driver's license
is an important mark of maturity. Adolescents may legally begin driving
at 14 as a learner accompanied by a licensed driver, but the nature of
the agricultural demands have required many to learn earlier. Hence,
police do not strictly enforce the law and it is common to see quite
young persons driving in the town and rural surroundings.
The end of adolescence is marked in several ways. Graduation from
high school is well-accepted as a ritual entrance to adulthood and is
marked by ceremonials. The beginning of real work is more important for

82
men and high-school drop-outs but is not usually accompanied by ritual
observence. Marriage is another means of acquiring adult status and
its ritual accompaniment is often quite lavish according to community
standards. However, this is not the case for pregnancy-initiated
marriages, which are usually conducted quickly and with little ceremony.
This is partly punitive for while marriage is the socially approved
remedy for this ill, early sexual relations and precocious pregnancies
are frowned upon by adults as inappropriate behavior and some of the
perquisites attendant upgn marriage, especially for the bride, are
withdrawn. In addition, these forced marriages often involve young
persons whose motives will be suspect. Moreover, the parents may not
approve of the choice of partner and additionally may be ill-prepared
to launch an elaborate ceremony within the constraints of time and money.

CHAPTER V
SEX ROLES: MALE AND FEMALE
Societies organize and classify members in various ways, some of
which are so common as to be universal, such as age and sex categories
(Linton 1942). Sex acts as a master status, channeling persons into
particular roles and determining the quality of interaction with others
(Gove 1973). "Assigning people at birth to categories based on some
concept of gender appears to be universal and, as far as we know, is
always through a genital inspection (Kessler and McKenna 1978:36).
However, researchers are now beginning to realize that gender
identity is more than can be described by a physical configuration
(Money and Ehrhardt 1972, Oakley 1972), and that much of an individual's
personal ideology and behavior set is governed by sex identity and the
rules by which society defines the role appropriate to each. Thus,
gender may be said to be culturally determined albeit following anatomi¬
cal recruitment into the two categories in all but a few instances in
which transsexualism occurs. These social anomalies are delivered from
their dilemma by the surgeon's knife in our enlightened times although
through history and in traditional societies a life gender reassignment
was accomplished in terms of the social role and not the anatomy, as in
the case of the Plains Indian berdache (Horbel 1960).
The distinctness of the sexes is a question which has puzzled
researchers, representing a variant of the nature-nurture controversy.
No society has been known where the sexes participate as equals with
equal responsibilities and rewards, rather there is always a division of
83

84
labor and of the fruits of that labor along sex lines (Brown).
The extent to which the differences result from innate biological
differences from the socialization process remains an enigma despite
the explanations of these differences in each culture.
Mead (1935) attempted to inquire into the nature of the relation¬
ship of sex to temperament by comparing three primitive groups in
New Guinea, the Arapesh, the Mundugumor, and the Tchambuli. She
discovered that masculine and feminine characteristics as we define
them, are not attributable to fundamental biological differences, but
reflect the cultural conditioning of different societies:
...the temperaments which we regard as native to one sex
might instead be mere variations of human temperament, to
which the members of either or both sexes may, with more or
less success in the case of different individuals, be educated
to approximate.(1935:xiv)
Although inquiry into innate sex differences continues (e.g.
Montemayor 1978), the prevailing view appears to have become that
"...we cannot say definitely what characteristics are fundamentally (or
innately, or unalterably) female, nor can we separate these from those
that are culturally conditioned" (Laws 1970:39). The scientific defini¬
tion of gender may be analogous to the definition of death—neither life-
death nor male-female may be non-dichotomous (Kessler and McKenna 1978).
"Secondary sex differences in aptitude and temperament are still in good
measure a matter of speculation. There are still aspects which seem
more likely to be related to cultural conditioning and it is preferable
to assume at this point in our understanding that differences between
men and women in these respects reflect primarily differential exposure
and training" (Ford 1970:28).

85
Nevertheless, the gender, or sex role system is important in that
it is the set of arrangements by which society transforms biological
sexuality into products of human activity (Rubin 1975) and thereby
defines the relations between its members. Chetwynd and Hartnett (1978)
describes the sex role system as based on three principles. First,
definable and mutually exclusive personality trait sets must exist.
Second, there is a division of labor or activities by sex. Third, the
male sphere is invested with a higher value than the female.
The appropriate sex role behavior is largely acquired through
«
socialization. The differences in the socialization process for boys
and girls account for the divergence of the adult roles of adult men and
women. Again, the socialization process derives not from biological
imperatives but rather "...sex roles and their socialization reflect
people's often unfounded beliefs about what sex differences are or
should be" (Weinreich 1978:18).
Weinreich continues by revealing the process by which socialization
into sex roles occurs. Skills, habits and some types of behavior are
learned as a consequence of a system of rewards and punishments, e.g.
a little girl who keeps her party dress clean is told how pretty she
looks and how, by her behavior, she is quite the young lady. Parents
and others provide models of appropriate role behavior which the child
imitates. Eventually, the child identifies with one parent and intern¬
alizes the roles, seeking to structure relationships with others in
accordance with what has been learned.
Socialization into sex roles is a continuing process as behavior
expectations are altered drastically during the life cycle advance,
pnrliculnrly ns regards the expression of sexuality and exercise of

86
power and authority. For example, many cultures allow a much greater
license in terms of sexual repartee to post-menopausal women than to
young women for whom the open expression of sexuality may bring about
quite different consequences. Thus, after the initial influence of the
family, experience with peers and observations of the ascending genera¬
tion becomes important in achieving each new stage in the changing sex
role.
Rosaldo (1974) proposes that because women are primarily engaged in
domestic activities, with their focus on the home and rearing of children,
the training of their daughters to be mothers is a continuous process
and different from the training of sons. The girl is better able to
visualize her role as she observes her mother in the home, but the young
boy must learn to become a man because the male role is not visible.
Therefore, "...when his sister is learning 'to be a mother,' he is apt
to be restless and assertive and to seek out horizontal ties with male
peers" (1974:25). Girls are more likely to form ties with their senior
female kin and thus become integrated vertically into the adult world
of work; but boys are more likely to form horizontal, cross-cutting ties
with peers.
Further, young girls' development proceeds without conflict in a
group which does not challenge her membership. To Rosaldo, womanhood
is an ascribed status and manhood is an achieved status. A woman's
status is defined by the life cycle, through maturing, rather than by
means of ability or achievement. Male status is achieved, especially
in terms of the peer group which requires "proof," that is, "a woman's
status comes 'naturally' (and even in societies that practice female
initiation these ceremonies appear to be more a celebration of natural,

biological developments than a 'proof' of femininity or a challenge to
past ties), whereas 'becoming a man' is a feat" (1974:26).
Educational institutions are significant influencers of the sex
role specialization process. Schools have official and "hidden" curricula
which shape sex role formation. The hidden curriculum is sex-differentia¬
ted, resistant to change, and influentially pervasive. The effect is to
"...depress girls' achievements and aspirations, and cause them to have
a lower estimate of their ability than boys of equal ability" (Lobban
1978:50)
Aspects of the hidden curriculum include the sex composition of the
staff hierarchy. More principals are male but most teachers are female,
especially in the elementary schools, and the remainder of the staff in
a subordinate position, e.g. aides, cafeteria workers, secretaries, are
also ordinarily female, thus associating males with power and dominance
over subservient females. Teaching materials are often sexist, depicting
men as actors and women as passive. Teachers tend to endorse traditional
values with respect to sex roles and in classroom interactions teachers
of both sexes have been found to focus more attention and affect on boys
than girls (Lobban 1978).
Sex role differentiation persists throughout the educational process.
Even at university different rules obtain for men and women. Career
counseling differs for each, participation in university activities
differs, e.g. athletics, and until recently college women were subject
to curfew regulations not applicable to men. The message that is learned
is that "...male, as opposed to female, activities are always recognized
as predominantly important, and cultural systems give authority and value
to the roles and activities of men" (Rosaldo 1974:19).

88
The stereotypical woman is often defined in terras of, or in relation
to other persons (Chodorow 1974). The heritage of Freudian thought
based upon the passive role of women in the sex act, "...is an elaboration
of the cluster of traits which define the essential feminine: submissive¬
ness, dependence, docility, masochism, narcissism, and above all,
passivity (Laws 1979:40-41). Although Freudian personality constructs
have been challenged by recent research on human sexual response and the
experience-based assertions of feminists, the stereotype is still strongly
reinforced by the media:
«
In the visual media, women are presented as primarily
decorative and dependent on males, often simply as status¬
enhancing sex objects...women are housebound and exclusively
preoccupied with domestic materialism and personal adornment.
They are...passive and lacking in initiative and...concerned
with fantasy rather than expertise or problem-seeking . (Weinreich
1978:21)
A woman's identity is closely tied to her body image. As our culture
equates femininity with attractiveness, thus women spend a great deal of
time grooming themselves to please men and compete with other women.
The counter productive nature of this pursuit has been well-documented by
the experience of unhappy, perhaps self-destructive women who have become
successful sex objects but who have not been able to transcend the
symbolism of their being. It is an unfortunate paradox that what society
labels as the ultimate in womanhood is seen as a mockery by the person.
Physical desirability produces other role incongruities. Women are
expected to appear sexually appealing, yet at the same time hold them¬
selves off from male sexual aggression.
Marriage is not only a socially desirable goal but is the mark of
personal success for women. Girls are motivated to strive for this goal
by their families and peers and are bombarded with the notion by the media.

89
"A considerable amount of advertising effort goes into persuading girls
that the happiest day of their lives is their wedding day" (Weinreich
1978:21).
Motherhood, however, is the sine qua non of the woman's role. All
women are presumed at some level to desire children and feel "unfulfilled"
without them. Despite ethnographic evidence documenting widespread
historical and contemporary practices of contraception, abortion, infanti¬
cide, desertion of children, and other counter-maternal practices (e.g.
Devereaux 1955, Ford 1^5, Himes 1963, Mulhare 1969, Nag 1962, Newman
1972), the "real" woman is still a mother first. Additions to that role
must be of secondary priority.
Women are seldom portrayed as having multi-dimensional roles as are
men. The examples of women who opt for work in addition to marriage are
presented by the media as primarily marriage-oriented. Either job success
is equated with marital unsuccess, or women are seen as primarily committed
to their marriage, and thus their husband's career, and only peripherally
committed to their own work. When women seek success in other ways than
their relation to a man, they are often viewed as unwomanly. "Whereas
men achieve rank as a result of explicit achievement, differences among
women are generally seen as the product of idiosyncratic characteristics
such as temperament, personality and appearance" (Rosaldo 1974:29).
Because of the covert values of society, women may fear achievement and
success to the point where they undermine their own potential, thus
relegating themselves to a more "safe" and familiar role.
The male sex role, being the dominant one in the sex role system,
has played a significant part in shaping American values, and perhaps,
like the fabled rib, has also animated the role which women must fit.

90
David and Brannon (1976) have elaborated on this concept and isolated
four themes underlying the male role in American society.
The first variant they call "no sissy stuff." Parents express more
concern in assuring that boys conform to their role expectations than
girls to the feminine role. Girls have more initial role flexibility in
that it is relatively acceptable for little girls to go through a boy-like
phase but there is no acceptable counterpart to being a tomboy for boys.
Boys who prefer "feminine" activities and emotional expression are
labelled sissies and ridiculed for their proclivities. Because of the
severe social sanctions attached to appearing unmasculine, men fear and
may be hostile to feminine traits. These feelings may be extended to
their attitudes toward women to the extent that women, not being the
valued and understood physical and emotional configuration, may be
regarded as less than full human beings like men (Brownmiller 1975,
Chesler 1978).
Men may be suspicious of women and find them impossible to under¬
stand because of their anatomy and mysterious functioning (Paz 1961).
Women have traditionally been regarded as a source of pollution and
relations with them form the raison d’etre of rituals guarding against
defilement. Women often are viewed by men as sexually rapacious and
capable of sapping men's vitality and disrupting their fraternal
solidarity. The ultimate offense of course, usurping the male role,
was articulated by Freud as stemming from penis envy, thus part of male
fear of women is expressed as castration fear.
Fear of women, analogous to blacks, may also be generated by the
prevailing male dominant social hierarchy in that "...guilt may be felt
towards those who occupy low status positions in a social system and..

91
this may lead to their being unrealistically feared" (Harper 1969:81).
Men of the "no sissy stuff" type both fear and loathe homosexuals
and probably harbor uneasy feelings about their personal sexual stance.
Homosexuals may be persecuted to allay these fears and certainly men
attempt to eradicate any tell-tale signs in this direction in themselves,
hence avoidance of any "feminine" traits such as emotionalism. Such men
reveal little of themselves to others, especially other men, feeling
that "revealing yourself to man can be dangerous" (David and Brannon
1976:17). In view of fche current public nature of transsexual surgery,
it would be interesting to discover if feelings towards homosexuals are
carried over to male-to-female transsexuals.
The second theme is the "big wheel." Men of this stamp need the
visible accoutrements of success: car, clothes, and other adult high
status toys. Central to the identification as a man is the need to
appear competent and knowledgeable and be expert in some facet of the
male world. Competition is rife among men and the need to view himself
and have others also regard him as an important influence in his sphere
is a powerful motivating force.
The "sturdy oak" is the third element. This aspect of masculine
behavior flowers in the type often depicted in fiction, e.g. the
Virginian, and also seen on the screen a la the late John Wayne—strong,
silent, "cool," and exhibiting athletic prowess. This is the hero whose
strength can be expected to prevail in any given situation, and whom
others depend to see them through. The "sturdy oak" suffers in silence
sans an unmanly display of feeling. The need to feel like a protector
has been decried by feminists as contributing to the prevention of women's
becoming self-sufficient.

92
The last theme is characterized by "give 'em hell," and refers to
the thread of violence that pervades masculine action and perhaps, motiva
tion. Certainly it would be difficult to overstate the influence of
violence as a male motif:
...violence is to some extent a Southern and Western ideal more
than Northeastern, and more typically working class than middle
class, but it has deep roots in the general American experience.
Support for the social use of violence (e.g., police using clubs
and guns to stop student demonstrations) are highest in the
South and Border States, lowest in the Middle Atlantic and New
England States, highest among the least educated, and lowest
for those with graduate degrees; highest among Fundamentalist
Protestants and Iciest among Jews.(Blumenthal in David and
Brannon 1976:30).
Violence is not only an indicator of masculinity in the adult but
serves as a means of initiation for the boys. The athletic field is
probably the major testing ground for incipient masculinity. While
aggressiveness is functional as a life style to a degree, the ever¬
present danger is that the violent undercurrents will act as socially
dysfunctional displays leading to rape, sadism, bestiality, child abuse
and wife battering. Indeed, violence may be construed as being a central
theme of southern culture, and while not confined to adult males, or
even males, it finds its fullest expression in the masculine world.
Striking similarities to the Latin American masculine domain may be
found in southern manhood, particularly in the subset identified as
"redneck."
Males and females have opposing and fairly complementary roles in
southern society and their polarity can be readily seen in Strawberry
Junction. Male and female roles are rather rigidly defined in accordance
with traditional interpretations of masculinity and femininity, i.e.
a hierarchinl system predicated upon male supremacy/dominance and its
complementary female subordination/submissiveness.

93
The ideal for masculinity is analogous to the Latin American manifesta¬
tion of hyper-maleness described as machismo with the feminine role
realizing certain similarities to the marianismo Latin American feminine
complex, but representing a pale copy relative to the male.
Male and female role structures affect both the interpretation and
the manifestation of sexual activity and can readily be seen as func¬
tionally related. In order to assess the relevance of role configura¬
tions to activities within the sexual sphere, male and female roles will
be examined in comparison with the Latin American models, and as
contrapuntal to each other in terms of the social realms in which they
find expression and as unfolded in the life cycle.
The machismo/marianismo complex of gender traits has been identified
and well described in Latin America (e.g. Fromm and Maccoby 1970,
Mulhare 1969, Paz 1961, Stevens 1973, and Williamson 1970), but
represents a behavioral genre which is more widespread. The macho
variant is particularly prevalent in the rural south, and the feminine
role is shaped in reaction to it, although not in a way which approxi¬
mates the Latin woman's role as closely as the southern male role
follows the macho cast.
The machismo complex manifests itself as a heightened virility, an
exaltation of masculinity which can only be achieved in contrast to its
polar opposite, femininity. Its development may be traced to the
dispersal of the Spanish-Moorish culture traits, which included a
decidedly patriarchal and hierarchical social structure, into the New
World via the conquistadores. The superiority of the male status was
"accentuated with the newly acquired status of the conqueror"
(Williamson 1970:179). The role models and values imposed by Catholicism

94
further distinguish behavior appropriate to the sexes and designate the
male as the superior of the two. The church supports male dominion over
property including women, and fosters the moral double standard.
The male prerogative demands that the superiority of his sex must
be overtly displayed by actions that are lusty and aggressive. Sexual
imperatives figure largely in the definition of masculinity, thus the
male role model describes the direction of the sex drive that is the
presumed key to male character. The male sexual constellation of
attributes results in "... an overpowering sexual drive which no measure
of friendship or even close kinship relations with a female can totally
eradicate" (Mulhare 1969:141). He is easily aroused and ill able to
control his urges, thus can easily fall prey to sexual vices, e.g.
homosexuality, bestiality, and incest, to feed his lust. Erotic desires
develop quickly and "...the male is expected to demonstrate his interest
in the opposite sex at an early age and to continue this behavior through
his entire adulthood" (Williamson 1970:184). Among certain Latin
Americans the need for sexual intercourse from puberty on is felt to be
so vital that its lack can lead to insanity (Mulhare 1969). This
compelling strength of the sex drive precludes its satisfaction by any
one woman, hence masculine fidelity is not expected and would be derided
were it suspected. Men commonly have their queridas (mistresses), and
exert considerable cunning in their seduction of women. Male sexuality
is predatory: the sexual act is one involving conquest and surrender
rather than mutual satisfaction of desire or sharing of love. Under
these circumstances, a virgin is the most satisfying conquest and will
be put to the test. A "good" woman, of course, will not surrender or
she no longer is good.

95
Premarital sexual encounters are expected of the man and his sexual
predation is not curbed by the marriage sanctions, although they must be
rigidly adhered to by the wife. Men marry good women and often extend
the concept of their purity into the marriage, preferring to find the
bulk of their physical release outside its bounds. "Because one proof
of masculinity in Mexico is the number of children a man can produce, it
may be that men use their wives to produce children; satisfy their sexual
desires more fully outside marriage; and reserve their love for their
mothers" (Fals Borda 1955:308).
Aggressive sexually, the macho suspects all other men of equal
designs on women in their own family and attends a great deal of care
towards protecting his interests, i.e. his women: mother, sisters,
daughters, wife. An elaborate system of chaperonage has been devised
which, in effect, protects women against himself, as well as other men.
No woman is really felt to be secure in the face of masculine sexual
impulses due to the definition of male lust as easily elicited and
virtually impossible to curb when aroused. Moreover, it is a point of
male esteem to encompass the dual aspects of masculinity in his personal
make-up that may be described as predation toward females and protection
of females from the predatory instincts of all other males.
Sexual aggressiveness is often transmuted into non-sexual acts of
aggression. Virility is associated with violence: blood sports are
popular and the masculine code of honor is offended with ease, thus
calling for a defense that is in reality a hostile rejoinder to a real
or presumed slight. As male-female relations are composed of elaborate
assaults and defenses played on a sexual field, so male-female relations
are tinged with hostility and suspicion. Paz, analyzing Mexican machismo

96
as a prime contributor to national character, relates that "...the
Mexican views life as combat... they emphasize defensiveness, the
readiness to repel any attack. The Mexican macho — the male—is a
hermetic being, closed up in himself, capable of guarding both himself
and whatever has been confided in him" (1961:31). The macho is volatile,
"...afraid even to glance at his neighbor, because a mere glance can
trigger the rage of these electrically charged spirits" (1961:29).
At the core of the masculine role model is the notion that "...the
ideal of manliness is Sever to 'crack,* never to break down. Those who
'open themselves up' are cowards. Their masculine integrity is as much
endangered by kindness as it is by hostility. Any opening in their
defenses is a lessening of their manliness. Their relationships with
other men are always tinged with suspicion. (1961:29-30).
The tenets of Catholicism mold the role models for Latin American
men and women: while the macho apes God the Son, not God the Father
(Paz 1961), the template for the Latin American woman is the virgin
Mother, a role that is not without its palpable ambiguities. The function
of women is to bear children, a demonstration of which is called for from
each with some repetitiveness as it represents a visible assertion of the
virility of her protector. Yet, at the same time, women are espected to
be virginal and "pure" from the taint of lust, hence certain conflicting
principles are brought into operation.
Women are seen at one and the same time as inferior and superior to
their male counterparts. They are inferior in that by "submitting, they
open themselves up. Their inferiority is constitutional and resides in
their sex, their submissiveness, which is a wound that never heals" (Paz
1961:30). The Latin American woman is considered:

97
...to be an instrument, sometimes of masculine desires,
sometimes of the ends assigned to her by morality, society
and the law. It must be admitted that she has never been
asked to consent to these ends and that she participates in
their realization only passively, as a 'repository' for certain
values. Whether as prostitute, goddess, 'grande dame' or
mistress, woman transmits or preserves - but does not believe
in - the values and energies entrusted to her by nature or
society. In a world made in man's image, woman is only a
reflection of masculine will and desire. Womanhood, unlike
manhood, is never an end in itself. (Paz 1961:35-36).
So women, anatomically inferior and thus submissive to men, are,
according to the cult of marianismo (hyper-"Madonnaism"), semi-divine,
morally superior to and spiritually stronger than men (Stevens 1973).
ft '
Because women are seen as the moral arbiters of Latin American
society, they are treated with respect and expected to comport them¬
selves modestly. Yet:
Despite her modesty and the vigilance of society, woman is
always vulnerable. Her social situation - as the repository
of honor, in the Spanish sense - and the misfortune of her
'open' anatomy expose her to all kinds of dangers, against
which neither personal morality nor masculine protection is
sufficient. She is open and submissive by nature. (Paz 1961:38)
This frailty of women, especially in the face of male domination
which may border on sadism, has been extolled as a virtue, hence la
madre abnegada, or the long-suffering and self-abnegating woman whose
greatest virtues became "humility, patience and forebearance"
(Williamson 1970:179).
Motherhood is perceived as both the purpose and the pleasure of a
woman's life and the hallmark of her character. The paradox, of course,
is that motherhood can only be attained through the vehicle of sexual
activity and the sexual realm is deemed abhorrent to the "pure" woman,
who presumably submits only because it is her nature to submit to a man
and because of her open and vulnerable anatomy.

98
The feminine sexual attitude is one that seeks eternal virginity.
A woman is slow to arouse and possessed of minimal sex drives. Her
strongest need is the expression of motherhood, a nurturant instinct
that is not reserved solely for children but extends itself to the man
as well. Not having strong sexual urgings, the woman is faithful by
nature, although easily seduced by virtue of her instinct to submit to
a man. Although virginity is her greatest treasure, the preservation of
which is maintained through great vigilance on the part of her male
kin/protectors, her ability to withstand conquest is lessened by her
natural acquiesence to male desires. A good woman is not expected to
enjoy the sexual aspects of marriage but rather endures them for the
sake of the children which result, and because it is her obligation as
a wife. However, men feel that it is possible to arouse latent desires
in a good woman which may prove insatiable once awakened, thus leading
her into "unnatural" cravings for men and thereby changing her into a
bad woman. For this reason, many men feel that it is unwise to
introduce their wives to the pleasurable adjuncts of the procreative
act lest they become irreparably corrupted (Lewis 1966).
Moreover, women are divided into good women and bad ones, with wives
being selected from the ranks of the good ones. The myth of their
virginity is somehow preserved throughout the child-bearing process and
men do not like to sully their wives' purity by engaging in lusty sex
acts with them. This manner of behavior is really felt to be more
appropriate with a bad woman who no longer must maintain her cloak of
innocence and is therefore free to express her consummate pleasure in
sexual activity.
The wife is the legitimate recipient of her husband's respect and
protection, but not necessarily his love, an emotion not generally equated

99
with the sexual act which is merely a physical expression of pleasure
or functional act of procreation. The prostitute receives no respect
and no longer requires protection, having earlier succumbed to the
exigencies of lust, but is sought for her love. The love of a prostitute
is considered to be a mark of real esteem and signals the true man
following the logical dictum that a woman who experiences such a multitude
of partners would choose an exceptional lover for herself (Mulhare 1969).
Intra-sex relations are amicable and ties are close between women
following the pattern ^or women to congregate with other women and
children in the course of their domestic and social routines. Women
communicate more freely with others of their ilk because of shared tasks
and concerns and their relationships are not impeded by the competitive¬
ness that tarnishes the dealings between men. Inter-sex relations,
however, are clouded by the sexual emanations from men and the feminine
resistance to being the pawns in what is essentially a male game analogous
to the sexual displays which accompany a dominance hierarchy in any
competitive mating pool, and which have been so often and well-described
by ethologists, particularly among birds. In this behavior set, women
have symbolic value as the visible accoutrements of a man's machismo,
but little intrinsic value as individuals.
Male-female relations are further colored by the degree of male
dominance that prevails. The Latin American attitude toward women is
that "...a woman's place is in the home, with a broken leg" (Paz 1961:36).
Women occupy positions that are low with respect to both power and
authority, thus must assert themselves in covert ways, usually involving
manipulation or ridicule to achieve their ends. By these means, women
may turn the tables and in reality become the dominant figure in the home.

100
Fromm and Maccoby examine this phenomenon and conclude that many women
feel that "machismo is an expression of weakness and immaturity" (1970:
152), but refrain from revealing this "secret" knowledge to their husbands
in order that they may continue to function and thus avoid violence,
"...such men dominate their wives by force when young and strong, but as
they age, the woman gradually takes command of the family" (1970:152).
Of course, as a woman ages, she also becomes free of her sexual impact
and its accompanying burdens and thus is more easily able to concentrate
her energies on the nuances of family politics.
«
Women circumvent or subvert the traditional system in other ways
which represent feminine lore or behavior indigenous to the female "race"
but largely concealed from men. For example, Mulhare (1969) documented
that for Cuban women, at least, childbearing is not always viewed as a
God-given task which is sinful to avoid. She found that most informants
over thirty-five years old had had at least one abortion, believing that
a woman who allowed herself to frequently become pregnant was either
stupid, very rich, low class, or extraordinary in some way (1969:184ff).
Role models in southern society are analogous in signal ways to the
Latin American types, having similar traits but differing historical
derivations. Both spring from patriarchal antecedents, the southern
arche type being a variant of the British stamp, but the Latin American
mold was fashioned from a much more rigorously defined patriarchal
imperative. Religious doctrines adhered to in southern society favor
the male, as in the Biblical male superiority, but lack the extremism
inherent in Catholicism, particularly with respect to the contrast
offered by the cult of the Virgin.

101
While fundamentalist Protestants do not worship the Virgin to the
extent that Latin American Catholics do, nevertheless, the mother-figure
is revered in social contexts. The mother-son tie is a strong one,
probably the most intense of the kin bonds possible, certainly it
surmounts the father-son link as well as the mother-daughter and
father-daughter relations. The concept of man as son continues until
the death of the father when the man-son must assume the role of
patriarch with respect to his own children and grandchildren.
In the south, the^man is king and woman is his dominion. Because
of the boldness of the stamp which masculine imperatives give southern
culture, women's roles must be defined in terms of men. In Strawberry
Junction, the masculine ideal is of the macho genre. The concept of
"maleness" is presented as a matrix of virility within which only
certain behaviors are allowed to exist. Typical attributes of the male
in this community include hardness or stoicism, powerful sexual appetites
and the prowess to indulge them, physical strength and athletic skill,
aggressiveness, strong religious beliefs and a highly developed sense
of pride—the American counterpart to the Latin American honor which
must be maintained at all costs.
Male activities reflect these values. Blood sports and their
trappings are central to the male character and represent some of the
most powerful symbols of masculinity. Hunting is the consuming occupa¬
tion, and for this reason the ubiquitous symbol of maleness in Strawberry
Junction is the pick-up truck with its rear window gunrack. While it is
illegal to carry a concealed weapon in Florida, it is perfectly acceptable,
even de riguer, to have shotguns and rifles openly displayed in this
fashion. In all likelihood one could find a handgun in the glove

TABLE 9
Motor Vehicle Licenses: Tags Sold By Type of Vehicle in
Florida and North Central County (Proportion of Total)
1974-75
Area
Total
Cars
Buses
Trucks
Trailers
Motorcycles
Miscellaneous
FLORIDA
6,809,365
69.4
0.2
11.7
11.7
2.6
4.5
NORTH CENTRAL
COUNTY
14,069
57.3
0.2
21.1
15.3
2.1
4.2
*
Includes recreational vehicles, real property tags, demonstrator tags, and truck-tractor tags
Source: Florida Statistical Abstract, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University
of Florida, 1975, p. 337.
102

103
compartment or under the seat, regardless of the legislation to the
contrary.
Trucks and, to a lesser extent in Strawberry Junction, cars,
although powerful symbols in their right, also serve as vehicles for
other symbols. Flags and other patriotic symbols are very common. The
American flag is preferred but the confederate flag is also seen.
Religious slogans and symbols also abound, e.g. a cross hung by a chain
from the rear view mirror or a "honk if you love Jesus" motto on the
bumper. Optimally, patriotic fervor and religion can be combined as in
«
the bumper sticker, "God, guts and guns keep America strong."
The south is a bastion of anti-gun control legislation, a gunless
man is regarded as emasculated and the fear of gun control robbing him
of his "piece" approaches classic castration fear. This sentiment
found expression on a chilling truck bumper slogan "the only way you'll
take my gun away from me is to pry it from my cold dead fingers".
Additional evidence of the relationship of the gun and the penis was
seen in this sticker, "when in doubt, whup it out," an apt expression
of the redneck man's constant readiness to react to a threat or take
advantage of any possible sexual encounter.
Trucks are tended lovingly and a great deal of expense goes into
their acquisition and maintenance. Status is accorded among admirers
on the basis of how high the truck body is suspended from the ground.
Originally, the function of elevating the body was to enable the vehicle
to navigate underbrush encountered while hunting, but now it appears
to have evolved into a style and often has no direct link to utility.
Thus, the highest accolade is to say that a truck is "so high you need
a ladder to get into it."

104
Trucks are painted individualistically to reflect the distinction
of the owner, schemes often include metallic paint for glitter; painted
designs such as flames, lace, or animals; and sometimes are named as
are boats, e.g. "Lil Rascal," "Roadrunner," and so forth. The cabs of
these trucks are surprisingly commodious and it is not uncommon to see
four men riding abreast. They may be equipped with other comfort and
status devices, such as air conditioning, tape decks, and CB radios
(the period of research antedates the CB craze somewhat and although
these were sometimes seen, they were not in the forefront of social
«
encounters as they later became).
The number of young persons who have access to these vehicles is
surprising in terms of their cost. While young men will use any sort
of transportation they can, access to a truck is by far the preferred
route. Table 9 illustrates the greater number of trucks in the county
compared to the State as measured by license tag sales. Consequently,
by borrowing or through owning a vehicle, boys will share their good
fortune with their peers for cruising around. Girls and women drive
pick-ups as well but less frequently than men. Part of the lore
circulating during the field research concerned a young woman who rode
around nude and laughing in a black truck, a latter day Lady Godiva,
but whether she was apocryphal or flesh was never documented.
Speeding is another manifestation of the violent undertone to
southern rural culture which finds expression through the vehicle,
possibly aided by the heavy drinking that prevails among rural men.
The degree of seriousness with which this behavior is regarded can be
gauged from this excerpt from the local newspaper:
More than 200 traffic tickets, mostly for speeding were
turned in during the week of October 20-27, more than
twice the average number for a week's time.

105
Big time speeder for the week was Joe Dan Bailey, who
was clocked at 100 miles per hour (mph) in 55 mph speed
zone. Second and third places were captured by Daniel
Cox at 93 mph and John Spinks at 92 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Table 10 presents rank order of the leading 50 percent of Florida
counties with respect to the proportion of fatalities to reported motor
vehicle accidents and compares their rank with respect to other charac¬
teristics often associated with driver risk and to the degree of
"ruralness." The rankings suggest that ruralness may be associated with
higher fatalities allowing speculation that machismo in driving may be
dangerous. However, other factors may also affect the relationship,
e.g. fewer medical facilities, infrequent police surveillance leading
to greater speed, or poorer roads.
The power of the symbolic investiture of the vehicle was made
clear during one of the first public functions observed in Strawberry
Junction. The occasion was a festival called "Old Fashion Days" which
the downtown merchants sponsored in an attempt to revitalize shopping
in their several places of business. A small shopping mall located
about half a mile from the town proper was felt to be siphoning off
too much trade. The festival was a week-long special sale in the down¬
town stores combined with special events on selected days, such as an
auction at which people could use merchant-issued "money" accumulated
through shopping, to buy "prizes," square dances, rummage sales,
and so forth.
Persons of the town were asked to dress "old fashion" and many
women could be seen in long calico dresses and sunbonnets accompanied
by their menfolk with specially-grown mustaches, overalls, and bandanas.
People of all ages were participants but very few blacks. A small

Table 10
Rank Order of 34 Florida Counties for Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates, "Ruralness,"
and Proportion of Selected Population Segments, 1975
Fatalities as
Proportion of
Reported Accidents
"Ruralness"
Total Density
Population Population
Proportion of
White Males
Proportion of
Population
Aged 15-44
Proportion of
Population
Aged 65+
1
2
1
25
28
41
2
4
3
61
35
42
3
1
2
13
m
56
32
4
8
12
23
53
39
5
27
28
24
26
26
6
7
11
33
41
20
7
14
21
2
49
27
8
30
32
35
31
60
9
19
8
42
43
31
10
5
6
57
55
12
11
3
9
1
51
51
12
25
25
11
24
56
13
31
40
8
66
3
14
15
18
44
25
46
15
18
7
51
27
40
16
17
17
65
9
33
17
34
41
55
32
22
18
46
45
45
58
10
Continued
106

Table 10: continued
Fatalities
Proportion of
Reported Accidents
Total
Population
Density
Population
Proportion of
White Males
Proportion of
Population
Aged 15-44
Proportion of
Population
Aged 65+
19*
21
35
49
17
53
20
23 >
15
17
44
28
21
32
23
12
60
14
22
26
22
53
39
36
23
37
29
52
W.
9
24
16
20
16
47
29
25
28
38
10
65
7
26
9
14
64
29
34
2 7
33
42
67
19
38
28
40
33
40
3
62
29
10
10
32
23
54
30
43
34
5
13
43
31
39
46
37
46
17
32
42
44
18
57
8
33
22
19
15
12
47
34
10
51
41
8
23
*North Central County
Source: Florida Statistical Abstracts, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University
of Florida, 1976: pp. 13-16, 32-36.
107

108
band—two guitars, banjo, and fiddle—and a nasal vocalist provided
background music from a flatbed truck. Streets were closed to any but
pedestrian traffic in the designated area.
The high point of the day was to collect money for a local charity
by selling chances to smash a car—not an ordinary car but every young
man's dream. It was a vintage Thunderbird, pristine white and spark¬
ling in the sunlight. It appeared flawless and a crowd gathered around
it with awes, discussing its merits and forecasting its fate in hushed
tones. The ringmaster for the event invited people from the crowd to
step within the roped-off area and take a swing at the car with their
choice of weapon—a sledge hammer, a ball "pind" (peen) hammer, or a
pickaxe. Prices were announced for smashing the different parts of
the machine, differing according to the delectibility of the destruction
as the prostitute's price to the "John" is gauged to the erotic
exoticness of the services.
People were reluctant to commence, and much nervous laughter and
joking passed through the crowd. An attempt was made to auction off
the windshield, considered the most alluring portion of the car, for
twenty-five dollars, but it soon became clear that the prize would go
for less. Finally, a man offered five dollars for one blow with the
sledge hammer. Once accomplished, the ice was broken and others began
to come forward. The next was a girl who was teased into daring. She
broke a side window. A young mother then brought forward her very
small son, who became frightened and began to cry, so she ventured
a smash at the back windshield, wielding the sledge hammer so force¬
fully that the shaft broke much to the delight of the crowd. Wholesale
destruction ensued, with favored spots for the pick being the tires,
convertible top, doors, iiiul hood.

109
Although it was clear that people revered the car and were nervous
at the prospect of damaging it, they got much satisfaction over the feat
in the rather shamefaced way that people enjoy bringing haloed public
figures down to the level of the people during special periods of
license granted for this period, e.g. dunking the school principal at
the carnival or seeing a celebrity hit in the face with a pie.
During the research period, the community acquired national
notoriety as the hub of an underground network of dog fights. At the
%
time, there was a surge of interest spurred in part by the A.S.P.C.A.,
to eradicate the illegal practice of dog fighting, and Strawberry
Junction was revealed as being the origin of the underground magazine,
"Pit Dogs" which circulated to patrons of the sport throughout the
Southeast. Primarily attracting men, dog fights are also purportedly
attended by women and children. The barbarity of the sport is attested
to in this description of a dog fight:
One of the dogs involved in the first fight was so
seriously injured, we believe its owner was later forced
to destroy it...prior to one of the fights...a referee
twisted the head off a live pigeon and poured its blood
over the head of one of the dogs to show the animals
desire for blood and to entertain the spectators,(anonymous
1974)
Cock fights are also found within the area but dog fights are held
to be more exciting. These events are kept secret from outsiders
because of the illegality of the sports. Not only is it illegal in
terms of treatment of the animals, but gambling is also involved and
is a more serious offense. Thus, admittance to these events occurs
via word of mouth so that participants can be controlled for the
safety of all.

110
Not only the sport itself is lucrative in terms of betting on the
outcome, but money can also be made from the traffic of fighting animals.
The most common type is the pit bull, but crossbred dogs are also used.
The advantage of the pit bull is ferocity and a seeming instinct to
fight. Both males and female dogs are used in fighting and the breed
is also said to be very affectionate to their owners. The dogs will
fight to the death unless the owner intervenes. The breeder, editor
of "Pit Dogs", demonstrated the use of the 'breaking stick', a wooden
hammer shaft sharpened to a point, to separate a dog's hold. Straw¬
berry Junction men express love for their animals, often keeping them
as pets, and see no contradiction in using them for sport as fighting
dogs or in the training methods for hunting dogs which require that
dogs be shot who are gun-shy or inadequate in other traits.
Sports are important activities to boys and young men, and
represent the arena in which they must prove their early manhood (Stein
and Hoffman 1978), thus preparing them for the violence of later life.
A graphic example of the extent to which aggressiveness is stressed
can be found in the annual high school football team Easter egg hunt.
The football is wrapped in colored foil as an egg and is placed on the
center of the field. The players are divided into halves at either end
and at the whistle, all scramble for the ball. The player who holds
the ball at the end of the period is the winner. There are no rules
to impede wrestling the ball from the others and there is a social
advantage, particularly a status jump in the eyes of male peers, to
being the victor. Consequently the boys plan their strategies well in
advance of the contest. Fingernails are grown long, heavy rings are
worn, and the like. The hunt seldom ends without significant injuries.

Ill
The hunt is sometimes an open school event, but more often occurs
during school hours, thus restricting attendance to those students who
happen to be free. Some girls attend, but the rite is primarily an
occasion for male competition to occur with minimal supervision, a test
for the alpha male, as it were. Women may often be fierce competitors
in sports events, but have no contest that rivals the Easter egg hunt.
During the spring and summer city league softball is played in
Strawberry Junction. There is a men's league and a women's league.
The minimum age is fifteen and there is no upper limit, however, most
players on the teams are young, married persons. Tryouts are held and
practice begins in February, with the season beginning mid-May and
running through July. The remainder of the summer is spent in tour¬
nament play between the winning teams on the city league and teams from
outside the community. Competition among the city league teams is
fierce, and as players become veterans of several seasons, perhaps
switching teams in the process, long standing rivalries develop. The
men's teams have the following, but the women's games spark more
community interest. The men's and women’s teams are interrelated by
having husband and wife, brother and sister, mother and son, or father
and daughter combinations.
Occasionally, a player from a men's team coaches a women's team.
This was the case on the team that I joined and resulted in the
emergence of problems due to these relationships. Status of team
members is determined by team standing and the coach on our team was
a player of long standing on the men's team which customarily finished
last in the league. This team was perforce something of a joke in the
community and although its players professed that fun was the goal of

112
playing rather than winning; they were nonetheless humiliated by the
goads of other men and even women on superior teams. This made it
awkward for the coach as some of the team's women had husbands or boy¬
friends on higher ranked men's teams.
Compounding the problem was the coach's wife, a former player who
was currently pregnant and unable to play as a result. Feelings of
jealousy were provoked when she was an onlooker to her husband in
company with a team complement of young girls and women, especially
since much of athletic interaction is physically more intimate than
normal social exchange.
When men play team sports they lose their usual sanctions against
intra-sex intimacy and can be seen freely exchanging hugs, slaps on the
bottom, and so forth. Women, at least in Strawberry Junction, do not
exhibit this same physicality, but retain their usual social reticence.
When a man, in this case the coach, interacts with women in an athletic
context, the patterns of male sports carry over and by creating some
role incongruities, illustrate the nature of more usual inter-sex
relations. The women on the team were not confused by the actions of
the coach, indeed finding his gestures amusing, and had no difficulties
distinguishing them from sexual overtures, but not so the wife.
Husbands and boyfriends occasionally appeared to take umbrage at the
coach's casual handling of the team members but because the situation
was clearly not equivalent to a social interaction, ruffled feelings
were never smoothed by means of a fight or even hard words, but were
laughed off. The athletic contact was an anomalous occurrence and as such
was puzzling for the participants to deal with satisfactorily.

113
The playing field brought out a number of interesting and
illustrative marital and family relationships, characteristic of the
community and the south in general. With one exception, married women
on the team played with the permission of their husbands and schoolgirls
or young unmarried women with the permission of their parents. Older
or divorced women were able to please themselves as they are not
accountable to anyone. The exception to this was Margaret, a young
woman, twenty-seven years old who was married and had a young son. She
had been playing on the local teams since being a young girl and was a
very talented athlete. She had been on the quasi-professional team in
the community as the short stop but had to leave the team due to an
injury which slightly impeded her performance but was unquestionably
the star of our team. Softball seemed to be her strongest interest, at
times surmounting the needs of her family. She was a member of an
athletic family and I had several times played in a game where Margaret
was pitching, her brother was coaching, and her father the umpire.
During a discussion about the vagaries of husband, one woman on
the team mentioned that her husband hadn't wanted her to attend practice
that evening but she had replied that he could take care of himself for
a couple of hours and that she was going to practice. Margaret said
in response that it was not a good idea to let husbands get out of hand
and that her own husband had tried to give her "some shit" the previous
night whereupon she said, "Kiss my ass! The door swings both ways
and you can leave anytime." Margaret said that she had told her
husband before they were married that he could go to ballgames with
her and they would court afterwards.

114
However, although women occasionally stand up to their husbands,
by and large, this is token resistance only. A young married woman who
was a teacher in a local school joined the local team two months after
the other players had been together because her husband refused to let
her play until she had lost twenty pounds. By and large, husbands seldom
watch their wives play and rarely come to practice sessions.
Women who desire to play softball must make their own arrangements
to do so. Small children are left with family, generally the child's
maternal grandmother, but often a younger sibling of the mother. Often
children are brought along to the playing field in the company of the
mother's younger sister, and for several months my own daughter was
assumed to be my young sister who was in my care. The relationship
between young women and the children who attend them is often unclear,
especially when the age difference between them is judged to be close.
Because women often bear children while still quite young and because
large families are not uncommon, these children may be taken for either
siblings or children of the woman whom they accompany. Indeed, a child
of a young unmarried mother may be accepted by the grandparents and
raised as their child, so that a "sister" may in fact be a daughter.
That this generational substitution has taken place may be more or less
well known in the community but it is usually attempted in secret,
although the true relationships may be suspected.
Children are not cared for mutually by the group but left to their
own devices and the expectation that the mother will be watching out
for it. On occasion when babies were brought, the mother was teased
about it:
Let's put the baby at the end of the table and see if she'll
jump off or have to be pushed.

115
If that baby cries, we can put him in the trunk of the car.
As is true cross-culturally (Brown 1970), men almost never take
primary responsibility for children, even on a temporary basis. Men
consider this to be "baby sitting" and refuse the task in most cases.
Although as mentioned above, women do not interact physically
during sports as men will, there is a good deal of grooming behavior
which takes place and which illustrates the hierarchy. Margaret was
definitely the best player on the team and expressed a good bit of
hauteur about her position. As such, she acquired satellites among the
younger girls on the team and allowed them to groom her in return for,
or in hopes of, her favor. These girls would comb her hair, bring her
bubble gum—the feminine equivalent of chewing tobacco, and warm up
with her (throw and catch the ball) prior to practice or game. The
amount of grooming allowed was directly related to the playing ability
of the groomer. Other less skilled players were left to work out their
own grooming relationships following the dominance order.
Although dominance hierarchy among women team players was demon¬
strated in grooming behavior, physical aggression was also used or at
least threatened. At one point, a player became so enraged by a trivial
incident during a game that she threw a bat some 100 feet, shattering
the windshield of a parked car and thus effectively ended the discussion.
Teamwork was employed as well. For example, members of a grooming
clique would gang up on a teammate to insure forcing their interests.
I originally joined the team to make contacts and eventually this
turned out to be the case, but at the outset this did not appear to be
possible. I was solicited as a player by an older women of the commu¬
nity who along with two daughters had played on the team previously

116
and was attempting to organize it once more. I had never played before
but on learning that no one liked to play catcher, I decided to try out
for that. I knew only the woman and her daughters when I went to the
tryout practice. At the outset, everyone made a great deal of fun of
me because I said "catcher" and they all called it "ketcher" and they
were extremely derisive when I demonstrated lack of expertise at batting;
indeed their comments from the field were so candid as to test my courage
sorely about returning to the next session. However, aside from these
comments and some additional rather vicious gossip about absent players,
«
there was little verbal exchange among the women. Contrary to my
expectations, no one was interested in talking to the other players or
introducing themselves, but seemed to regard softball as some form of
work; they came to the field, got their equipment together, practiced,
went home. This pattern continued through the season. It was not until
I had acquitted myself fairly well in the first game by making a rather
spectacular catch, that any of the women really began to chat idly with
me without being prodded into a grudging conversation by me.
There was no occasion on which the team players socialized after
a practice session or games. I found this pattern disturbing, but
common among adult women, who are very insular about social contacts.
Both sexes form significant relationships within their own sex group
and the bulk of their interaction takes place in this way. This seemed
strange to find so little camaraderie among women but should be inter¬
preted as reflecting their insularity towards outsiders and not as
indicative that same-sex interactions are not the major source of
social contact for women.

117
Violence in social encounters is ever present given the need of
the male to be masculine combined with the ready availability of guns
and cars and inflamed by the heavy drinking that is customary for the
southern rural male. I was often told of car chases ending in gunfire—
typically, a shotgun would be fired at the back of the pursued car.
Usually physical violence is not intended in these cases but rather the
exchange of buckshot is "good ole boys having a good ole time."
Men feel they have a right to protect their property in the largest
sense and are quick to perceive trespass. For example, a man of about
forty years noticed a parked car outside his house in town one evening,
not liking the look of it, he walked out...with a 12-gauge shotgun and
blasted it...glass went all over the street and the car screeched off.
I never heard nothing more about it.
Women are regarded as property in need of protection, particularly
against other men. This protection actually is more for the benefit
of the men than the women, i.e., it is rather more in the nature of
conservation than protection against harm to the women themselves.
An individual man will guard his woman against his peers and this
individual case is extended to the collective. The girls of the town
are tended to after the fashion of the remuda as young men have strong
suspicions that men from nearby towns will be desirous of raiding their
"stock."
Violence is also a major theme in the relation between the sexes.
Men fear other men, hence "women absorb male aggression (sexually) so
that men are safe from each other"(Chesler 1978:233). The female role
by its very nature sometimes elicits violence in the cultural context.
Idealized femininity Includes physical attractiveness as one of its

118
major attributes and this is often asserted in terms of overt seductive¬
ness on the part of women. A common pattern is to "show out" and
attracts man into flirting with her thus provoking her husband or boy¬
friend into fighting with him to defend his pride as expressed in
possession of the woman. Although Lhis often spills over into wife¬
beating, nevertheless, the behavior is cohesive in that it serves to
ratify the existing relatiohship and reassure each that gender and
social role expectation are being adequately fulfilled—she exercises
her attractiveness and he his dominance, a certain amount of excitement
«
has been created, and so the cycle continues.
However, it is not uncommon for violence generated in this way to
esculate, as in the case of a young couple, Debbie and Bobby. When I
first met Debbie she was twenty years old and the mother of a young son
six months old. Debbie was a prettyish slight blond girl who looked
ten years older than she was. Both eyes were blacked, her hand broken
and casted, and her entire body exhibited bruises and lacerations, the
most significant of which appeared in an irregular line along her spinal
column. The baby also had a large bruise on his forehead which she said
was the result of a carpet burn. Debbie's boyfriend and father of her
baby beat her after an argument. Debbie had discovered him in bed with
another woman and had threatened to leave him whereupnon he began to •.
beat her with his fists and a hammer, injurying the baby during the
fray. Although Debbie doesn't like to get hurt, she felt that Bobby
had the right to try to make her do what he wanted, however, as she
attempted to get away from him in her car, he "...jumped on the hood and
started hitting the car." This was intolerable and as a result, she
had Bobby arrested. Rape and child abuse also may spring from the

119
violent core of southern rural society (MacFarlane 1978, Martin 1978).
The feminine role is subordinant to and contrapuntal to the masculine
role. A woman's rightful domain is in the home, raising her children.
Men have little input into childrearing beyond choosing sons' names
or the like. The fathering role does not include child care in the
literal sense, as evidenced by the behavior of "softball widowers."
Children are primarily considered to be the property and responsibility
of women. Mothers who must go out for any reason are expected to either
bring their children with them, often in the care of one of the mother's
younger female siblings, or arrange for their care in some other way,
e.g. leaving them with a grandparent. Fathers do not "babysit" while
wives socialize or conduct necessary business such as grocery shopping
or laundry.
Female activities do not necessarily coincide with males: although
they may occasionally join a hunting trip or go "juking" with their
husbands. The more common pattern is for men and women to socialize
separately as children inhibit the social flexibility of women. Church
activities and working sessions with other women, usually age-mates, are
the most usual form of female recreation. Certain activities, such as
summer softball and certain community charitable ventures, although
limited in type and scope, present opportunities for crosscutting age- •
grades and placing girls in contiguity with women of all ages.
Women may work outside the home for necessary wages, but few work
for self-fulfillment or could be considered to have a career, this
being a male prerogative. Moreover, most rural women have neither the
training nor the inclination for a real career, having had no sisterly
models to emulate in this direction. In addition, in male dominated

120
societies, women are confined to monotonous or undesirable tasks. More¬
over, Brown (1970:1075) suggests that "...the degree to which women
contribute to the subsistence of a particular society can be predicted
with considerable accuracy from knowledge of the major subsistence activity.
It is determined by the compatibility of this pursuit with the demands
of child care." Farm women can, of course, share the subsistence respon¬
sibilities, and women whose children are grown have more autonomy, but
for women with children the prospects are more limited.
Strawberry Junction4is made up of overlapping kin groups and the
extended family is the model pattern, so it is possible for women to
spread the care of children among alternate substitutes in the female
kinswomen. There is no day care center. However, employment is not
plentiful, albeit possible, especially be commuting, hence wide-scale
employment of women is not likely. In addition, the education necessary
to widen career and life opportunities is not encouraged. Rural
residents react with hostility or ridicule towards education, adhering
to the principle that the length of education is correlated with greater
femininity for males and greater masculinity for females (Oakley 1972).
Although the female role is contextually defined as subordinant
to the male, women may accrue power even though they are denied authority.
Rosaldo (1974:21) distinguishes between power, "the ability to gain
compliance and authority, the recognition that it is right." Women
acquire power by influence or subterfuge, or as a result of their
progress through the life cycle. The mother-son bond is a strong one
and as the father ages, the mother becomes more sought as the family
authority until she must give way to the son. During the period at
which women are most vulnerable to male dominance, their early married

121
years, women often resort to ridicule to retain home control.
Probably the main difference between the sexes with respect to the
developmental cycle is that manhood is an extension of boyhood but
womanhood departs markedly from girlhood in Strawberry Junction. Adoles¬
cent boys ape their adult counterparts. They hunt, fight, drink, drive
fast trucks and chase girls—activities which can also be found well-
developed among adult men. However, the adult woman is expected to be
virtuous, sexually restricted to her husband, and socially circumscribed
to the world of children and other women, and, on rare occasions, her
«
husband's company. The license allowed the adolescent girl stops at
marriage.

CHAPTER VI
THE SEXUAL EXPERIENCE: SEXUALITY, ETHNOCONTRACEPTION AND
PRECOCIOUS PREGNANCY
Like other aspects of human behavior, sexual activity has a bio¬
logical basis and function, but its expression is culturally defined.
"sex" is not a particularly useful word in the analysis of
cultures. To survive, a culture must reproduce, and copula¬
tion is the only wajf. But what is defined as "sexual" in
content or implication varies infinitely from one culture
to another or within the same culture in different his¬
torical periods" (Oakley 1972:99).
The realm of human sex, gender, and procreation has been
subject to, and changed by, relentless social activity
for millenia. Sex as we know it—gender identity, sexual
desire and fantasy, concepts of childhood—is itself
a social product (Rubin 1975:166).
Choosing partners, selecting an appropriate rendezvous, engaging
in sex play, knowing when to begin and when to leave off one's sexual
career, control of the sex drive, learning about sex, and even the
stuff of romance are part of the fabric of culture and being so, must
be learned.
Sexuality must be regulated in order that ownership of children
from the union and property can be determined, and sexual partners
will have defined responsibilities toward each other and the respective
kin groups. Because young persons in most cultures are not equipped
to tend to these responsibilities, adolescent sexuality is at issue.
Most cultures attempt to control adolescent sexual activity. Where
early marriage and childbirth is encouraged, e.g. Asia, Africa, it
occurs within a socially accepted and prescribed pattern. In cultures
which permit adolescent sexual activity but prescribe later marriage,
122

123
sex is controlled by means of ritual restrictions, e.g. coitus
interruptus, coitus inter femora, homosexuality.
Often premarital conception is desirable to prove fertility. In
cultures having very early marriages as in India where girls may be
married in their young girlhood, consummation is deferred until after
menarche. If pregnancy occurs outside the culturally sanctioned domain,
forced marriage, ostracism, abortion or infanticide, even murder, may
be sought to restore the social equilibrium.
Despite a certain agiount of ethnographic inquiry, little is known
about the variety of sexual expression relative to other facets of human
behavior. Marshall and Suggs (1971) point out that because sex is a
physiological drive which may be expressed in varied but physically
limited ways, its study is significant cross-culturally. They divide
anthropological sex researchers into a three-fold classification.
First, the conservatives whose treatment of sex customs is prudish and
limited to social aspects of marriage exclusive of sex practices or
techniques. The second group were more progressive and included
mostly descriptions of Oceania and Africa, e.g. Devereaux, Fortune,
Schapera, and Whiting; they recognized the role of sexual behavior and
attempted to examine it. The last category are the synthesizers such
as Beach and Murdock, who have attempted to use sexual data in comparative
and analytical studies.
Data from the Human Relations Area Files have been used to generate
information about human sexuality and associated beliefs (Ford 1945,
Ford and Beach 1951, Gebbard 1971). Most, but not all, cultural groups
associate sexual intercourse with pregnancy, having a variety of causal
paradigms to explain the relationship. Menstruation is not only
associated with sexuality but oftPn is invested with supernatural power

124
and its force may be feared, e.g. fear that a menstruating woman may
"burn" the crops. Menstruating women are surrounded by taboo and many
cultures have elaborate rituals to protect men from contamination and
defilement. Rites de passage accompanying menarche are among the most
frequently observed rituals for women. Cessation of the menses may
also be significant as it signals an end to the procreative function.
However, in many societies, particularly among certain African,
Melanesia and American Indian groups, the menopause begins a period
when women are released ¿'rom many sanctions and thus can begin to become
powerful matriarchs and enjoy sexual license withheld from their younger
sisters.
There is little cross-cultural information pertaining to the
first ejaculation and this event is seldom celebrated ritually, rather
the most common rite de passage signalling entrance into manhood is
circumcision. Thorarche (first ejaculation) was compared to menarche,
yielding the information that nearly half the sample recognized it as
a significant milestone in their masculine development although less
than one-third had been previously instructed to anticipate the event
compared to over ninety percent of girls who receive instruction prior
to menarche. Thorarche, unlike menarche, exhibits seasonality—first
emissions occur more frequently during the spring, then summer, falling
off during fall, and least likely in winter; no secular trend was
observed as in lowering ages for menarche (Levin 1976). Various properties
are attributed to semen and frequently men are wary of losing their
vitality through semen loss. This is not only true for people living
traditional lifestyles as in India, but can also be recognized in most
athletic training programs in America today.

125
The sexual organs are universally felt to exert a powerful effect
and represent the parts of the body most often clothed. Even in cultures
practicing nudity or semi-nudity, systems of etiquette insure modesty.
Exposure of the genitals elicits sexual advance or conversely, expresses
a hostile or insulting gesture, viz. the American customs of "streaking'*
and "mooning." Certain culturally-specific but varying gestures which
can be formed using the hands or mouth, for example, acquire their
obscenity as symbols of the genitals.
A corollary to visualization of the sex organs is that although
the desire for privacy during sexual'relations is not universal, or
is frequently sought. While it is uncommon for modern-day Americans
to live communcally, this was historically once more usual, and still
occurs among low-income segments of the population. Thus, parents may
engage in conjugal relations in the same room in which the entire family
sleeps. Time for sexual encounters appears to vary with activity
patterns (cf. Melbin 1978), as does frequency.
There are few universal standards of sexual attractiveness due to
the diversity of physical types, material culture, and human imagina¬
tion, but more attention is devoted to the charms of the female than
the male. Odors and perfumes, music, and substances believed to be
aphrodisiac have universal sexual appeal.
Childhood masturbation is fairly commonly accepted and occasionally
adults manipulate children's genitals to calm them. This practice
was felt to be common in the Orient and among nursemaids in Victorian
England (Haller and Haller 1974). Heterosexual play involving mutual
fondling to orgasm begins during adolescence in traditional cultures and
"the evidence from these primitive societies suggests that children and

126
adolescents find sexual play extremely gratifying" (Ford 1945:22).
Adolescent activity is less accepted as a natural phase of development
among Americans, and its practice is covert and arranged by the
adolescents. Foreplay is variable in type and duration; where it is
practical, men are slightly more likely to handle women's genitals
than the reverse. It is interesting to note that the American Cancer
Society claims that more cases of testicular cancer are discovered by
women than by men and that it also exceeds the number of breast cancers
discovered in their partfters by men.
While sexual fondling (petting) is the most prevalent type of
sexual behavior among adolescents, heterosexual coitus is the most
frequent type of sexual activity among adults. The amount of variety
in sexual interactions varies with education (Kinsey 1953), but the
male superior ventral-ventral coupling is clearly the most frequently
occurring position among Americans and probably is the most common
cross-culturally. Heterosexual union is rarely the only type of sexual
behavior among adults but other types of sexual activity, e.g. non-
copulatory sex play, homosexual congress, sodomy, are secondary in the
life span of any large group.
The duration of intercourse is commonly short and the capacity
to engage in coitus and to achieve orgasm appears to be greater in the
female in human and other primate groups (Ford and Beach 1951), despite
the widespread belief to the contrary (Gross 1978, Rainwater 1971).
Findings of the latest generation of sex research (e.g. Masters and
Johnson, Hite 1976) have established that sex drive is as strong in
women as men but that previous social codes obscured this tendency.
The new wave of feminism has brought about changes in women's sex

127
behavior which, some say, have affected male performance adversely
(Nobile 1972).
The development of sexual identity and orientation to sexual
behavior is integral to understanding subsequent practices and attitudes
Laws (1970) isolates six components of sexual identity: (1) gender,
(2) feelings of femininity or masculinity, (3) body image as evaluated
by self and peers, (4) rated attractiveness, (5) sense of self as a
sexual being, and (6) fertility. Realization of sexual identity is
dependent on biological «vents as well as social events and influenced
by relationships to significant others, e.g. parents, peers, physician,
sex partner or spouse, and community norms. "Most American parents
do not seem to contribute the major amount of input into the sexual
socialization of their children" (Lewis 1973:167). Consequently,
information about this most important fact of life must be obtained
from other sources—perhaps sex education, more likely from peer lore or
experimentation. For example, Levin (1976) found that only 12 percent
of boys told someone about their first ejaculation and 42 percent
attempted to hide the occurrence of the event.
Adolescents have difficulty in talking to parents about sexual
matters (Deschin 1969, Lo Piccolo 1973), but display less promiscuity
where their sex information was obtained "legitimately" from a parent
or book (Deschin 1961). More females than males receive the bulk of
their sex information from parents, with those boys who engage in
sex most often having the least parental input to their knowledge base
(Lewis 1973). This tends to support a double standard for sexual
behavior allowing boys to experiment but protecting girls. Spanier
(1976) suggests that informal sources of information, e.g. peers,
influence adolescents more than formal sources and that regardless of

128
the original source of sex information the most powerful influence
with respect to behavior is exerted by the current relationship or
dating experience.
Just as the relationship of health education to improved levels
of health is intuitively believed to be positive but remains unproved,
so is sex education of questionable merit as a deterrent to venereal
disease, pregnancy, or psychosocial distress. The belief in the benefi¬
cial aspects of sex education, especially as part of holistic health
promotion programs, is widespread and lack of corroboration of this
effect may be due in part to the uneven quality of health/sex education
programs confounding analysis and comparison. Nevertheless, an
assessment of the effect of sex education in its broadest sense,
including development of sexual identity as well as formal or informal
instruction regarding sexual behavior, is important to understanding
the adolescent.
Measuring the rates of adolesdent sexuality is difficult because
of the intimacy of the problem. Adolescents tend to be quite reticent
about revealing details of their private selves particularly when the
revelation pertains to genital concerns as this is the age when
persons may be the most modest. Young girls are especially shy about
their changing body shape and function and dislike revealing any aspect
of it, particularly to an adult. The fear of being severely chastised
by the older generation also prompts adolescents to maintain secrecy
about their sexual encounters. Parents may withhold permission for
children to be surveyed regarding their sexual experience. Nevertheless,
current estimates of premarital intercourse, while varying, indicate
that appreciable numbers of young people are entering their sexual
lives during adolescence (Wagner, Fujita and Pion 1973; Udry, Baumann

129
and Morris 1975). "By 1973 studies in various localities showed that
about 35 percent or more of high school seniors, both male and female,
were nonvirgins" (Chilman 1979:113).
Many researchers believe that the rate of adolescent coitus is
increasing. For example, Kantner and Zelnik (1972) conducted a survey
using a national sample of approximately 5000 men and women aged 15-19
and estimated that 28 percent had coital experience. The range was
from 14 percent experienced among 15-year olds to 46 percent of 19-year
olds, indicating an increase in the probability of experiencing coitus
with advancing age. Of the whites surveyed, 23 percent were sexually
active compared to 54 percent of blacks. From these findings, Kantner
and Zelnik conclude that "premarital intercourse is beginning at
younger ages and that its extent among teenagers is increasing" (1972:19).
This conclusion is challenged by researchers who argue that other
factors obscure the trends. Outright (1972) contends that most
estimates of the degree of sexual activity among the young are based
on the rising numbers of illegitimate births among this cohort. He
suggests that this is a spurious relationship because the number of
births reflects changes in fertility rather than in sex behavior.
In support of this contention is the lowered age of menarche over the
last century combined with improved nutrition in the pre-adolescent
period which could be expected to increase fecundity, the ability to
conceive, and retard spontaneous fetal loss.
However, the real sexual revolution antedates the modem terminology.
"The major inflection in the curve of premarital coitus behavior occurred
in the cohort bom between 1900 and 1909" (Laws 1970:48).

130
In addition to estimating the incidence of coitus among adolescents,
it is of interest to discover the range of non- or pre-cbital activities
engaged in by adolescents and, to explore the factors associated with
participation in sexual behavior. Again, types of sexual activities
and frequencies of occurrence are difficult to measure for the reasons
given for sexual intercourse but also because ideas of what activities
may be counted as precoital sex behavior may vary from behavior that
is only peripherally sexually stimulating, e.g. dancing, hand-holding,
and so forth, to transactions requiring genital contact.
Chilman (1979) reports that about half of boys and one-third of
all girls have masturbated by age fifteen, and that data suggest that
this behavior is beginning at earlier ages than formerly with a larger
proportion of adolescent girls electing this form of stimulation. With
the publicity that auto-erotic activities have received from the sex
research of the past decade via the media, some of the former stigma
attaching to these practices seems to have abated, although a considerable
degree of embarrassment remains.
Masturbation is believed to be the initial sex experience for boys
although the first nocturnal emission may be regarded as the orienting
signal. Girls, on the other hand, are believed to begin their sexual
experience as part of a relational contact, e.g. by petting (Kinsey 1953).
Sorenson found masturbation behavior differed between boys and girls
(in ehilman 1979); boys more often reached orgasm and sexually experienced
persons were more likely to masturbate than non-experienced. The most
active masturbators were girls who were currently engaged in coitus.
These findings suggest either that masturbation stimulates desire for
intercourse or that intercourse increases the desire to masturbate.

131
Probably the relationship is reciprocal and sexual activity begats
sexual activity.
The behavior popularly known as "petting" or "making out" in current
cant represents the initial sexual encounter with a partner and may act
either as a transition to intercourse or an end in itself. Petting
consists of physical contant between partners sans genital union. It
can include kissing and fondling of the breasts or genitals or oral-
genital contact. Petting is widespread among adolescents because it is
more socially acceptable*than intercourse, may be conducted more
conveniently and with less privacy, and lacks the consequences attendant
on coitus. "Petting may be accepted because of the social prestige
which it carries and because of the dancing, drinking, auto rides,
and other social activities which may precede or accompany it"
(Kensey 1953:228).
Petting may be used to preserve what Reiss has termed the
"experienced virgin" (Laws 1970) . It allows for sexual gratification
without tearing the socially critical membrane, and excepting the
bizarre, does not lead to pregnancy. Moreover, maintaining sexual
activity at this threshold can be advantageous to the girl. Direct
clitoral stimulation may increase feminine orgasmic response but leave
the male partner with a desire for coitus which may cement the rela¬
tionship in the direction desired.
Although anthropologists occasionally observe and report both
masturbatory and petting practices of traditional people (e.g. Hogbin
1970 , Meed (1928), Schapera 1941, and Malinowski 1929) little is
known about explicit forms of these behaviors in our culture.
Consequently, valuable information dealing with alternative sexual
modes, particularly among teenagers, is scanty in the literature.

132
For example, it would be interesting to know more about adolescent
sexual variety as it applies to birth control or, perhaps more
accurately, conception avoidance.
Factors which have been associated with coitus among adolescents
include race, income, age, sex, education, residence, and religiosity.
Blacks have higher proportions of sexually active persons by age but
otherwise exhibit similar patterns to whites (Kantner and Zelnik 1972,
Vincent 1969); little is known about masturbatory patterns and petting,
but differences are expected in view of the relative nonemphasis of
pre-marital virginity, and in-wedlock conception. Coition is related
inversely to income and socio-economic status (Kantner and Zelnik 1972,
Kinsey 1953).
Education affects participation in sexual behavior; pre-marital
intercourse incidence is lowered for both blacks and whites when the
father's education level is higher or the education level or goals
of the adolescent are higher (Kantner and Zelnik 1972, Udry et al. 1975).
Factors which related to socio-economic status of the father, e.g.
income, education, occupation, are inversely related not only to
participation in sexual activity but also to experimentation so that
masturbation and "non-missionary" coitus are also lower among blue
collar members (Chilman 1979; Furstenburg 1976, Kinsey 1953). Char¬
acteristics of the mother do not appear to have the same influence.
Sex differentation accounts for higher levels of sex activity among
males who also evidence greater numbers of partners than among young
women. A stronger male sex drive has been posited as accounting for
this difference, but the sexual double standard is probably more
influential (Gross 1978).

133
Coital behavior correlates positively with age. The likelihood
of engaging in non-intercourse sexual interactions also increases
toward the latter portion of adolescence (Kantner and Zelnik 1972,
Schoof-tams et al. 1976).
Religiosity retards sexual congress. Premarital intercourse
and other sexual activities are lower among persons with a strong
religious orientation (Kantner and Zelnik 1972).
Sexual activity has also been explained as a variant of deviant
behavior (Gianturco 1974* Josselyn 1970, Pohlman 1969, Gadpaille 1970)
and associated with acting out, generational conflict, delinquency.
The relationship of sex education to coital incidence, though intui¬
tively negatively associated, is unclear (Spanier 1976, 1977).
Premarital coitus is also associated with urban residence (inner
city) or among females moving to urban locations from farm residence;
rural incidence appears lowest (Kantner and Zelnik 1972). It is worth¬
while to note, however, that the majority of studies are based on
urban populations so the dimensions of sexual behavior in rural locations
is not well known.
Girls are more likely to have intercourse in the context of a
"serious" relationship and have fewer sex partners during their career
than their male cohorts (Kinsey 1953) . The nature of family interaction
also influences adolescent sexual behavior, with less activity among
children of natural father-headed households (Kantner and Zelnik 1972)
or within cohesive family relational units (Lewis 1973).
Anthropologists have taken the holistic view with respect to birth
control, or natality regulation, judging it to be the result of
operations that occur within cultural systems, possibly at the intersection

134
of spheres which may not appear to be related. To this end, attempts
have been made in the literature (e.g. Davis and Blake 1956, Ford 1945,
Lorimer et al., 1954, Nag 1962) to classify the factors contributing
to regulation of births and which largely shape the natality pattern
characteristic of each society. Polgar (1968) asserts the probability
that both negative and positive interference in the human reproductive
process are cultural universal traits. Practices that affect births fall
roughly into two categories: (1) deliberate natality regulation of
all behaviors whose sole4or partial purpose, recognized by those
engaging in the behavior, is to increase or decrease the number of
children born and surviving; and (2) cultural practices which are not
deliberately undertaken to achieve this effect.
Some part of the behaviors which affect natality fall under the
aegis of folk medical beliefs in that they are either folk formulae—
behavioral or ethnopharmaceutical for "treating" or eliminating pregnancies,
or part of the body of health-related knowledge that is universal,
albeit varied in nature and scope, which can affect pregnancy. That
these folk beliefs constitute "fairly well-organized and reasonably
consistent theories of medicine" (Sanders and Hewes 1953:45) which
are firmly rooted in time and the experience of generations, having been
found to have functional value in social as well as therapeutic processes,
they tend to persist even in modern, pluralistic nations (Murphree 1968,
Murphree and Barrow 1970, Balmat 1973).
Nag (1962) identified three sets of factors which affect fertility
based on data from sixty-one non-industrial societies but which are
useful in discussing birth control from a cross-cultural vantage.
The first rotof factors related to the probability of coitus, including

135
the frequency of coitus, abstinence, age at marriage, polygamy, and
the rules governing separation, divorce and widowhood. Factors related
to the probability of conception, e.g. fecundity and contraception,
account for the second set. Third are factors relating to the growth
of the fetus and survival of offspring, including abortion and
infanticide.
Coitus must occur in order that the reproductive process culminates
in a birth. Further, it must occur frequently enough to allow conception
but not so frequently to tax semen production below fertile levels.
No society has been documented with sexual activity rates high enough
to reduce fertility levels in males and it is safe to assume that this
happens only in idiosyncratic expression.
Low incidences of coitus can occur and may affect fertility.
Certain societies may regard semen loss as dangerous and provide
strong constraints against weakening practices. Other restraints,
e.g. lack of privacy or ritual abstinence periods, also act to lower
coital frequency. In societies where there is a high degree of separation
of male and female roles, there may be antagonism and suspicion between
sexes and ritual sanctions to allay the danger of contact with females.
New Cuinea men of Wogeo (Hogbin 1970) practice self-mutilation by cutting
the penis with crab claws to simulate menstruation as a means of
combatting the danger of relations with women; a long period of
abstinence necessarily follows.
Too frequent intercourse has been hypothesized as detrimental to
fertility of women—the theory proposed by Malinowski (1929) linking
sterility with promiscuous intercourse called attention to this phenomenon
among the Trobriand Islanders. This effect is probably illusory and

136
any observed sterility is more likely related to an immune response to
multi-donor sperm, the increased incidence of viral diseases sexually
transmitted, or to adolescent infertility—a period which might be
extended in nutritionally-deprived settings. The double standard of
sexual behavior can result in differential sexual opportunities for
males and females, and other factors related to cultural use of space,
notions of privacy, culturally-sanctioned uses of sex, and so forth,
may also affect coital frequency.
Abstinence from sex* for culturally prescribed periods influences
fertility and effects birth control. Menstrual and postpartum taboos,
especially abstinence related to the duration of lactation reduce
births. In certain cases, e.g. the Tswana (Schapera 1941), marital
relations are resumed during lactation but coitus interruptus is
practiced to space births. The period of lactation may have a
contraceptive effect by suppressing ovulation especially where milk
production taxes an undernourished mother (Gonzales 1964). Ritual
occasions or work patterns which call for periods of separation of the
spouses can also effect abstinence.
Age at marriage is believed to be one of the most influential
determinants of total reproductive output. Women are used as the usual
reference point because their reproductive span is shorter but age
differentials between spouses can affect coital frequency, thus
conception. Age of first sexual liaisons is also an important factor '
because after an initial period of adolescent sterility conception is
possible. Conversely, delayed marriages reduce fertility.
Thus in Ireland where women defer marriage until the late twenties,
fewer births result (Arensberg and Kimball 1968). The Rendille of Kenya

137
also exhibit a pattern of delayed marriage, combined with exogamy and
male infanticide, to deliberately keep their numbers consonant with the
size of the camel herds which represent their support (Douglas 1966).
Polygamy has been linked to high birth rates. Since polyandry
has such a restricted occurrence, polygyny seems to be of more relevance
to fertility patterns. Polygyny, because it has commonly been found in
areas with high birth rates, e.g. Africa, has been linked to high
fertility. However, Dorjahn (1959) refutes this on the grounds that
while polygyny results ift more children per household, i.e. per man,
it actually results in fewer children per woman because of rotating
childbearing with longer birth intervals, higher incidence of venereal-
disease caused sterility, and lowered sperm count due to continual
activity of the male.
Frequent separation and divorce can lower fertility by reducing
reproductive time. Widowhood can also affect fertility especially
in societies which prohibit remarriage.
The probability of conception can be influenced by fecundity in
men and women. Fecundity in men, largely determined by sperm count,
has never been impaired voluntarily by means of castration or vasectomy
on a large scale, although the experience of India and Pakistan with
respect to vasectomy was an initial attempt in this direction. Some
assertion has been made that certain other practices lessen male
capacity to inseminate, e.g. Australian subincision, but the lowering
of fertility resulting is probably negligible.
The reproductive span for men has less effect on fertility patterns
than social patterns which delineate appropriate times for childbearing,
e.g. it is considered shameful for an Indian woman to hear a child

138
after the marriage of her son and introduction of the young wife into
the household (Nag 1967). For women, the span is biologically
stricted to a definite phase of the life cycle, roughly fifteen to
forty-five years. Phases outside that span, i.e. adolescence (pre-menarche)
and menopause, may be deemed as appropriate times for sexual license.
Old women of Wogeo take young lovers, explaining that "their desire
didn't leave with their teeth" (Hogbin 1970:83).
Nutritional factors affect fecundity. Adequate nutrition is
necessary for producing faealthy babies likely to thrive and also
retards fetal loss.
Deliberate contraceptive methods have been known since antiquity.
Contraception may be coitus-related methods which do not affect
fecundity or coitus-independent methods which affect fecundity
temporarily or permanently. Traditional methods have usually been
coitus-related. Folk methods include abstinence; incomplete coitus
such as the near-universal coitus interruptus, coitus reservatus
(intravaginal detumescence) favored by the Oneida Colony, and coitus
inter femora. Male methods have depended on containing the semen or
affecting its viability, e.g. skin condoms, spermicidal oils, and the
Islamic practice of inserting a pill into the meatus. Females have
long used occlusives such as soft grasses used by African women,
spermicidal douches, herbal abortifacients and mechanical controtions,
e.g. sneezing after intercourse (Himes 1963; Newman 1972).
Abortion and infanticide continue to be the most widely used
means of birth control (Davis and Blake 1956). Techniques include
physical maneuvering, heat, skin irritants, weakening by starving
or bleeding, mechanical irritants, drugs, magic and so forth (Devereaux

139
1955). Abortion is facilitated by the fact that in many societies
children have no social status until they go through certain incorpora¬
tion ceremonies, hence the fetus is not considered a person. It also
has the advantage of being under the control of women.
Infanticide is also an ancient method with estimates of up to
half of births during the Pleistocene disposed of in this fashion
(Newman 1972). Davis and Blake (1956) liken infanticide to abortion
in that it is functionally equivalent but has the added advantages of
allowing eugenic and sexülal selection of progeny, does not endanger
health of the mother, and eliminates culturally inauspicious births.
Folk methods of controlling births have developed as a response to
the desire and need to restrict human groups due to exigencies of their
peculiar circumstances—ecological, prestigious, or externally
enforced, and persist because the need for them continues. Modem
contraceptive technology has the potential for allowing every culture
via individuals to regulate births as desired, but the actuality in
terms of availability, knowledgability and understanding, and faith in
method effectiveness, lags behind. Traditional belief systems, of
which folk medical beliefs are an important part, are ubiquitously
tenacious, viz. the dispersal and enduring fantasy of the American
teenage beliefs that one cannot become pregnant through a single act
of intercourse and faith in the contraceptive powers of the coke douche
and saranwrap condom (Polgar 1966) .
Most problems related to the reproductive process have taken women
as the focus and the investigations of adolescent contraceptive patterns
have followed this example. This is due in part to changes in contra¬
ceptive technology. Whereas formerly the condom was the most common

140
birth control device readily available, new developments have made
possible highly reliable coitus-independent methods such as the
birth control pill which act upon the woman's reproductive process
and which have placed contraception under the control of the female
partner. Because control of fertility is now capable of being directed
by women, men aften abdicate their joint responsibility for it (Luker
1975). The woman's role in contraception is easier to trace because
the more reliable female methods of contraception, pills, IUD,
diaphragm, require the services of a physician and, if they fail as
contraceptors, they may be detected through birth or abortion statistics.
Young men's contraceptive habits have been studied but to a lesser
extent than girls' and are more difficult to investigate because male
methods do not require medical services, aside from vasectomy, which
is negligible in young men and may even be actively discouraged by
physicians as is sterilization in young women. Researchers cannot
conveniently survey a male contraceptive clinic, for example, nor is
it easy to develop a sample of unwed adolescent fathers. Indeed, young
men depend on young women to notify them of any contraceptive failures,
thus may be poor informants concerning the reliability of their
contraceptive technique.
Adolescents are well-known as poor contraceptors. Zelnik and
Kantner (1974) reported that half of sexually active adolescents had been
unprotected during their last coitus. A variety of reasons have been
proposed for their performance. Luker (1975) groups these reasons
into two main categories: (1) lack of contraceptive skills, an argument
favored in family planning studies, and (2) intrapsychic conflict.

141
Adolescents have been documented as having low levels of information
about the reproductive process and the nature of sexuality and are
consequently lacking in contraceptive skills (Furstenberg 1976), and
additionally, because of their dependency on peer relations are at a
loss to identify sources of help in sexual matters (Wagner et al, 1973).
Contraception may be difficult to obtain even when the potential user is
desirous of acquiring it because of financial or geographic problems
or fear of exposure (Furstenberg 1973).
Birth control users,may begin contracepting but lose motivation,
espcially in the instances of poor follow-up of medical caregivers
(Furstenberg 1976, Richardson 1969). Contraceptors acquire and utilize
more effective skills after their first birth (Furstenberg 1976).
Likelihood of the use of contraceptives by adolescent girls is increased
when the mother is aware of their daughter's sexual activity; the
mother may insure that the girl is informed about birth control
or the girl may openly seek services after the need for secrecy is
obviated (Furstenberg 1973). In many instances, poorly informed
girls rely on their partners for information and protection.
Contraceptive knowledge and availability does not insure use,
however (Wagner et al. 1973), and adolescents may, semingly inexplicably,
neglect to contracept. Attempts have been made to explain this
phenomenon in psychologic terms, e.g. as a result of intrapsychic conflict
One of the most commonly attributed reasons is an underlying desire
to become pregnant to serve a variety of ends. Motives for conceiving
prior to marriage include the desire to precipitate marriage or
otherwise cement a relationship, hostility to parents or community,
masochism, or as a revenge on the sex partner; further "children may
provide a welcome escape from freedom [by enforcing] a regime of hard

142
work, a ritual that safeguards and brings security" (Pohlman 1969).
Pregnancy furnishes proof femininity or masculinity (Chesler 1979),
and may signify full adult status (Dougherty 1978).
Adolescents have been described as being oriented to the present,
thus unable to avert future consequences through planning. In addition,
they have an inflated notion of their own invulnerability, consequently
are not able to visualize personal calamities such as being killed,
becoming ill, or getting pregnant (Furstenberg 1973).
Luker (1975) applied the principles of cost-benefit analysis to
the decision to contracept. Based on a study of 500 patients in a
California abortion clinic, she concluded that risk-taking in contra¬
ception was no different than risk-taking behavior with respect to
other practices known to be detrimental to health, e.g. smoking, non-use
of seat belts. She suggests that women do not subconsciously desire
to become pregnant when they take contraceptive risks, nor are they
always choosing the optimum method with full knowledge of the risks
attached to each, but rather are making conscious, rational decisions
based on their current knowledge and without certainty of the outcome,
e.g. pregnancy is not assured in advance.
For example, with hindsight, many decisions could be made to
appear rational or irrational depending on the outcome. When a woman
opts for a less effective method, e.g. coitus interruptus, in order
not to lose a sexual opportunity that is important to her and does not
become pregnant, her reasoning appears sound. If she becomes pregnant,
she appears foolhardy and irrational. Women who neglect to contracept
or who opt for the less effective methods may be basing their decisions
on balancing erotic needs against protective needs (Hawkins 1970),
but they may be acting with reasons that appear rational to them under
the circumstances.

143
Adolescents are more limited in their choice of contraceptives than
are older and more independent women because of their lack of knowledge
and experience, their need for secrecy, prudery, the unpredictability
of their sexual liaisons, and physiological differences. Coitus-dependent
methods may be the method of choice for adolescents with respect to
medical considerations (Kaufman 1970), but coitus-independent methods
appear to be preferred by adolescent women. Oral contraceptives may
safely be used in adolescents with no medical contraindications but
probably are inadvisable in young girls who have not yet established
«
a regular menstrual pattern (Hunt 1976) . Aside from the potential
difficulty in obtaining and concealing the pills, the major problem
with oral contraceptives is that adolescent girls who have sex
infrequently do not maintain the necessary pill-taking schedule, thus
placing themselves at risk of pregnancy.
Until relatively recently, intrauterine devices were not appro¬
priate for young nulliparous women and the early IUDs had high expulsion
rates. The newer, smaller devices, e.g. the Cu-7, have proved successful
for use in adolescents.
The diaphragm approaches the effectiveness of the oral contra¬
ceptives and IUDs when used in combination with a spermicidal agent.
This is a particularly appropriate method for persons whose sexual
activity is sporadic but presents special problems for adolescents.
The apparatus is difficult to conceal, an important consideration for
many teens. Moreover, girls in the younger teens especially are very
self-conscious about their bodies and would find insertion difficult,
especially in the presence of boyfriend. Many girls are also reluctant
to handle their own genitals and feel repugnance at the intimate
manipulation required by diaphragm use (Furstenberg 1973, Luker 1975,
Lindcmann 1974).

144
Condoms are generally the cheapest and easiest method to obtain,
are effective, and help prevent disease. Moreover, it has the advantage
of involving the boy in responsibility for the contraception of the
couple (Hunt 1976). Periodic abstinence and coitus interruptus also
involve both members of the couple, but among poorly informed or
inexperienced sex actors, are poor contraceptive techniques. Zelnik and
Kantner (1974) found that only half of sexually active adolescent
girls knew when the safe period occurs. Coitus interruptus, probably
historically and currently the most frequently used method, is
unreliable unless withdrawal is timed correctly and may be risky due
to the presence of sperm in fluid released before ejaculation.
There is no reliable information on the use of alternate modes
of sexual interaction as birth control, e.g. manual stimulation, or
oral-genital contact. Current available information suggests that
adolescents confine themselves to conventional congress or engage in
other practices because that is the highest level of sexual activity
permitted rather than as a conscious attempt to avoid pregnancy,
e.g. petting is seldom an end in itself but is seen as part of a
coital progression.
When contraception fails the consequences to the adolescent parents
and the expected child can be serious. To date, the adolescent father
has received little attention, the mother and baby being the most
visible of the triad. Early sexual relations can have adverse health
effects, e.g. exposure to venereal disease, increased risk of cervical
cancer (Deschin 1961, Garris e't al. 1976, Hunt 1976, Nag and Bedford 1969)
but the greatest risk attaches to pregnancy. Maternal mortality is
greatest at either end of the reproductive spans, with minimum risk
associated with mothers aged 20-30 years.

145
This pattern is found in developed and developing countries;
socioeconomic factors such as nutritional levels and quality and
availability of prenatal and obstetric care may affect the mortality
rate, but maternal age has been found to have an independent effect
on relative risks (Hunt 1976, Shapiro et al. 1968). Epidemiologic
studies indicate that mortality appears to be inversely related to
maternal age for women under twenty years of age. Data breaking down
risk within this age group are not conclusive but the expectation is
that differential risks 14111 be found to exist (Hunt 1976). Compared
to the maternal mortality rate for women in the 20-30 year range, the
mortality rate for women aged 15-19 is 13 percent greater and 60
percent greater among women younger than 15 (Lincoln et al. 1976).
Pregnancy in teenagers also represents a hazard to the infant.
Adolescents exhibit greater rates of fetal loss and infants bom to
adolescents have higher mortality rates than babies bom to older
mothers: babies bom to 15 year old mothers are twice as likely to die
than babies of mothers aged 20-24 (Lincoln et al. 1976). Risk to
infants of young mothers is increased due to their greater incidence
of prematurity and low birth weight (Hunt 1976). Adolescent mothers
account for 19 percent of all Infants in the United States and
26 percent of all low birth weight babies (Lincoln et al. 1976).
Low birth weight is associated with infant mortality and morbidity,
e.g. predisposition to birth injuries, childhood illness, failure to
thrive, and neurological defects.
Complications of pregnancy are also greater in the adolescent
population. Toxemias of pregnancy and anemia are the worst hazards
(Lincoln et al. 1976) but adolescents are also likely to experience first

146
and/or third trimester bleeding and complications of labor, e.g.
prolonged labor, cephalopelvic disproportion (Hunt 1976).
Multiple factors influence the poor reproductive performance
of adolescents. Certain socioeconomic characteristics have been
found to represent reproductive risk to mothers and infants in general,
e.g. low socioeconomic status, illegitimacy, membership in a minority
(Shapiro et al. 1968). Persons having these characteristics, including
adolescents, are poor health risks in general because they tend to have
inadequate nutritional foundations and a poor history of preventive
health maintenance. Adolescents are well-known to be poor users of
health services. Both mother and fetus may be compromised as pregnancy
depletes nutritional reserves needed for growth (Lincoln et al. 1976)
and even the skeletal structure of the girl who becomes pregnant before
completion of maturation may be at risk. The rural south is an area
of poorer health conditions than other regions in the country, and
residence there compounds the other problems of its adolescents.
Paternal age as a factor in poor reproductive performance has not
been adequately explored though findings in such areas as Down's
syndrome and occupational exposures, e.g. to anesthetic gases,
are beginning to suggest a more significant influence of the male
input than previously suspected (Manson 1979) .
Pregnancy patterns among this population also have important
demographic conseqeunce. The worldwide trend toward pregnancy and
childbirth at earlier ages has added to population growth and had an
adverse effect on quality of life (Bumpass and Westoff 1970).
Lowered menarchal ages, e.g. a mean of twelve years in the United States
(Hinman 1975), has allowed reproductive capacity to begin earlier in
the life span thus Increasing the total reproductive output potential.

147
While births to older adolescents (18-19) have shared the overall
decline in US birth rate, fertility did not decline among girls aged
14-17 and increased to girls under 15 years, who can be expected to face
the most serious health and social problems (Lincoln et al. 1976).
Furstenberg (1976) has estimated that pregnancy usually occurs within
two years of beginning intercourse.
Adolescents account for over half of all illegitimate births and
more than one-third of all births to teenagers are illegitimate
(Green and Lowe n.d., Lincoln et al. 1976). An estimated one-third
of all marital births to adolescents are conceived premaritally
(Lincoln et al. 1976, Tillack et al. 1972).
Premarital conception is estimated to cause up to half of all
marriages for adolescent girls and up to three-quarters of marriages
for boys (Calderone 1965, Presser 1974). Marriages between adolescents
are two to three times more likely to end in divorce (Lincoln et al.
1976, Calderone 1965, Braen 1971, Furstenberg 1976) making it more
likely that adolescent mothers seek welfare relief.
Pregnancy is given as the primary reason for adolescent girls
leaving school (Calderone 1965, Braen 1971, Furstenberg 1976). Although
girls may legally elect to continue their schooling while pregnant
or after the birth, it is often the case that they become discouraged
via informal persuasive techniques utilized by the school or due to
lack of resources, e.g. child care. Because teenage mother lack
the skills required for employment, they become disadvantaged as
competitors in the job market.
The child of adolescent parents suffers not only the economic
drawbacks or social stigma in the case of an illegitimate birth, but

148
is also subject to the poor parenting skills characteristic of young
parents. Contrary to popular credence, mothering is not instinctual but
must be learned. The adolescent mother "has a very definite need to
achieve her own developmental goals [which] may interfere with her
ability to perform as a mother. On the other hand, the extent to
which she is successful in achieving her own developmental goals
probably enhances her potential as a ’mother" (Nelson n.d.).
The evidence comparing black and white experience of early childbirth
indicates that these groyps treat the event quite differently. American
blacks more typically absorb the new mother and child into the extended
family and the grandmother and maternal aunt may have primary responsi¬
bility for childrearing allowing a resumption of the young mother's
pre-pregnancy lifestyle. Among whites the preferred solutions to
the problem appear to be early, perhaps forced, marriage, adoption,
or abortion.
The extent to which precocious pregnancy adversely affects young
women is suggested by the report that 9-.percent of teenage, mothers
attempt suicide (Braen 1971). Suicide accounts for only 3 percent
of deaths ot white females aged 15-19 (DHEW 1977) .
About one-third of all legal abortions performed in this country
are for adolescents (Green and Lowe n.d., Hunt 1976). Although medical
and psychological consequences of abortion appear to be similar for
younger and older women, the procedures used to terminate pregnancy are
associated with differential risks. Teenagers tend to present for
abortions later in their pregnancy than older women and thus require more
complicated termination procedures. The reasons for this pattern
include the general lack of experience in recognizing pregnancy and

149
reluctance to seek medical or parental advice. Adolescents may also
have difficulty in identifying sources of abortion and may be prevented
legally or financially from choosing this alternative.
The sexual activities experienced by Strawberry Junction adolescents
are an outgrowth of their social life—both ritualized and restricting.
Their dating behavior, sexual knowledge and technique, and their response
to promiscuous pregnancies must be examined in order to assess the
adolescent socio-sexual domain.
The potential for diversion in Strawberry Junction is nominal at
best. There are two movie theatres: a drive-in and a walk-in, neither
of which is open except on weekends. Transportation is less crucial
for the walk-in because a vehicle is not needed for the duration of the
evening. Teens can be dropped off by parents or walk to the theatre
which is in town. The walk-in theatre fare is more family-oriented.
For these reasons, younger adolescents are likely to be granted
permission to attend the movies in town. A common social maneuver
is to go to the theatre and meet friends—often clandestinely in the
case of young girls—and go somewhere else until the show is over.
This method of "dating" sans parental knowledge is facilitated by the
practice of running the shows at the same times each night, e.g. the
first show at 7:00 and the second at 9:00 with the double feature
letting out at 11:00.
Sports events present occasions for adolescents to socialize but
these are limited mainly to school-related events such as football and
basketball games and softball games during the summer. Community
interest in the school teams guarantees adult attendance at these func¬
tions but supervision of adolescent activity is minimal and opportunities

150
for liaisons are presented. One year the school provided buses to
take students to the out-of-town football games and the phenomenon of
"football babies" resulted the next spring.
Aside from sports events, the schools do not provide extra-curricular
social activities for students. The reasons for abdicating this tradi¬
tional role of the school stem from changes in the educational system
and changes in the community. Unionization of teachers and introduction
of plea bargáining has resulted in shifting teacher responsibility and
work load making it difficult to retain teachers as chaperones for
after-school functions. At the same time, the participation of parents
in school affairs has decreased, reduing the chaperonage pool from this
source. Fear of racial incidents has eliminated many traditional
school sponsored socials in the post-integration period. Consequently,
schools in Strawberry Junction no longer sponsor dances and students must
create other forms of social events.
The high school does provide special events that are conducive
to sexual activity among participants. One such event is the "Grad
Night" for the high school seniors. A bus takes the students to
Disney World for a night of fun, departing Strawberry Junction at 6:00 P.M.
and leaving the amusement park at 5:00 A.M. for the return trip. According
to teens who attended Grad Night, drinking and smoking marijuana was
done openly during the trip. The teacher-chaperone stopped students
from smoking marijuana but ignored the drinking.
Also for seniors is the annual summer Bahamas cruise which includes
four nights in Nassau. A single male teacher organizes and chaperones
the trip each year and in addition, according to young women of the
school, maintains a tradition of selecting a favorite student and

151
seducing her during the trip. Other students may also engage in
sexual coupling during the trip.
The high school also sponsors a prom which is restricted to students
of the high school and their dates. Students from the vocational school
and middle school are thus excluded from attendance.
Church-sponsored activities take up much of the social slack in
the community. The forty-odd churches provide varying types of social
occasions aside from regularly scheduled services, e.g. covered-dish
suppers, musicales, picnics, family nights, and so forth. The larger
churches also present limited opportunities in the guise of choir
practice or bible study classes. Although many young people participate
in church activities, in the main, the draw is towards the adults of the
community, particularly the elderly. Ministers and parents believe that
church attenders are deterred from sexual urges. Observations of young
people supports this belief insofar that voluntary participators in
religious organizations profess to desire to remain virginal until
marriage and their peers corroborate their claims.
A high school senior expressed her views on the relation of her
religious principles to her behavior:
I plan to save myself for marriage. I think that sex is a
God-given privilege that shouldn't be abused. I think that
it should mean something between a man and a woman. How
could it mean anything when you do it with anybody who
comes along?
Additional social activities for adolescents are limited to
special interest groups such as scouting, Four H Clubs, Future Farmers
of America, the Roping club, and so forth. According to parents, the
families of "nice" girls, i.e. the higher socioeconomic strata of the
community, attempt to provide their daughters with dancing classes or

152
music lessons and encourage them to join Little Women, the girls'
adjunct to the Women's Club, in order to occupy their time in non-sexual
pursuits. Sexual trysting is not furthered by these kinds of social
engagements but their place in the community social scheme is minimal
both in terms of numbers of adolescents involved and the amount of
time taken up.
Dances are held infrequently and at the whim of sponsors. Having
dances given by clubs or private individuals allows restriction of the
attendance so that blacks can be excluded without reprisal to the school.
The city recreation department formerly held regular dances but
terminated the program when it became too difficult to control drinking,
especially among young males.
Most of the dances held during the research period were sponsored
by the Little Women and were held in the Woman's Club which shared a
parking lot with a church. A cleanup committee was set-up for each
dance whose main purpose was to remove beer cans and whiskey bottles
from the parking lot so that church-goers would not be offended the
next morning. Admission to the dance was $1.25 and most young people
appeared to have plenty of money; some had to scrounge up the admission
and a few remained outside engaging in interactions with teens who
wandered in and out of the dance. Attendance was mainly high school
students but younger children could be seen as well as older persons,
particularly men. No attempt was made to maintain an appropriate age
range; the single important factor in allowing attendance was to
exclude blacks. However, blacks apparently are familiar with the "rules"
and do not actually attempt to attend white dances despite the prevalent
fear among whites that they may do so. In fact, the only person I

153
witnessed being denied access to a dance during the field research was
a young mother who had brought her small baby with her and was forced
to remain outside looking in and talking to those who milled about the
doors.
Informants indicated that dance attendees were from the community's
"upper social class" as a rule. Chaperones were recruited from among
the sponsoring girls' parents. Several mothers usually volunteered
but at least one father was included in case of trouble with the young
men. *
Adolescents may come to the dance with a date, but the more common
pattern is to come in groups of boys or girls, the usual pattern for
social activities. Pairing off is accomplished through the vehicle of
the dance rather than as a preliminary to it. Girls do not need
partners for fast dancing but may dance with each other. During the
infrequent slow numbers, couples dance very close with both arms
around their partner. Boys and girls spend only part of their time on
the dance floor and pass in and out of the building with frequency, going
outside to stand talking or leaving in trucks. Part of the reason for
this traffic is so that teens may drink and smoke freely and part is
to Interact sexually.
The most prominent social activity of teens and young adults is
"cruising." Because of the sterile social environment, adolescents are
reduced to creating their own diversion which has assumed a pnseo-like
character. Teenagers drive around at night "hitting" certain locations,
e.g. MacDonald's, bank parking lots, all-night jiffy stores, filling
stations, and the like.

154
As is characteristic of most social interaction among teenagers in
the rural south, same-sex groupings are the rule. Optimally, an
acquaintance will be found—or formed—and riders will shift around in
trucks to pair off, proceeding to ther well-known, but less public
locations to park and engage in some form of sexual activity. The
town is small enough that a few circuits will generally turn up likely
prospects, i.e. "Once around the block and you see everyone you know."
"Getting in the truck" with a boy is tantamount to agreeing to enter
into sexual play with Iiíttk The importance of the vehicle in this system
is evident, both as the point of access into the sexual realm but also
as the symbol of the behavior itself.
Exchanges between participants in the paseo are sexual in content
and girls are as aggressive as boys in getting their point across. While
cruising with four girls aged fourteen to seventeen, I observed their
tendency to taunt boys and their rivals, the other girls cruising the
strip. Hanging out the windows, they would call out to a group of boys,
"Want a piece...of gum!" or, "Want to have a good time? There's a good
one at the church!" Girls they didn't like would be insulted, "suck off
bitch!" and made the object of obscene gestures. Beer and swigs
of whiskey would be exchanged during stops.
Cruising has an element of risk attached to it which the adolescents
find exciting but do not fully comprehend in terms of their personal
vulnerability. For example, a group of young teenaged girls were taken
cruising by a young married friend whose husband was away for the night.
The young wife was able to buy beer to drink during the rounds of Straw¬
berry Junction and several smaller towns outlying it. They encountered
a young man walking in a nearby town and stopped to tease him by
brandishing a knife and threatening to "cut him and rape him." They told

155
him to take off his clothes and he responded by saying, "you can't
rape the willing," and attempting to enter the car. They drove off
very quickly and were stopped by a policeman who remarked about their
drinking but did not ask to see identification. Girls often behave very
suggestively, teasing a boy and testing the situation to the limit,
unaware that their control is tenuous.
Dating begins early, especially for girls who may begin going with
boys before their teenage years. Girls tend to be selected as dates by
boys and/or men older than they. The physical arrangement of the
schools facilitates eradication of the rigid age-grading that might
otherwise exist and provides an alternative to the vehicle for meeting
potential sexual partners. The elementary, middle, high, and vocational-
technical schools form a complex in which the boundaries are not
well-defined, allowing for a good deal of circulation among the various
age groups. Drop outs and older men who have graduated but not left
town may hang about the schools as well. This hastens the growth of
a sophistication concerning relational'patterns and negates the possi¬
bility for containing certain sets of knowledge, e.g. awareness of
drugs and sexual lore.
School attendance and attendance at affairs which do not require
a date—defined as an occasion in which the boy calls for the girl at
her home and returns her there at the end of the evening—provide
opportunities for meeting partners. The advantages of this to adoles¬
cents are that it allows those of non-driving age to consort with
each other and that it is less under the control and supervision of
parents and other potentially thwarting adults by virtue of being
concealable.

156
Reliance on vehicles and the amorphous nature of school boundaries
function in concert to integrate younger girls with older boys and
facilitate sexual relations between them. Sexual predation emanates
from both sexes. The maxim that young girls, particularly high school
freshmen, "like big dicks" is popularly believed among males. Girls,
on the other hand, circulate sexual ratings of the boys.
Sexual relations begin early. Girls of eleven have been found
in flagrante delicto at the middle school but the average is probably
around fifteen. Boys report beginning sexual experimentation earlier.
One young man indicated that he had been introduced to intercourse when
he was eight by an older, more experienced "woman" of eleven, but it
is doubtful that this is the norm.
Girls are likely to boast of their sexual exploits among themselves,
at least to the extent of making it generally known that they are no
longer virgins, and are fairly accurately cognizant of who among their
ranks are sexually active and who are likely to be pregnant, although
this information is concealed from adults. Sex-related topics are
in the forefront of girls' minds and poems and stories purportedly
written by girls in the school are circulated which examine this
fascinating subject [Appendix 2], Partners in peers' sexual liaisons
can be readily identified and promiscuity, as defined by "going with
anybody who comes by in a truck" is generally frowned upon as being
the lower end of the hierarchy of recognized sexual behavior. The
highest, hence most easily understood and acceptable form of liaison
is that between partners in a long-standing and serious relationship
which may lead naturally into marriage. Peers thus divide girls into

157
three classes: "good—never been touched, medium—nice, but some
experience, and don't cares—they'll do it with everyone."
"Feeling" or "feeling up" (petting) is often the first sexual
interaction for adolescent girls. Among novices in this behavior, there
is a division between those who had allowed a boy to "feel up her top"
(fondle her breasts) or "down there" (explore her genitals) according
to the girl's self-assessment of the relative merit of her physical
attributes. If a girl believed her breasts to be adequately developed,
she would allow them to |¡e felt, otherwise "feeling below the waist"
was offered to avoid exposure of small breasts. Differences in sexual
excitation apparently do not figure in these initial decisions.
The naivete of young girls was revealed when one reported letting a
boyfriend feel her breasts. When he additionally asked if he might
"suck them," she felt that this was "gross and perverted."
Sexual liaisons most commonly occur in parked trucks or cars,
often but not exclusively, in secluded spots. The cemetary is a favored
spot. These spots have become traditional spawning grounds and, though
secluded from the town, may be heavily populated by parking couples.
Intrusion by an outsider, i.e. an adult, is always marked because the
car will pull into the area with its lights on. In this case, adolescents
parked there will leave. Borrowed lake cottages are more desirable
but understandably harder to acquire, especially for "wheel-less"
younger adolescents. Houses where parents are absent are also frequently
used. The most enterprising solution to the trysting problem was
reached when a young man placed a mattress in an abandoned service
station and charged a dollar an hour for its use until he was run out
of town by parents. Adolescent girls reported that they preferred to
have sexual relations inside because "you can catch disease [VD] from
laying in the dirt fin the woods 1."

158
These liaisons are hazardous in that detection is possible. A
14 year old girl confided that she and her boyfriend had attempted
intercourse in his parent's house during their absence and that their
lack of success had made her the laughingstock of the school. They
were unable to consummate the act because the boy could not "get it
in all the way," and she asked him to stop because it hurt so badly.
He got his revenge by relating the story of how she refused to take
off her shoes or blouse and could only say, "hurry, hurry." She was
humilitated at her failure and admitted that she had not wanted to
disrobe completely in the daylight and had feared his mother would come
home. She was also ashamed of her super-numerary nipple. She admitted
that she had not been able to look at the boy or touch him because she
was embarrassed, so she did not know whether he had used a condom.
Parties represent occasions for sex play. In the words of a 16 year
old girl, "seems like people in Strawberry Junction can't have a good
time or think of something being fun without sex." "Seven minutes in
heaven" is a game in which a couple undresses and gets under a sheet
in a closed room. They may engage in any activity they choose for
seven minutes and then the others burst in on them. In "Flashlight,"
players disrobe in the dark and hide. If the seeker catches them in
the flashlight beam, they must pay a forfeit as decided by the player
with the flashlight. I had also received invitation to attend parties
where pornographic movies were to be shown but evidence suggests that
this is not common because of the need for equipment and the expense
of acquiring films.
Adolescents of Strawberry Junction appear to conform to the
behavior described for their older counterparts of the rural southern

159
working class culture (Kinsey 1953) in that their sexual technique is
orthodox. Factors contributing to this conventionality include their
lack of experience and sophistication compounded by the prudery common
to both their social class and age. Adolescents prefer to conduct their
relations in the dark and seldom remove more than the essential items
of clothing due to their prudish modesty and the possibility of
intrusions from adults.
A 17 year old boy reported that the seductive technique differed
according to the type of«girl encountered. Differentiating between
"good" or "medium" girls and the "don't cares" was instinctive and one
look sufficed to make the classification. Girls corroborated this, saying
that fast girls look "raunchy" and have "long, stringy dirty hair and
sloppy clothes." Moreover, they never pass a boy up but are very
forward in attracting attention.
With "good" girls, the process is long and gradual and eventual
success is not assured, but with "don't cares" usually a few beers allow
the boy to begin "roamin' hands" which quickly escalates to sexual
intercourse. Girls who will have sexual relations with guys can further
be separated into those who insist on being in bed and those who will
"do it anywhere." Moreover, according to a young man, some girls won't
let you "intercourse them except with your tongue" ("eat them" or
cunninlingus) and other "would rather do it to you (fellatio) than let
you have intercourse with them." Some boys are said to prefer this
as "it does something different to them," but this informant thought
that most boys were like him in thinking it "gross and queery."
Adolescent lore among girls occasionally focuses on what they consider
scandalous exploits such as a girl having consecutive relations with two

160
boys in one night or a girl who was known to "eat" boys—the unthinkable
sidelight to her activities was that she wore braces on her teeth!
Pregnancy is a feared but not unexpected outcome of sexual
encounters among adolescents. The knowledge base among sexually active
teenagers is inadequate to their needs as is evidenced by the questions
asked by another school group [Appendix 3]. Sex education beyond the
rudimentary physiological films, e.g. of the Disney genre—"Minnie Mouse,
begins to Menstruate," is excluded from the school curricula and its
introduction is an inflammatory subject in the community. Moreover,
most young people cannot identify a reliable non-moralizing source of
information in the community nor are aware of extra-community resources
through which they may augment their nebulous ideas concerning the
process of conception in a pragmatic way. Girls often rely on boys whose
explanations may be colored by their expectations. On the other hand,
girls have admitted to assuring their partner that they were taking the pill
when what they really were taking was a chance. At any rate, relying on
information which is gained experientially—or second-hand can be only
quasi-accurate at best and totally spurious at worst, leaving adolescents
exposed to pregnancy, disease, and psychological trauma.
Parents profess to believing that the proper place for sex education
is in the home, but little actually takes place there according to
adolescents. Boys are expected to learn through experimentation,
e.g. "find out about all the different styles so they could demonstrate
it when they found the right girl." A young man said that his initial
knowledge of sexual matters was gained by watching his parents through
their bedroom window. If he and his sister were caught peeping, his
father would whip the sister but would take him out to a shed and tell him

161
to pretend to cry when he returned to the house.
Girls are given minimal information by their mothers. The bulk
of the advice they receive is oriented toward menstruation. They are
reprimanded for their interest in sexual matters and advice specific
to this aspect of life is couched as a threat or so veiled as to be
useless, e.g. "it is safer to stick with girls." One 15 year old girl
said that her mother has told her only that it was unfair that the girl
had to bear the consequences of sexual activity but that boys "could
care less."
*
Girls reported that they would not know how to get information they
needed or how to identify a trustworthy adult in whom to confide.
They are suspicious of health department personnel because experience
has confirmed that these nurses will gossip about clinic attendees and,
in all likelihood, inform parents of the daughter's activities. Adoles¬
cents occasionally turn to responsible adults in the town, e.g.
teachers, ministers, the director of the city recreation department, but
do not utilize this resource to the extent which they safely might.
Older peers and siblings of the same sex, especially if married or
suspected to be sexually active, are regarded as sexual "experts" who
can be consulted with impunity. Adolescent sexual information is also
fortuitously gleaned from eclectic sources, e.g. a sex book entitled
Depraved Students was currently being passed around. Magazines and
movies were additional sources but the most accessible media source
was offered in the guise of afternoon television programs: soap operas.
Adolescent ideas about sexual transmission of disease was as
garbled as their contraceptive knowledge. A 15 year old girl explained
that "some diseases affect sexual intercourse because they can be passed
on" and that these "bad diseases can be picked up if you aren't careful

162
about who you're with and the people around here don't tell when they
have one." Many girls related exposure to disease to poor sanitary
environments or inadequate personal hygiene, believing themselves
to be immune as long as they kept clean.
Ideas concerning contraception are nebulous and affect technique
and possibility of pregnancy. Adolescents have heard that there is a
safe period during the menstrual cycle when conception is not possible
but can't identify it. Adolescents believe that they cannot become
pregnant while very youn^ despite the occurrence of their menses.
Another common, if ill-advised, maxim is that girls won't conceive if
they only have sex once, or conversely, if they are promiscuous...
Condoms are popular among adolescents and are very much in
evidence as symbols of activity. Boys are expected to flaunt this version
of the Saturday night special but occasionally girls also lét" it be
seen that they are carrying condoms. Nevertheless, many girls who
can identify condoms and are aware of their function are unsure of their
exact method of use. In addition, they may be constrained by embarrass¬
ment from ascertaining that their partner is using one. Despite the
general visibility of condoms, their use seems to be sporadic, e.g.
boys report that sexual opportunities are taken advantage of regardless
of the absence of a condom and that moreover, use of the condom may be
situationally judged as inappropriate or unnecessary especially when
a delayed advance might jeopardize the outcome.
Pills are the favored method but their acquisition and related
variations in use greatly impede their effectiveness. Girlá steal them
from their mothers or buy or receive them from friends who are married
or have acquired a prescription in some way. It is evident that
taking birth control pills is in random fashion according to the

163
instruction of a peer, which can vary from the assertion that one
pill before intercourse will be sufficient protection to the belief
that a number of pills taken after an incident of unprotected inter¬
course will prevent conception by making up for the pills missed before
the episode. The absence of medical supervision obviates assessment of
the likelihood of contra-indications or the detection of the onset
of undesirable side effects of this practice of adolescent ethno-
prescription. Girls are also vaguely aware of a "morning-after" pill,
"something you can take ^after you've done did it" that will prevent
conception, but are unsure of how one would get it.
Coitus interruptus, called in the teen vernacular "pulling out,"
or "the rag" (so called because a rag is needed to wipe off the semen),
is reported to be the most common technique in the adolescent sexual
repertoire. A young man explained that this was very dependable because
"you could always tell before you injected [sic] but not after because
then it was a flow after it started." This same informant provided
evidence of adolescent use of coitus reservatus, favored by the Oneida
Colony (Himes 1963): "If you relax for about thirty seconds right
before you climax, it goes down and then you can go for an hour or
so without injecting." He noted that this is very good for the woman but
not for the man. It is doubtful that this practice is very widespread.
Alternate modes of sexual activity, e.g. oral sex, are apparently
not consciously used to prevent conception.
Although coitus interruptus is generally felt to be a reliable
method with a trusted partner, other mechanical means of contraception
do not approach the popularity of the pill. The IUD is infrequently pre¬
scribed for women under the rationale from the health department that
they are unsuited to nulliparous women because "there isn't room

enough in there to shove them in." When it was pointed out that the
new CU-7 seemed to be quite effective for nulliparas, they were rejected
as being too expensive (The Lippes Loop is generally used in the county
health department clinics, and it is indeed unsuited for adolescent use).
Foam is occasionally used but the diaphragm is almost unheard of,
possibly because these methods require paraphenalia that is difficult
to conceal and may be embarrassing for a sexually unsophisticated
young woman to use in the presence of her partner.
Many girls are largely unaware of the existence of many of these
devices and are unfamiliar with their use. One girl had heard of
something "you insert—like a little round thing, maybe plastic or
something" and thought it was either a suppository or a diaphragm.
Another described a "thing that goes in that has long wires attached
to a round thing that will deform a baby if you have it put in when
you’re already pregnant."
Contraceptive services are available in the community from the
private sector and through the county health department and the university
based family planning project which is held once a month in the health
department facilities. These clinical services are free to anyone at
risk of pregnancy but there is a punitive attitude on the part of the
County Health Department. For example, during the field period, the
health department had been provided with free condoms which they
dispersed in a niggardly fashion in order not to deplete the supply.
Services can be offered to pre-adult clients confidentially
without parental consent on assumption that sexual activity constitutes
a condition of medical risk for the adolescent woman (See Appendix 4],
The local health department practice, however, is to require parental
consent before issuing contraceptive services to adolescent girls.

165
Exceptions to this rule are girls who have undergone treatment for
venereal disease, a prevalent and increasingly serious hazard of
adolescent sexuality, or who have already borne a child or been
pregnant. Hence, girls who have an access to another source of
contraceptive acquisition, e.g. can afford to consult a private
physician or have the transportation to seek clinical services outside
the community, prefer to avoid the health department.
The majority of girls, to whom secrecy from their parents and
other adults is of paramount importance, do not trust the ability
of the nurses at the health department to treat them with the confi¬
dentiality they desire. The clientele of the health department clinics
tend to represent the lower socioeconomic segments of the adolescent
population. Girls who become pregnant and who cannot afford to leave
the community must go through their clinics for their prenatal care.
Lack of utilization of existing medical services also affects
pregnancies after the fact. Girls who suspect that they may be preg¬
nant will delay seeking professional confirmation of this fact as
long as it is possible. Often the fact becomes obvious with the
passage of time, but the girl will conceal her pregnancy as long as
possible, particularly in cases where she has no expectations of marriage.
Marriage to the male who is responsible for the girl's impregnation
is the optimum and usual solution to the predicament in the case of white
females and differs from the hlack pattern in which the hahy is
absorbed into the family. Adoption is the alternative solution most
favored when marriage is precluded by circumstances such as the father's
being unknown or unwilling to marry the girl—a relatively rare
occurrence.

166
Leaving the community for the period extending from before the
girl begins to show and ending with delivery, is, of course, preferable
if the family can afford to maintain the girl away from home or have
kin who are willing to house the girl for the duration. Occasionally
the two involved families decide the fate of the couple and share the
financial burden.
Girls continue their education in many cases, either switching
to the vocational-technical school or to night classes or temporarily
dropping out and resuming school after the resolution of the pregnancy.
Girls from the higher income families generally can drop out and
resume school later without penalty of failing as their grades are
usually such that can tolerate a lengthy absence from school. However,
girls with high educational aspirations rarely become pregnant and
enter sexual liaisons less frequently. The schools are legally obliged
to offer the pregnant schoolgirl her choice of attending day classes
or switching to night classes or the vocational school, but in fact,
the counseling process subtly influences the girl to opt out of regular
classes.
Adolescent lore about pregnancy is gleened in part from the folk
medical lore extant in the larger community. For example, a young
pregnant girl advanced the theory that if the mother raised her arms
it could raise the cord around the baby's neck, strangling it. She
was appalled to learn that the University Teaching Hospital had advised
therapy "that could kill the baby" by directing mothers to raise
their arms and extend their legs. During pregnancy, women should not
gain much weight or eat salt and should avoid such things as diving
into pools or other exertion.

167
Abortion is believed to be rarely sought as a solution to the
dilemma although it is more easily concealed from the peer group than
a continuing pregnancy or prolonged absence from school. Hence,
information about abortions may be more a part of the information networks
of the adults and hidden from adolescents. Reasons for the unpopularity
of abortions derive from the relatively late confirmation of pregnancy,
lack of information about the procedure and its availability, and a
pervasive religious ethic which not only forbids abortions as
"unnatural" but often ca^ls for the continuation of the pregnancy
as a form of deserved punishment for inappropriate initiation of sexual
relations.
This is not only the sphere about which the least information can
be ferretted out by a researcher, but is the area of least knowledge
among adolescents. Girls do not know how they would go about seeking
an abortion, despite the fact that the yellow pages of the local
telephone directory included advertising for an abortion clinic in a
nearby city. They have no conception of the expense, medical risk, and
nature of the procedure, optimal phase of the pregnancy, and time
involved in obtaining an abortion. They profess almost unanimously that
it would not be considered if they were to become pregnant for reasons
that it would be sinful and murderous.
After marriage, adoption is the most common solution to the
problem of the teenaged unwed mother. Cathy, a pretty 16 year old, was
one of only two married girls attending the high school during the period
of field reserach. Thomas, her 17vyear old husband, attended the
vocational school. Both had jobs, Thomas at a boxing plant and Cathy
at a fast food restaurant. They married shortly after giving up their
baby for adoption.

168
Cathy and Thomas began dating when she was 13 years old and began
having sexual relations after they had been going steady for about
six months. Thomas at fourteen was already sexually experienced
although Cathy was a virgin, and he pressured her to let him "express his
love." They made love the first time in Thomas' house during his
parents' absence but afterward would go into his room to have sex
while his mother was home despite Cathy's embarrassment.
They formed a pattern of making love two or three times each month
and Thomas would either use a condom or "he could just tell," i.e.
4
would withdraw before ejaculation. Cathy asked her mother about birth
control during this time but was told it was "sinful," consequently^
Cathy exposed herself to pregnancy. Cathy believes that she conceived
on the occasion of spending a night with Thomas. In the morning, Thomas
told her that he could tell she was pregnant because "they were both
real tired." When Cathy later began experiencing morning sickness,
Thomas insisted on taking her to the health department to confirm their
suspicions and then informed her parents so that they wouldn't think
he was the type to "run out on her." Cathy's mother had become pregnant
with Cathy when she was 15^years old and on hearing that Cathy had
repeated her history, began to beat Cathy saying that since Cathy had
ruined her mother's life, she would ruin Cathy's. Cathy's grandmother,
the matriarch of the family, suggested to Cathy that she should ride her
horse until she lost the baby and thus avoid causing the family so much
trouble.
In the end, Cathy was sent to a home for unwed mothers in a nearby
city and told by her mother to place the baby up for adoption. Upon
consideration, she decided that she and Thomas were not mature enough

169
to raise the baby and gave it up. Cathy and Thomas wrote a narrative
about their thoughts and love for the baby to be left with the adoptive
parents.
Cathy and Thomas decided to marry afterwards and went to live with
her mother. Cathy worried about asking if she and Thomas could share
a room but her mother said that she knew they "did such things because
you don't have a baby by just looking at each other." Cathy believes
she made the right decision, although she is sad about giving up the
baby. She regrets most that they had to give up "Thomas' first child"
«
and felt that it was very hard on him. Thomas admitted in confidence,
however, that he had in fact already fathered two babies to two
different girls, one who had aborted and one who kept the baby.
Although among the black girls in the community it is common
to keep the baby and raise it in the extended family, this in not as
common among white girls. Wanda was a girl who was unsuccessful in
marrying the father of her child. Wanda was a good student with plans
to go to college. She did not date a great deal but began going steady
with Butch during her junior year and shortly afterwards began having
sexual relations with him. She did not know anything about contraception
and believed him when he told her that he "would take care of things."
However, soon she discovered that she had become pregnant. When she
told Butch, he stopped seeing her and refused to "own up." When Wanda's
parents attempted to coerce Butch into marriage, he countered by saying
that all of his friends would swear that they had also had relations with
her so that paternity would be uncertain.
Wanda decided to have her baby and keep it with her mother's help.
They share the childcare responsibilities and Wanda returned to school.

170
Wanda earned the respect of her teachers and friends, but has. been
able to retain very little of her former social life and has had to
reevaluate her educational goals.
Girls with babies tend to be left out of the adolescent social
arena, e.g. they were not allowed to attend dances, and are in
effect, removed from the sight of their peers. Thus, girls who are
sexually active or planning to initiate sexual activity are not
presented with negative role models.
Sexual deviance is covert in Strawberry Junction. The threshold
for tolerating such behavior is low and it is generally not spoken of.
When alternative modes of sexual expression occur, they are often
justified as resulting from special circumstances or are overlooked
because the persons involved are socially innocuous in other respects.
Social control over sexual expression is exerted in relatively subtle
ways.
Homosexuality appears to be rare in Strawberry Junction. Lesbianism
is more acceptable than male homosexuality and a pair of women school
teachers and their children live together openly. That men of the
community engage in this behavior is strongly denied as homosexual
relations are especially repugnant to "manly” men. White men believe
this practice is more widespread among members of the black community.
Its pervasiveness in the prison is legendary and reference to the
prisoner's "man-girlfriends" is a recurring yet unfailing source of
amusement to Junctionites.
Transsexualism surfaced in the community during the research period
when a local boy returned as a woman from a sojourn in California.
This person was often seen around town in the company of his mother and,

171
although shocking to the townspeople, was also the butt of local humor,
especially to the community's adolescents whose own identity seeking
was by no means completed.
There were well-known community figures whose sexual predilections
were tolerated with more or less amusement according to the nature of
their bent. For example, an otherwise normal and respected man was
known to be fond of appearing at his window nude to invite the
neighborhood ladies in for a cup of tea. His vagaries were known
to be relatively harmless, conseqeuntly, newcomers and children were
warned against abetting his game but his unusual behavior was otherwise
politely ignored. Another citizen preferred to go to the playground,
disrobe, and play on the swings—again, once spotted, he would be
taken away and asked to dress but would elicit no particular notice.
A prominent citizen of the community presented more serious problem
by his pedophilic tendencies. Over a period of years he had been in
the habit of giving young girls a ride home from school and coercing
them enroute into disrobing and allowing him to fondle them. As he
usually confined himself to a young relative, his kin attempted to
control his behavior by keeping their children out of reach. His
activities were quite well-known in the community and it was not until
late in his career as a pedophile that his family threatened him with
criminal charges should he continue to molest his young nieces and
cousins.
Incest, of which this case of pedophilia is a variant, is
reported by community officials from the police, schools, social
service agencies, churches, and health department to be only too
common. There is increasing evidence that sexual abuse of children

172
is more widespread than physical abuse (National Center on Child Abuse
and Neglect 1978).
Examples of incest come to light when a girl confesses to an adult
outside her family, often a teacher. Investigation of the report may
follow but, according to community persons in positions to deal with
these incidents, the results are often unsatisfactory. For example a
father had been in the habit of sleeping with his daughters as a means
of "disciplining" them according to his interpretation of the teachings
of the bible as shifted through his fundamentalist Protestant emic grid.
The youngest daughter had broken down during school and revealed
something of her home life to ther teacher. During the investigation,
it became clear that her mother had been aware of the father's sexual
relations with their daughters. When queried about why she did not
intervene on her daughters' behalf, she responded that she didn't care
for his incestuous practices but that "...he was a good man in every
other way."
It is interesting to note that community officials seldom discover
issue from these incestuous unions, prompting the speculation that
because of risk of social censure and criminal prosecution, men may take
exceptional care in protecting their daughters from pregnancy at least,
if not from other consequences such as psychological trauma. The
possibility of pregnancy exists in that while many father-daughter
relationships appear to begin before physical maturation of the girl,
they continue after the girl could conceive.
Prostitution is reported to be available in Strawberry Junction.
Black women are known to service mainly white men but white women do not
ordinarily accept black clients. Prostitutes commonly seek out recent
prison releasees and during the reserach period, police were

173
attempting to close down a local drive-in restaurant which was doubling
as a bordello.
Adults in the community may turn a blind eye to selected aspects of
community life in Strawberry Junction, notably adolescent sexual activity.
While most parents extol the small town ambience for raising children,
many recognize that the community also has its unwholesome side.
For example, the father of a 15 year old daughter voiced his reservations
about a possible adverse influence on his child, "I would like to get
her out of town because it's a bad town...full of gangsters. There's
lots of stolen cars and drugs and the police don't care. Why the
police and some other prominent people in the town are just as crooked
themselves!"
Adolescents of Strawberry Junction frequently are involved in
some kind of criminal activity, ranging from relatively trivial acts
to ones with serious conseqeunces. Adults of the community treat much
of the adolescent destructive behavior lightly, enjoying rumors of
outrageous behavior from their young men, but are less tolerant of
deviance among young women. It is mostly when activities become too
flagrant to ignore that action is taken on the adolescent high-jihks.
Tolerance for felonies is much lower; property damage and theft are
regarded as more personally injurious than actions which cause bodily
harm.
Vandalism is probably the most common offense. Young men cruising
around town drinking as they go, may "show out" for cruising girls by
throwing their empties at windows. When driving outside the town,
signs give opportunities for target practice. The police are seldom
roused to action in cases like these unless they receive complaints
from citizens or have a personal grudge against a particular youngster.

174
For example, several boys aged 15 and 16 were out cruising around in
the new truck of one of the boys, a preacher's son. They had been
drinking and hitting all the known rendezvous sites, but, finding no
action they began to get restless. As they passed the local nursery,
they got the idea to steal some bushes to put on a friend's porch as a
joke. They complete the heist and were driving away when a policeman
saw the shrubs in the truck and stopped them for questioning. The
outcome was that they were taken to juvenile court and placed on
probation for a year. All the boys were extremely bitter about being
punished for "just a little joke" and were convinced that the policeman,
who had been "dogging" one of the boys, was acting out of personal
venom.
Another episode of vandalism occurred without reprimand. An elderly
woman of the community who had a house in town, kept a parrot on her
porch. Townspeople respected and liked the woman and her bird was
something of a community legend, having been the old woman's pet for
more than fifty years and calling many people by their names as they
walked by. One day, the parrot and the cage were missing from the porch,
much to the distress of the elderly woman. The bird was discovered
a week later, dead in a vacant lot. Two adolescent boys bragged that
they had taken it and killed it. The local opinion of this act was
that it was sad for the old person, but after all, "boys will be boys"
and must be expected to be interested in killing animals.
In addition to these relatively mild forms of criminal or quasi¬
criminal acts, the community provided the livelihood for a good many
petty criminals who engaged in breaking and entering, selling drugs,
and rustling, and so forth. The police were aware of the identities of
most of these young men and their friends and periodically arrested them

175
as their activites became too much of a nuisance. Often the police
would manipulate the social network to produce evidence to incriminate
their chosen suspect.
Donna and Richard were a young couple whose relationship began in
the early part of their adolescence and whose tenuous relationship had
survived into their young adulthood. They existed on money gleaned
from several sources: welfare, family doles, and gains from Richard's
"B and E" hauls (breaking and entering). At the juncture when Donna
became an informant for this study, the police had enveigled her into
providing evidence against Richard so that he could be "cooled"
temporarily.
Donna began "going" with Richard when she was 14 and he was 16.
Donna's parents did not approve of Richard, presuming him to be "no
good." Richard was the baby of his family and his three older sisters
had spoiled him. His father had left the family when Richard was
young and later died in prison where he was sent for moonshining.
Donna was a virgin when she and Richard became lovers. This
was advantageous for her because Richard preferred to seduce young
virgins exclusively in order that "he can get it first before anyone
else has got it," thus avoiding venereal disease. Once "others start
cornin' around, he don't want tc after that." Donna's parents broke up
the relationship by tricking her into going to West Florida. Richard
became upset by her leaving and landed in jail shortly afterwards.
The reason for being jailed was unclear but related to Richard's
being "on needles" (using herion). Richard had difficulties while
in jail according to Donna, because he had her name tatooed on his
wrist and was teased continually about her fickleness during this time.
Richard was said to "worship the ground (Donna) walked on" and blamed

176
all his subsequent troubles on stemming from Donn's leaving
him.
Donna returned to Strawberry Junction and began seeing Eddie and
became pregnant by him. They married and she bore his daughter when
she was 15. They moved away but then returned to Strawberry Junction
and Donna began "seeing Richard everywhere," and soon took up with
him again. This ruined her marriage and she lost custody of her
daughter. She initially saw the daughter'every weekend but Eddie took
her away and Donna hasn't seen her in two years.
Richard pressed Donna into having another baby and after she was
pregnant, revealed that he had sired a baby with another girl but it
was a daughter and he only wanted a son. He told Donna that if she
bore a son they would marry, but that if it were a girl, he would leave
her. Donna's baby was a boy whom Richard "dotes on," but as yet they
have not married although they currently live together in a run-down
old house.
Richard's pattern is to "do a job" (burglarize a small store or
house), peddle the stolen merchandise to a fence, and go on a spree
with the money, often spending it carousing with his buddies on a
weekend binge. He gives Donna no money for the household expenses or
for her personal use and she has to support them with welfare aid.
Richard often beats Donna up and tears up her things in a rage.
Donna says this "hurts worse than a beating." After the last time
Donna and Richard fought, the police played on Donna's feelings and
persuaded her to reveal where some of his stolen goods were so that
Richard could be jailed.

177
Donna would like to leave Richard as she is afraid of him, but
he told her he would never allow it. She is also worried about making
it on her own, despite the fact that Richard does not contribute to
her upkeep, as she did not finish high school and can't get a good job.
She is on a three year probation for passing bad checks. While Richard
is in jail, she plans to move in with some girls she knows who "nest
here and nest there and get money from the men or from welfare."
Donna and girls like her may adopt criminal behavior to help
maintain their tenuous lifestyle. Income is uncertain and sporadic
forays into crime, e.g. forging checks, produce needed and relatively
trouble-free sources of money. Certain more common types of behavior
that girls engage in are also illegal but are rarely defined as such
in social terms. Sexual relations among girls who have not reached
the age of consent ("jail bait") are in fact illegal, for example,
but incidences of legal action taken against either partner in these
cases is rare. One such occurrence was spoken of during field research
and the concensus was that other factors had been catalytic in forming
the case.
In addition, drinking, possession of drugs, and driving without
a license also represent illegal but common modes of adolescent
behavior which are ignored by both community adults and police unless
the flouting of authority exceeds tolerable local limits. However,
shoplifting is thought to be the most common form of crime among
adolescent girls. The physical configuration and management of the
Strawberry Junction shops facilitate this practice to some degree.
Most stores are relatively small and the often crowded arrangement of

178
merchandise obscures the view. Even the larger department shores are
sparsely manned by sales personnel so that spotting shoplifters is more
difficult than in a sophisticated large store having a large sales
and security staff. Even if caught it is seldom a matter for the police
but is handled between the adults concerned with the matter—store
personnel and the parents.
The ease with which these furtive operations are executed has
prompted girls to attempt shoplifting in setting where the chances of
success were minimal and the consequences much more serious. An
unfortunate incident occurred during a visit to a nearby tourist
attraction when several adolescent girls shoplifted some bracelets from
a souvenir shop and were caught in the act. The chaperone for the trip
was able to persuade the shopowner not to prosecute, but the girls
were severely humiliated and their parents were contacted.
Action by the police was taken to shut down a small youth center in
the center of town because its activities became too flagrant.
Ostensibly a gathering place for young teens to play pin ball machines,
shoot pool, and listen to records, it actually was a nexus for drug
traffic with suspicions of teen prostitution and fencing of stolen
goods. The center operated approximately a year before the police
closed it although its activities were monitored during its operation.
Individual action was resorted to in cases where private interests
of the adult community were at stake, e.g. matters of "honor." When
the behavior of a young person threatened to go beyond the line, police
might issue a timely if unofficial warning or community adults might
devise their own strategem. An interesting example of this form of
informal social control presented itself when a young man—a stranger—
came to town and began preying on young virgins. The townspeople are

179
extremely insular and protective of their own kind and those adults
who were aware of the young man's activities were alarmed. Because
he was handsome and charming in the manner of a young Lothario, the
newcomer was having considerable success seducing young girls when these
adults were goaded into action. They arranged for one of the parents,
a social worker and mother of several children, to talk to the young
man on behalf of all and suggest that he might shortly like a change
of scene. The alternative, she sweetly told him, was to be taken out
to the woods where both of his knees would be broken. If he were
still unconvinced of the error of his ways, she implied that castration
was not out of the question. Being a reasonable person, he left the
town.

CHAPTER VII
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
Kantner and Zelnik (1972:19) surveyed sexual experience of young
unmarried women and reported findings indicative "that premarital
intercourse is beginning at younger ages and that its extent among
teenagers is increasing." Cutright (1972:30) "suggests that the image
of an abstinent past and a promiscuous present is highly exaggerated,"
asserting that rising illegitimacy rates more accurately reflect changes
in fecundity levels due to lowered menarche and lowered rates of spon¬
taneous abortion which function to make sexual activity more visible if
not actually more prevalent.
Visibility of adolescent sexual activity is similar to the blind
men's assessment of the elephant—community residents tend to regard it
from their own perspectives. Thus, to key community figures such as
teachers, the problem is of significant proportions, to parents of a
"good" or at least "uncaught" daughter it is something that may
occasionally happen to someone else but which can safely be ignored;
and to the mother of a pregnant school girl who can't identify the
father it may assume tremendous proportions. A realistic assessment is
a compromise between these views: school officials estimate that five
to ten percent of school girls in the middle and high school become
pregnant each year and these represent the tip of the iceberg of sexually
active adolescents.
To the outside observer, adolescents in Strawberry Junction appear
to be "a group of restless, frequently alienated rebellious teenagers
1 HO

181
who compulsively reach out for premature sexual experience where their
partners are strangers or very recent acquaintances and where no meaning¬
ful relationship with the sex partner is sought" (Gianturco 1974:415).
Part of the explanation of this behavior resides in the nature of the
inter-generational interaction. Adolescents in the community are granted
few opportunities to relate cross-generationally. This results in part
from the need of adolescents to create a separate domain which is "not
always or explicitly anti-adult but.. .belligerently non-adult" (Demos and
Demos 1969:637) in order to establish an identity, but relates more
specifically to the abdication of adults of responsibility for shaping
the adolescent sphere and thus allowing a bona fide adolescent culture
to develop (Deschin 1969). In effect, the generations have evolved an
"unstated gentleman's agreement that...neither will interfere with the
other" (Keniston 1962:156).
The tacit refusal of parents to serve as templates in the
apprenticing process that adolescence should represent has lessened
the influence of the peer group and denigrated the credibility of adults,
a characterization which is reinforced by the media, particularly
television, via depiction of adults without the notion of experientially
acquired wisdom (Rosenblatt 1976). This pedocentric rendering of the
parent-teenager relationship easily extends to undermining adult values
and elevating the values of children, which further cements the peer
networks as the primary source of value orientation. Abdication of
adult responsibilities is primarily an American phenomenon with no
documentation of cross-cultural prominence. Morever, contrary to
American beliefs, primary orientation to the peer group as a means of
achieving adult identity during the adolescent self-searching process,

182
is by no means indispensible (Goodman 1970).
Adolescents in the community appear to desire interactions within
their families and from among the larger community but have difficulties
in identifying appropriate persons on whom to focus their companionate
needs. The social system of separating children, adolescents and adults
from each other does not facilitate these exchanges. Experiences of
teachers and other key community figures support the contention that
young people would welcome more direct role modeling relationships with
adults whom they could respect.
The abdication of parental responsibilities has a direct relation¬
ship to adolescent sexual activity. Community adults do not provide
diversion for the young people, but allow them to create their own
recreational patterns. Most parents in the community believe that
small-town life is more wholesome, thus preferable to life in bigger,
more sophisticated cities and were harsh in their criticism of moderately
sized, relatively inocuous, nearby towns. In doing so, they overlooked
a major advantage of larger communities, namely, that diversion is
offered through increased activities made possible through the larger,
more varied population and relatively greater resources. In was within
the scope of Strawberry Junction to provide more recreational opportuni¬
ties for their young persons but not within their" cultural pattern to do
so. Thus, adolescents in the context of the rural south seem to have a
higher degree of autonomy than they do in more urban contexts, i.e. they
have less parental supervision, nevertheless, they do not have full adult
status or responsibilities and thus are in a liminal phase. The community
presents itself as "...a society so drab that sex seems to the young to
be the only adventure with any magic in it. When sex turns out to be

183
merely sex, the young flee to more of the same elsewhere—and they play
games with, among other things, automobiles and razor blades" (Vonnegut
1974:119).
The most serious consequence of the lack of inter-generational
relations is that young people are left to founder in their emotional
and psycho-sexual maturation when they might be provided with guidelines
to aid them in the decisions that must shortly be made affecting the
outcome of their lives, e.g. mate selection. Findings in Strawberry
Junction indicate that the sexual knowledge base is insufficient to
enable adolescents to effectively control their fertility. The community
does not provide sexual instructions to its adolescent portion because
sexuality is deemed inappropriate behavior for this group. In middle
class American culture, sexual activity is reserved for those in authority,
the legally-defined adults (Gadpaille 1970) , who may fear the imagined
or real sexuality of adolescents and place stronger sanctions on this
behavior even than on illegitimate bearing of children because of the
potential for adult power to be usurped, and role definitions blurred
(cf. Bernstein 1966, Chilman 1979).
Observations of Samoan young girls (Mead 1928) yielded the informa¬
tion that sexual experience is regarded as a natural element of total
life experiences. Girls observe adult sexuality in natural settings,
and are not stultified in their personal experimentation. No information
is withheld or deemed "unfit" for young persons, consequently the transi¬
tion from maiden to matron in terms of sexual flowering is accomplished
naturally and without trauma.
Americans in general, and rural southerners in particular, do not
recognize the necessity for a period of learning and development of

184
sexual technique prior to assumption of a full, legally and socially
sanctioned sexual life:
"The problem areas in our cultural attitudes toward adolescent
sexuality focus more upon sexual behavior than reproduction.
If this were not so, society would welcome the technological
ability to prevent conception during the adolescent period,
instead .of regarding it as a dangerous source of unleashed
sexuality". (Cadpaille 1970:480)
Parents cloak sexual matters In secrecy, relying on religious tenets
to squelch experimentation. "A host of ill-digested fragmentary concep¬
tions of life and death will fester in the inexperienced mind and provide
a fertile field for the later growth of unfortunate attitudes" (Mead
1928:158). Thus, they deliver their children into adolescence and young
adulthood ill-equipped for decision-making. This strategy may have been
functional in times when girls were kept under strict chaperonage before
being given over to an arranged marriage. In terms of social evolution,
maintaining adolescent "innocence" prior to marriage is a vestigial social
construct without the seclusion which protected adolescents of yore from
certain of the consequences of untutored and clandestine—or perhaps
pointedly unseen—sexual activity. If as Mead (1928) suggests that
parental permissiveness and openness concerning sexual matters minimizes
psycho-social trauma during the developmental phase, it is reasonable
to suspect that the reverse is also true and that needless problems are
incurred via this zealous prudery.
Parents decline to furnish children with useful and realistic
information about the nature of human sexual drives and range of
expression and prefer to think that their refusal to discuss this
tabooed and mystical subject coupled with admonishment for their "shame¬
ful" curiosity will make adolescents feel too guilty to pursue the
information they seek, and in fact, need to deal with the realities of

185
their lives. What in fact happens is that adolescents seek this informa¬
tion from other sources: pornographic magazines, television and movies.
Interestingly, according to informant reports, adolescents do not utilize
potential sources of accurate information which is readily available to
them, namely encyclopedias and other reference books in the school and
public libraries, nor are they aware of the type of accessible information
sources referenced in the local telephone directory.
"Perhaps the most important source of sex information is other
adolescents because due to the closed communications between generations,
communication networks are largely peer-oriented. Thus, as "most
children's games are not taught to the child by adults but by slightly
older children, the same holds for patterns of adolescent love-making"
(Linton 1942:591).
While boys are socialized to regard sexual experimentation as part
of the male role and tacitly encouraged to acquire experience, actual
information exchange between fathers and sons is minimal and between
mothers and sons, unthinkable. Boys are less likely to seek advice on
sexual matters from "experts" (Gross 1978) and even information exchange
between peers may be oriented more directly toward scoring ego points in
the peer group, i.e. a way of achieving rank rather than disseminating
information.
Girls appear to be more concerned with content in their informa¬
tional networks, probably because they assess the consequences to the
female partner in the sexual dyad as more serious. Girls rely on boys
for advice concerning both sexual and contraceptive technique (Furstenberg
1973), but their major sources of information appear to be from same-sex
peers, especially those who are slightly older, married, or believed to

186
be sexually active. Same-sex siblings are important sources of informa¬
tion and have the advantage of being on an easy relational footing that
minimizes the embarrassment of curiosity; cross-sex siblings are also
utilized in this manner but less frequently.
Although promiscuity has been found to be less when sex information
is gleaned from legitimate sources, e.g. parents or teacher-counselors,
and when this information is personalized (Deschin 1961) seeking sex
information from peers is functional in that it reduces generational
conflict in systems where adolescent sexual activity is socially
proscribed (Lo Piccolo 1973). The obvious and serious consequences,
however, is that the informational content of peer sex exchanges is
subject to distortion as it is processed out of theories derived intui¬
tively, irrationally, and experientially rather than representing accurage
factual input. Unfortunately, the remedy for this situation is not clear
owing to the nature of information extant in the adult peer group.
Inquiry into parental notions concerning human sexuality, reproductive
physiology, and contraceptive technique suggested that adults acquired
the bulk of their information from their peer group when they were
adolescents and have not greatly enlarged their knowledge since, despite
contact with medical personnel via childbearing and the pragmatics of
married sexual activity. Unfortunately, adults equate experience with
knowledge; they have little conception of the breach between knowing how
to engage in the physical gyrations that constitute the sex act and the
physiological processes that account for sex drive and the reproductive
cycle. Their prudery is generated partly from the guilt-and-shame
doctrines of their religion, and partly from their ignorance and lack
of sophistication. Were they to shed their prudish reluctance to discuss

187
sex with their children, in all liklihood, they would have nothing to say.
Nominal input originates from institutional sources such as schools
and public health personnel. The case of a young girl who asked the
health department to confirm a suspected pregnancy is a graphic example
of how information is withheld. She became so hysterical at the prospect
of an invading speculum that it became obvious that she had never been
penetrated, hence could not be expected to be pregnant. No attempt was
made by health department medical personnel to discover upon what basis
she felt she might be pregnant or to explain the relationship of sexual
intercourse to pregnancy. Teachers and guidance counselors are restricted
in the kind of information they can extend to teenagers and the hands of
the School Board of Education are tied due to the vehemence of community
parents with respect to the inclusion of sex education in the schools.
Ministers have voiced concern and some have expressed interest in provi¬
ding church leadership, but again, the community parents stand solidly
against outsiders interfering in parental concerns. They want to insure
that another's values are not imposed upon their children, and in so
doing, provide them with sexual moralizing in the home but few facts.
Because of this climate, adolescents are unable to contracept
effectively in a void of information. "Possibly the most ineffective
contraceptors are sexually active teenagers who have never been married
and, if female, never been pregnant" (Presser 1974:8). Girls rely on such
artifacts of the contraceptive lore as being unable to conceive if they
only have intercourse once or if they wash themselves carefully (Chowning
1969). Additionally, adolescents have been described as having a sense
of personal invulnerability to disaster and have difficulty believing
they could become seriously ill or die or become pregnant (Cvetkovich et al.

188
1975). Girls in Strawberry Junction attempt to contracept in as rational
a fashion as possible within their knowledge limitations (Luker 1975),
but have little real hope that one can be sexually active without eventua¬
lly becoming pregnant. They view their chances of conceiving as "cumula¬
tive across incidents of intercourse rather than being independent"
(Cvetkovich et al. 1975:264).
The excessive modesty of girls is counter-productive to becoming
effective contraceptors— they exclaim in horror at the thought that they
should look at or feel their partner's penis to confirm use of a condom
and are equally repulsed at handling their own genitals or allowing their
partner to insert diaphragm or foam. Medical services, though available
in the community, are shunned out of ignorance or due to fear of exposure,
hence ethno-contraceptive practices must be relied upon.
Choice of sexual partners is distinctive in Strawberry Junction.
Young girls pair off with older men of the community and adults in the
parental generation place few restrictions on this seduction of their
daughters. Social occasions are not carefully age-graded and the school
boundaries imperfectly defined. Patterns of incestuous activities, mainly
of the father-daughter dyad, are frequently reported and are believed by
both adolescents and community leaders to account for a significant amount
of sexual initiation.
The reasons for the extent of sexual activity among adolescents are
complex and probably related more closely to role definition in the rural
south and to the life cycle formation of social hierarchy. "Still more
than being an end in itself, sexuality can be used to serve all manner of
non-sexual ends" (Gadpaille 1970:479).

189
Because of the male orientation of the rural south, women are
"trained from childhood to yield to the authority of a dominant voice,
to blend all of their energies to please the more vulnerable egotism of
a dominant person" (lead 1935), and the definition of the male role
pervades social construct and defines the female role as a compliment to
it. Aggression and violence thus become central cultural themes. Boys
take risks, drink and smoke to symbolize adult male status (Harrison 1978),
and "social indices reveal an accelerating tendency toward heightened
aggression in adolescent boys" (Hamburg and Hamburg 1975:96). Hagen
(1962:68) further suggests that the "simple folk of most, if not all
traditional societies find satisfaction in being aggressive when they
dare rather than resorting to aggression in case of necessity".
Sex represents an arena of risk and daring and is used to define
and establish masculinity. Initiation of sexual activity thus becomes a
significant rite de passage into adulthood in the assessment of adoles¬
cent boys. Males take the sexual initiative and are orgasm-oriented,
whereas "sexually active females are likely to expouse the traditional
female role, saying they participated in intercourse because the male
expected it" (Chilman 1979:137). Even though males are believed to have
greater sex drives than women, the intrinsically sexual nature of their
behavior is open to question:
It is not uncommon for men to seek rewards that lie outside
the relationship itself. Early in adolescence, most boys
recognize that success is not sec.ual "scoring" in the parked
car, but describing real or imagined sexual exploits to a
group of teenage cronies the next day or even the same night
at a local drive-in. Thus the sexual partner becomes a mere
instrumentality used by boys to achieve status in the eyes of
those who really count, the male peer group (Gross 1978:94).
Just as sexual exploits define the masculine role and may indicate
advancement to adult male status, impregnating a girl is the proof of

190
virility. Thus is is not a totally undesired outcome of sexual liaisons
for young men.
Girls also can be seen as having motives extrinsic to sexual desire.
There is evidence that adolescent girls are less orgasmic than older
women (Chilman 1979). Girls in this study seem driven to achieve ends
other than orgasm or sexual stimulation, indeed may persist In their
activities despite physical pain, and on inquiry, do not relate having
"got much of anything" out of the sex act. Clearly, their motives relate
to achieving rank in the peer hierarchy and to protest against their later
circumscribed roles as wives and mothers. For girls, entrance into sexual
life also represents an important rite de passage but it is transition
from childhood to adolescence not adulthood. Adolescence represents a
time apart for girls during which they have license that will not come
again.
The transition from girl to woman is distinguished by a degree of
female aggressiveness that is anomalous in the behavioral repertoire of
the adult woman. Girls are not merely aggressive sexually but also
engage in fights with other girls. Expression of sexuality is allowed
if not overtly recognized by the community at large. The behavior of the
adolescent female is analogous to male aggressive behavior as manifested
in the machismo system. This female aggressiveness is a feature of tran¬
sition that exists in protest, as it were, against the restrictions which
will all to soon be imposed upon them at marriage. Marriage is defined
as the entree into adult life and because it defines female status, but
it is also recognized to be somewhat onerous: a young married woman was
surprised to discover that an acquaintance was much older than she, but
immediately attributed her friend's youthful appearance to the fact that

191
she was divorced. When pressed for an explanation, she replied that the
divorcee "didn't have the wear and tear of marriage."
This male-mimicking role fades after marriage at which point covert
expression of female aggressiveness more appropriate. Manipulative tactics
are employed and the role of the southern woman begins to parallel the
Latin mraianismo as the compliment to the dominant male (Stevens 1973).
Sadly, sexual expression among adolescents is often a substitute
for affection, especially for young girls. Girls who really want physical
affection and attention, e.g. hugs and hand-holding, find it easier to
accede to a boy's sexual importunings for intercourse in hopes of being
held and talked to.
Pregnancies are usually the unplanned outcome of sexual activity.
The search for special motivation may reveal some females who consciously
try to become pregnant but it generally overlooks many more who only
wanted to. enjoy sexual relations and never thought they could or would
become pregnant in the process" (Furstenberg 1973:193).
Precocious pregnancies are facilitated by the social context of the
southern rural community as represented by Strawberry Junction. Female
role expectations include early marriage and motherhood; girls begin
mothering at an early age by being given responsibility for younger
siblings or children of older siblings. Few girls expect to prepare
themselves for a vocation other than wife and seldom come into contact
with an adult woman who can serve as an alternative role model to that
of wife-mother. If pregnancy occurs it is perceived as precocious rather
than tragic since i> merely starts the girl earlier in the role that is
her culturally prescribed destiny.

192
The purpose of the study was to provide contextual information about
adolescent sexuality that is rarely documented in existing studies and to
shed light upon a population that is not well-understood in terms of
sexual and contraceptive behavior. The following represent findings of
the study in order of their significance in understanding the behavior of
white rural adolescent women.
Sexual relations are an important element of adolescent life in
Strawberry Junction and begin early in adolescence. Boys appear to have
intercourse earlier than girls who report their initial coitus around
fifteen years of age. This cannot be taken as the average age for
beginning sexual relations but rather is when the informants who were
sexually active said they were initiated. Girls report beginning non-
coital sexual activity ranging from hand-holding and kissing to heavy
petting (petting which stops just short of coitus) in the last year of
elementary school and in the middle school (grades six, seven and eight).
Expression is different for young men and women. Although girls may
be aggressive sexually, their motives do not seem to be intrinsically
sexual, i.e. they do not report a great degree of sexual satisfaction in
their relations, but are oriented toward social goals. Thus sex relations
may be seen as a rite de passage for girls to enter the adolescent social
hierarchy.
Male sexuality in the same age group is orgasm-oriented but also
is used as a determinant in male peer group social ranking. Because
virility is an essential attribute of adult masculinity, entrance into
the sexual life functions as a male rite de passage into adulthood.
For girls, sexual expression may substitute for affection. Rural
southerners, while given to blandishing casual endearments, e.g. addressing

193
even strangers as "honey" or "sugar," do not readily display physical
affection, even to children, and have minimal interaction with adoles¬
cents. Thus, adolescents are driven to peer contact to satisfy their
companionate needs. To many girls, engaging in sexual relations may
present an avenue towards receiving physical affection rather than a
direct desire for sexual stimulation. Unfortunately, it is easier to
achieve coitus than elicit a hug and friendly interest in their personal
concerns.
Adolescents are ineffective contraceptors. Their information base
is gleaned mainly from peers whom they often incorrectly judge to be
sexual "experts," and through experiences. As a result, their contracep¬
tive technique relies heavily upon folk practices and situational expedi¬
ency. They seldom seek advice from medical or social agency personnel
because of their lack of awareness of the need to do so, the difficulty
of assessing services, and their fear of exposure and subsequent censure.
Experience with community care givers, e.g. county health department
personnel, confirms that privacy is. not well-maintained.
Intergenerational interaction is minimized in the community.
Adolescent social rings are autonomous from adult networks. This
generational insularity is maintained as much if not more by the parental
group as by the adolescents to a degree that parents and other adults of
the community can be said to have abdicated their responsibility as role
models. Adolescents exhibit the desire to achieve closer relations to
adults, especially in terms of sexual advice, but are refused. By
refusing to educate teens, yet allowing them social autonomy, parents
covertly allow sexual activity among adolescents while overtly condemning

194
Adults neglect their responsibility for sexual instruction of teens,
voicing moral strictures only. The reasons for this lapse are threefold.
First, religious convictions against extra-marital sexual expression tend
to make adults reluctant to discuss sexuality from a pragmatic point of
view hence they confine any discussion to the moral implications of this
behavior. Second, working class prudery about sexual and other natural
physical functions inhibit information exchange. Last, and perhaps most
significant, is that the parents acquired their information in much the
same way that their children will be expected to—experientially and from
peers, thus were the barriers of prudery and religious impediments removed,
adults would still not be able to provide their children with adequate
factual information to prevent inappropriate pregnancies.
Because of tne nature of sex roles in the community as in the larger
southern rural context, adolescence represents a period of apprenticeship
for males whose teen role will be continued and amplified in adulthood.
For girls, adolescence represents a period of relative deviance which will
be terminated in adulthood when they assume the much more restricted roles
allotted to wives and mothers. The southern rural sex role system is
analogous in many respects to the Latin American machismo system. This
period of female adolescent license represents a phase of "male mimicking."
The community dbes not provide alternate role models for girls.
Marriage and childbearing are viewed as both the ultimate and proper goals.
Community adolescents bear this out in that very few express an interest
in continuing their olucation or aspire to a career. Thus precocious
pregnancy is not regarded as tragic, though it may be deemed inappropriate,
but rather signals an early assumption of an eventual goal.

195
The options for girls who become pregnant are strictly prescribed
both by the religious tenets and the social structure of the community.
In order o,f preference they are marriage, adoption, keeping the baby by
the unwed mother and/or her family (with some speculation that the child
will be presented to the community as a child of the parents and a
sibling to the natural mother), and abortion. Abortion appears to be
rare but its incidence is difficult to assess due to the extreme secrecy
in which abortions are sought. The religious beliefs are strongly against
both out-of-wedlock sexuality and pregnancy to the extent that abortion
would be severely sanctioned were it to be discovered.
Indeed, an interesting contradiction of religious fundamentalism is
that children are atione and the same time regarded as a blessing (marital
issue) and a punishment for the sin of pre-marital sexuality. The value
of children is thus somewhat anomalous, which is reflected in their treat¬
ment and in the way they are regarded between the generations. For example,
all married persons expect and are expected to bear children, but their
subsequent interaction with them is minimal. Mothers evidence a certain
amount of resentment about having to bear and care for children and
appear to want their daughters to repeat their life experience as a
perverted way of getting even.
Choice of sexual partners is influenced by the nature of social
relations between the generations. Adults do not interact socially with
teens often but do not prevent relations between young girls and signifi¬
cantly older men. Social activities are not well-monitored or chaperoned
to restrict the age range of attendees and the geographic arrangement of
the schools furthers the mixing of the age groupings to the disadvantage
of young girls. There is evidence that incest accounts for an appreciable

196
amount of sexual initiation of young girls but this study did not
attempt to document the incidence of this practice.

APPENDIX I
KIDS NOT IN CLASS
Why does this Happen? The school doesn't seem to care.
In North Central County High School there is a crowd of kids that
are always seen at the auditorium without being in class. I can't seem
to see that this is alright for kids to skip. I am quite strongly
against kids skipping, expecially when they stay around school. It
seems to me that the School Board could do something about these kids.
The Board should have a meeting about these kids who skip, but no one
seems to care about them hanging around the school. To me this skip¬
ping problem is bigger than the new trash cans and fence the School
Board wants. If they would stop some of this skipping we might not need
a fence.
If this does not stop it could give North Central County High
School a bad reputation.
What would the other kids who go to school think if nothing happened
to the one's who do wrong. So why should the kids who go to all their
classes get into trouble when they skip one class. What if they stop
and thought well why don't I be like those kids that you always see at
the auditorium. They never seem to get into trouble so why don't they
go join those kids who skip and stay around the school.
I think it should be fair if one gets in trouble for skipping why
not everyone. It seems to me that if these kids don't go to class why
should they be allowed to do this without getting into trouble. It
seems to me that the school board could do something about this.
197

198
If I was in the school board’s shoes I think they could deal with
these kids who skip school in this manner. The first thing I would do
was to give these kids three wornings. If that does not work I would
suspend them for 2 days, then 5 days, and last time for 10 days. I
would think that after the suspending was over and the kids still wanted
to skip at the auditorium during class, should then be kick out of school.
By this time you would know these kids don't even care about going to
school, so why should they be kept in school.
I think if they did this are school would look better and not get
a bad reputation. It would also not make other kids go bad. It also
might help the kids to learn more self respect for the school and every¬
one who is there. Once the kids who are kicked out of school see how
hard it is to find jobs without a high school education they might think
twice. Then when they go back to school these kids who were once into
trouble for skipping might never do it again.
I think this idea would work because you know and I know all kids
have to learn the hard way in this day and time. So why not show them
now so it won't mess up there future.
Essay written by a high school sophomore girl expressing concern
about the degree of skipping among her student peers. The essay is
reproduced verbatim.

APPENDIX II
1. My First Time
I laid back with a sigh as I allowed my body to relax. I put him
off with one excuse after another. I always wanted to try it and now
was the time. He assured me that it wouldn't hurt me. Slowly his hand
touched the spot. I saw the thing he was holding. My knees grew tighter
together. I opened wide to give him more room. He went in further.
It seemed like a lifetime, but it was only a moment. I rose up and he
brought it out. It was all red and covered with blood. I grew tense
as I realized the dentist had just pulled my first tooth!
2. Never Fall in Love
A heart is not a plaything,
A heart is not a toy.
But if you want to weakin it,
Just give it to a boy.
Boys love to mess around with things,
And find out how they run.
But when it comes to kissing girls,
They'll do it just for fun.
Boys never give their hearts away,
They play girl for a fool.
They wait until the girl gives her's,
And then they playit cool.
You think when he whispers,
Darling I'll always love you.
That in his heart he means it,
And forever will be true.
But you better think it over,
And not believe it yet.
Because you see, my friend,
Heart aches are all you get.
199

200
Don't ever fall in love,
You'll find it doesn't pay.
Although it causes broken hearts,
It happens every day.
You'll wonder where he is at night,
You'll wonder if he's true.
One moment you'll be happy,
But next you'll be blue.
Then it starts, you don't know why,
You worry night and day.
You see, my friend your losing him,
It wouldn't have worked out anyway.
So when I say "Don't fall in Love"
You'll be hurt before it's through.
You see my friend I ought to know,
I fell in love with you!!!
3. Remember Me
Remember me and the fun we had,
The time we got into trouble for being bad.
The times we used to come in late,
We must have been in the hands of fate.
Remember when you asked me to go steady,
I said "yes" I thought I was ready.
Remember our summer sunshine day,
We were riding and kissing in the hay.
Remember the kisses we used to share,
The time you said you'd always care.
Remember the nights we went all the way,
Yes, you can't forget, I'm the one who has to pay.
I remember you started looking to her,
Then came out, Ann, you just didn't care.
Now I'm in a home for unweded mothers,
But why should you care, you have all the others.
I'm in the hospital, fighting the pain,
I'm hoping to keep the baby, it needs a name.
The doctor came in a few minutes ago,
He said there was trouble, he didn't know.

201
I found out he was telling a lie,
The nurse had to tell me, I'm going to die.
The baby they said would be alright,
But I'll probably die sometime tonight.
Before I go, there's
Darling, T love you,
one last lie,
take care and good-bye

APPENDIX III
SEX EDUCATION QUESTIONS FROM A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL IN FLORIDA, 1972
1. How do you know if your pregnant? I mean, if you don't go to
a doctor.
2. What time in the month do you get pregnant usually—after
your period, before, during or what?
3. Can you bleed when your pregnant?
4. How do you know if you or your guy is sterile?
5. What happens to the male after sperm is passed?
6. What happens when a man and woman mate and the egg is not ready yet?
7. Is it true that women with smaller breasts enjoy sex more?
8. What's a rubber?
9. When can you make love to a girl and not get her pregnant?
10. I heard that when you screw a chick without a rubber you can kill
the sperm cells by taking a cold shower. If this possible?
11. Does the foam really work? What other protection can be taken?
12. If you make it with a girl and she gets pregnant and she is a minor,
can she or her parents get you busted for rape?
13. Why does reproduction take palee? What age does it start?
14. What are the chances of a chick getting pregnant after you ball her?
15. What causes twins?
16. What causes a miscarriage?
17. Does the fallopian tubes take turns producing the egg cells?
18. What happens if 2 or 3 sperm cells makes its way in the egg cell?
19. Where do the extra sperm go after one enters the female cell?
20. How come some people can't have children?
21. What happens when the ovary let two eggs go?
202

203
22. During menstruation should you paly baseball and climb fences?
During pains what do you take or what do the doctor give you to
stop pains? What should you do if you have them every 3 days?
If you get very tired after you start your period, what do you do?
23. Can you have a baby before you have ever start your period?
About at the age of 7 or 8 (before you start)?
24. Would a baby be deformed if two men intercoursed a woman right
after another?
25. How long do you have to have intercourse to make it take effect?
26. How do you know when you will start your period?
27. If you have not started your period and have had headaches and
cramps for about 6 weeks or more, how much longer till you start?
28. What decides the sex of the baby?
29. What is male and male contact, and female and female contact?
30. If a woman is already pregnant and if she has another sexual
intercourse, what will happen?
31. Does a diaphragm always keep a girl from getting pregnant?
32. What will happen if you ball a girl on the rag? Will she come
pregnant?
33. How do you know if you get venereal disease?
34. What if the mother's organs don't function right—like before the
baby's born?
35. How do they disconnect the mother from the child?
36. Is it true that if you get balled just before your period—or
just after—you won't get pregnant?
37. If a guy or a girl is on speed and is hooked, can that make them
sterile?
38. One of the dudes I've balled with ie taking hard drugs and has
been for about 5 years. If I get pregnant, would our baby be
deformed? (I use drugs, too).
39. What is sperm made of?
40. Do boys have something like our periods?
41. How can you tell if you are pregnant in the first month or so?
42. When is the time for you not to get pregnant?

204
43. What's a diaphragm?
44. Is there a possibility that you can get pregnant without balling?
45. How do you know if you have an orgasm?
46. How can a girl tell if the boy's sperm is coming out during sexual
intercourse?
47. Can it hurt a 13 year old to give birth?
48. If you are 13 or 14 and haven't started your period, should you
be worried? Can it cause a sort of complex?
49. If you shouldn't ball before you are married, what should you do
if you get a super hard case of wanting to ball and you can get
the house, the bed and the boy—then is it wrong? If you really
love the dude too?
50. When does a chick have the most liekly chance not to get pregnant?
51. Can you really tell if a child is really going to be abnormal
before birth? If so, what is the percentage of it being correct?
52. Does the sperm cells die as soon as they hit the outside air
and are not gone from the penis directly to the vagina?
53. What happen when you just finish having intercourse and your
period come on after you finish?
54. What would the police do if they caught you balling?
55. What happens during abortion?
56. How does your body know when it is going to reproduce an egg?
57. My sister and a lot of her friends were taking about balling. What
exactly does ball mean?
58. Isn't birth control pills just as bad as an abortion—by killing
or preventing a possible life?
59. Do boys get relieved when they get a blow job or do they have to
have intercourse?
60. If a baby boy has the mumps can that make him sterile?
61. The rumor is that certain kinds of cigarettes make you sterile.
Is this true or false.
62. How do you get triplets?

205
63. Do you think, it can be harmful to get sexually involved with a
girl your own age if you were about 13-19?
64. Could you explain about eating out—is it decent, can it give you
a disease or what?
65. What happens if the girl lets you ball her and she tells her parents
and her parents tells the police?
66. What are the symptoms of VI) and how can you cure 1 t? Can you keep
your treatment secret?
67. Why is everyone balling, then having an abortion done?
68. What is the best thing to do if you get a girl pregnant and she's
only around 15? What should you do?
69. Why do older people think all this is bad?
70. What if this guy just uses you and something happens? How can you
tell he's using you?
71. What do you mean "Adult Pleasure?” Is this like smoking is for
adults only? And same with drinking. Do we get no pleasures?
72. If your boyfriend wants to have sexual intercourse and you don't
want to but everybody keeps telling you you'll fill out in your bust
^ or your body will fill out, what should I do?
73. Since everybody does it and if you don't, then you're out, is it
still wrong to have premarital sex?
74. How old should you be for sexual intercourse?
75. What is artificial insemination?
76. Is it wrong to make love with a guy you really love?
77. Is it wrong to live with a guy you plan to marry?
78. What about if you and your boyfriend want to have a sexual intercourse
but you're scared?
79. I have a sex life with my boyfriend and I don't take anything to
keep from getting P.G. If I got P.G., how long would it take to
get an abortion and who would I contact without my mom and dad
knowing.
80. Was that water thing that protects the baby—often called a water
bag—if the water bag breaks, what happens to the pregnant woman?
81. Do all mothers have to breast feed? If no, why not?

206
82. How can I enjoy an active sex life without worrying about getting
pregnant?
83- How long does it take for the baby to be born?
84. If you are on your period more than 5 days (like 7 or 8 days), what
has gone wrong? Is it normal if you skip your period? What's
the normal amount of time you should skip if you do?
85. Often I have pains in my uterus. They shoot up and the pain
lasts about from 5 to 10 seconds. Could you tell me what it is?
86. Can anything happen to a girl when she has been fingered? Can
her hyman become injured?
87. What causes a retarded child?
88. Can you get an abortion in Florida under 18 years without your
parents knowing? What are the laws?
89. What do you do when a boy decides to go too far and you can't
get away?
90.
91.
92.
93.
94.
95.
96.
97.
98.
99.
Can you get pregnant if a guy pulls out right before he shoots off?
After you've been balled, why do you go through so much pain the
next day (like stinging when you use the bathroom)?
If you're not fully developed and get pregnant, will it hurt
the baby?
Is there anytime you can ball without getting pregnant without
using anything?
Is it better for a boy to use a rubber. Will it keep the girl
from getting pregnant?
Will it make you irregular if you have intercourse?
How long after intercourse does the sperm fertilize?
Do you think it's proper for people our age to engage in sexual
intercourse as long as safety precaution are taken to prevent
pregnancy?
What are your ideas on sexual morals?
Can you get VD¡from the toilet seat?
100.
How do you tell your mother when you start your period?

207
101. If you have gotten "banged" or hurt on the vagina and you have
a stingy, sharp pain when you go to the restroom, can it damage
the vagina so that you can stop or not have your period?
102. What is a douche bag?
103. Is natural birth easier?
104. Can you get pregnant from a relative?
105. What are some of the causes of a child being born dead?
106. Can you go swimming if you're in your period? Why or why not?
107. Is there any way other than the birth canal to deliver a baby?
If so how?
108. How do you put a tampon in? How old should you be before you start
using tampons? Could it hurt you if you're not used to it?
109. How can you tell if you have breast cancer?
110. What might give you cramps?
111. Can you get venereal disease by just being around a friend who
has it?
112. I thought that living together (unmarried) was against the law but
you always hear about people living together and nothing seems
to happen to them. What do you think?
113. How does a male or female become sterile?
114. How many times can you make one girl pregnant?
115. I heard that if you ball a girl you have to marry her. Is this
true?
116. If you do not have wet dreams, can you still get a girl pregnant?
117. If two men intercourse with you, how do you know who the father
is?
118. Will masturbation cause VD?
119. Is it true that coca-cola kills sperm cells after they are in
the uterus?
120.
Can you get VD from your partner in any other way than intercourse?

APPENDIX IV
EFFECTIVE CONTRACEPTION TO MINORS
THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS
EFFECTIVE CONTRACEPTION TO MINORS
The never married, never pregnant, sexually involved
female has not yet been reached with effective contraception.
The laws of some states indirectly prohibit this service for
minors and thereby prevent the gynecologist from serving them
or place the physician in legal jeopardy if he does so.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
believes that:
1. The unmarried female of any age whose sexual behavior
exposes her to possible conception should have access to the
most effective methods of contraception.
2. In order to accomplish this, the individual physician,
whether working alone, in a group or in a clinic, should be
free to exercise his best judgment in prescribing contraception
and therefore, the legal barriers which restrict his freedom
snould be removed.
3. These restricting legal barriers should be removed
even in the case of an unemancipated minor who refuses to
involve her parents. A pregnancy should not be the price she
has to pay for contraception. On the other hand, in counseling
the patient, all possible efforts should be made to involve her
parents,
4. The contraceptive services should be offered whenever
possible in a broad spectrum counseling context which would
include mental health and venereal disease.
5. Every effort should be made to include male partners
in such services and counseling.
1971
[Reprinted by the Consortium on Early Childbearing and Child-
rearing with the express permission of the .American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists.]

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Pamela J. Fischer was raised and educated in Florida, receiving
both the Bachelor of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees in
anthropology from the University of Florida. Upon completion of study
in residence at the University, she spent a year as a Research Associate
in Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine evaluating
the Problem-Oriented Medical Information System developed and demonstrated
by Dr. Lawrence Weed. From the University of Vermont, she joined the
faculty of the Health Planning and Administration Program at the
Pennsylvania State University for one year.
The author is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Reproductive
Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and
Public Health. Her daughter, Carrie, is attending high school and
preparing for a career in veterinary medicine.
223

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
n U’V'1-5
- y,>" 3-7
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
3-
7 2 - 6 V Tl
Theron A. Nunez
Associate Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and
Gynecology UrlA
392-xrii 3 7
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
223-
- ”7
Norman N. Markel
Professor of Speech
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department
of. Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the
Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the require¬
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 1979
Dean, Graduate School

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